Friday, July 01, 2005

Prayer for the living...

An old song says, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”
That is so true.
Paul says, “Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting?”
That also, is so true.

Oh Father, I lift up to You this morning this dear family who has lost a young man. They have lost a son, a husband, and a father of young children. He, of course is with You. But they, by the very nature of death, are alone.

Yes, they comfort themselves by their faith. They know that death is not the victor. They know that the “sting” of death has been removed by our Savior. But they are still alone.

They (and we) watched him suffer, and knew that with You all things are possible. With You, healing could come in an instant. With You, this devastating illness had no more power than an eyelash in a hurricane, but still he died. For Your will, for reasons known only to You, was not to heal him in his physical body.

Father, I am a “realist”, and by that I mean I realize that we live in a fallen world and that bad things are going to happen to “good” people - even Your people. But I still know, and still believe that You are in total control. I, and they, have no reason to fear not only the grave, but anything.

But now Father, my prayer goes beyond fear. My prayer now goes to the practical, for they must continue to live in this fallen world. The bills will still come due, and the children will continue to grow, and continue to have needs. Father, my prayer now turns to the living. The dead have no needs. The dead in Christ, and especially this young man who loved You so, have only victory. It’s the living who suffer. And so, I pray for them.

Give them not only comfort for the “facing of this hour” but wisdom and courage for the “living of these days” and all the days to come. In the blackest darkness of the deepest night, may they feel Your presence. When panic (however momentary) descends, and the anguish they feel in the pit of their stomach threatens to overwhelm, I pray dear God give them peace and comfort. And not only that, Lord, but give them answers. Open their eyes to see hard and fast concrete answers, because the living must go on living. And we still live in this fallen world.

We remember the words of Paul when he said, “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.”

And now, Father, may this “Lord of the living” comfort them, strengthen them, guide them, and give them peace.

In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


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