Father, thank you for the faith that n. has in Christ Jesus. Thank you for the love he has shown to God’s people and for the hope he has in heaven. Fill n. with knowledge of your will for his life. Give him wisdom and spiritual understanding. Empower him to live a life worthy of the Lord. May he please your Son in every way. Make him fruitful in good words, and grow him in his knowledge of you. Strengthen n. so that he may endure patiently the challenges in his life. Fill him with joy, and let him give thanks to you for bringing him into your kingdom of light. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die” (Jeremiah 10:23-24, NLT).
It’s very human to want to see people get what’s coming to them. Jeremiah had been beaten, imprisoned, slandered, and left to die in a pit. Yet as the invaders approach (v.22), Jeremiah feels his people’s pain (v.19-20). He laments the poor leadership that brought the people to this tragedy (v.21). Yet Jeremiah prays for his people as though their problem was his own (v.23-24). He asks God to divert his wrath to their enemies (v.25).
How do I respond to people whose lives have been shipwrecked by their own choices? Do I stand apart, silently chastising, “you reap what you sew”? Or do I bear their burden and bring it before the Lord? Do my prayers reflect my justification of myself like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable (Luke 18:9-14)? Or do I acknowledge my own need for correction and dependence on God’s grace? Am I willing to give time and resources to meet their needs?
Father, thank you for the grace and love you have lavished on me. Teach me to extend your grace and love to those whose lives are in chaos. Forgive me when I substitute judgment for compassion. Move me from self-righteous inaction to passionate prayer. Direct my thoughts and actions that I may be a true ambassador of your Son. In whose name I pray, Amen.