Saturday, August 2, 2014

Penciled Prayers: When Bad News Comes

"For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord" (Psalm 112:6-7).

My great God and King, my sovereign Lord and Savior: to You, O Lord, I give praise and honor and glory. You alone are sovereign. You alone are in control. You do not share Your glory or your sovereignty with anyone. Everything that happens in everyone's lives is inside Your domain and under Your control. Nothing and no one thwarts Your plans. No one undermines what You determined to do before You created the heavens and the earth. Your will is sovereign. Man's will is not.

Father, You are good. If You cause Your grace and mercy to fall upon man, You are good. If You allow evil to inflict man, You are good. Whether the news one receives is good or bad, You are good. And You are in control of all people and all circumstances.

Lord, while I have no idea who it might be (it could be me; I don't know), a brother or sister in Christ might receive bad news, today. A frightening diagnosis; a pink slip at work; divorce papers from the one he or she loves; a daughter announcing she is pregnant with her child--a baby created in the image of God, but conceived in sin; a son announcing he is apostate; whatever the bad news might be--a brother or sister in Christ might have to face it, today. Father, please help Your children, those who You have caused to be born-again and have adopted into Your beloved family of the redeemed; if they receive bad news, today, let my brother or sister not be afraid.

Lord, keep the righteous from being moved, today, by bad news. Lord, may their trust in You be great, this day. Father, may Your children who receive bad news, today, have a heart that is firm, but not hard. Let not the specter of coming difficulties harden the hearts of the ones who find faithfulness easier when life is going well--people like me, Lord. Rather, Lord, let their hearts be firm in the faith. May their hearts be firm, just as their feet are to be firm as they stand adorned with Your spiritual armor.

Father, may the bad news any of my Christian brethren receive, today, serve not as an opportunity for sinful fear, but rather as an opportunity to trust in You will all of their hearts, leaning not on their own understanding, in all their ways, including their present painful circumstances, acknowledging You. And may they acknowledge Your sovereignty and perfect control--not with a sinful sense of blame, but rather with a faithful trust in You that can thank You and praise You in the midst of the storm. Lord, please let this be true of me, too.

In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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