PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS (Psalm 103)

YOU FORGIVE OUR INIQUITY:

CS Lewis says that when we ask God to forgive us, what we really want is for God to excuse us. Forgiveness is not excusing; it is forgiving the inexcusable. Thank you Lord that in your generosity you forgive the inexcusable in me, even as I forgive the inexcusable in others.

YOU HEAL ALL OUR DISEASES:

There are a number of people in our congregation living with cancer and other illnesses at the moment. We know only too well the agonising silence we sometimes hear when we pray for healing. Yet we witness over and over again the miracle of dying people who have been healed of the dis-ease of their coming death. Dying has given way to victory, and we are able to say with integrity: Lord you are able to heal us of all our diseases; even sometimes the ones we have in our bodies.

YOU REDEEM OUR LIFE FROM THE PIT:

We all know too many good people, who seem trapped in dark holes, despite their deepest prayers. Yet I have seen, and personally experienced, enough of the power and the promise of this affirmation – that even if I trudge through the miry clay, I am able to hold on to the truth that You Lord, redeem our lives from the Pit. Your desire is that none should perish; your heart is set on saving us – no matter what Pit we may be in.

YOU CROWN US WITH LOVE AND MERCY:

You anoint us, bless us, with your steadfast love and your ongoing mercy. You never give up on us.

YOU WRAP US IN GOODNESS FOR AS LONG AS WE LIVE:

Goodness is in fact never hard to find; and every experience of goodness is a gift from God. Eyes that look for goodness, and hearts that welcome even the simplest expressions of goodness, know it to be true, that you wrap us in goodness for as long as we live. Thank you Lord that Your goodness surrounds us.

YOU WORK VINDICATION AND JUSTICE FOR ALL:

God ultimately makes everything come out right. Lord we have a corrupt President; over and over we see the evil prosper, and justice delayed. It is often hard to believe that you are always setting the world right; it is hard for us to see your hand at work. But save us from despair; save us from cynicism; save us from inaction; and help us to pray with growing confidence that you work vindication and justice for all!

YOU ARE SLOW TO ANGER:

Lord, we have sometimes believed – perhaps too often – that you are angry with us. Help us to understand that your will is only to ‘catch us’; and not to catch us out. That you are for us and not against us. Our fear of you has made us dishonest and pretentious and reluctant. Help us to live confidently knowing that you give us much room to grow and explore and fail and rise again. Help us to bask in the knowledge that we have so much time to learn to love you well, because you are slow to anger.

YOU DO NOT DEAL WITH US ACCORDING TO OUR SINS AND YOU REMOVE OUR TRANSGRESSIONS FROM US:

If you Lord should mark our iniquities, who could stand? Thank you that we get what we don’t deserve. Thank you that our sins don’t define us, but that instead you remove them as far as the east is from the west. Thank you that new beginnings are always possible – even if it means life isn’t quite the way we expected it to be.

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