As we journey through these uncertain times, each day Sean will to seek post a thought or reflection, a Bible verse or a prayer.
Tuesday 5th May 2020
‘The Serenity Prayer’
One of the most popular Christian prayers was written by the American Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. The first reference to his prayer appeared in 1932, with several versions then printed in newspaper articles. In 1940, the full version finally appeared in a print. During the Second World War the prayer was circulated amongst members of the armed forces. This is how it goes:
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
The prayer of course is a masterpiece. It speaks directly to the heart and into the depths of human experience. It is a petition for grace and courage, wisdom and discernment. And note what the prayer does not say. It does not attribute sin, hardship and suffering to God.
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
As the lockdown continues and we continue to have our lives controlled by Covid19, there are glimmers of hope beginning to emerge. We are not there yet, but the numbers of people dying are thankfully beginning to decline. Soon the lockdown will be eased and community life can begin again.
In the current situation, what are the things out with your control?
How do you feel about these?
What can you do to change things?
Continue to remember all who are effected by Covid 19 – give thanks for those who serve, those who are fearful and anxious, and those who grieve and mourn.
Prayer for the renewal of the church and revival of faith in our land.
Pray the Serenity Prayer (above).
Take your time.
Pause and reflect over each sentence.
Let the words sink in.
Feel God extending his healing love to the deepest recesses of your heart, permeating every memory of hurt and pain, speaking peace to your anxieties and fears, surrounding with grace as your journey through this day.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever.
May the grace of God uphold you,
the peace of God surround you,
the love of God flow from you
and the strength of God protect
and bring you safely through this day.
Hymn: Amazing grace