Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, October 24, 2015
Wounds Too Deep for Us to Heal
Dear Lord, I feel so inadequate.
Just looking at this prayer for today, I do not say I chose it. Instead, it patiently waited for me to read it, and captured my heart, my soul. Pulled my heartstrings, to boot.
The prayer for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Deliver Us from Evil” (Prayer 454, page 135)  The prayer is in a section entitled Compassion. It is taken from a collection entitled Contemporary Prayers for Public Worship, edited by Caryl Micklem.
“Lord, the wounds of this world are too deep for us to heal. We have to bring men and women to You and ask You to look after them—the sick in body and mind, the withered in spirit, the victims of greed and injustice, the prisoners of grief.”
O gracious God! My chaplain’s heart breaks, just reading this first section. Such a number of dear ones come to mind from mention in this paragraph alone! I know You know each name that comes to mind. I know You know each situation so much better than I can possibly know myself. Dear Lord, gracious God, I lift my deep and earnest cries to You.
“And yet, our Father, do not let our prayers excuse us from paying the price of compassion.”
Oh! Piercing me in the heart, God! How often and how many times do I allow surface, peripheral prayers to salve my wounded pastor’s heart? Forgive me, dear Lord.
“Make us generous with the resources You have entrusted to us. Let Your work of rescue be done in us and through us all.”
Dear Lord … when I realize what bounty You have given to me and my family, how can I help but be generous? Sure, I can feel inadequate, comparing myself and our small apartment to others who live in this community, in a generally well-off suburb of Chicago.
And, yet. And, yet, when I look at poverty around this country, especially around the world, I shudder. I realize how much stuff I have. I realize how blessed I am. I bow my face to the floor to thank You for so many things. Like a job I enjoy, good health, a loving husband and family, wonderful friends, electronics at our fingertips, food in our kitchen, abundant clothing to wear.
Gracious God, help me to be generous with all You have entrusted to me. Lord, in Your mercy, hear my earnest prayers.
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 The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 135.