A Prayer for Tough Times

January 23, 2009 — 1 Comment

bonhoeffer1I have shared this prayer/poem by Dietrich Bonhoeffer with many recently.  It was printed in Letters and Papers from Prison, and written in 1943, 2 years before this German pastor and theologian was executed by Hitler, days before the end of WW II.   Read it and make it your own prayer.

MORNING PRAYER

Christmas, 1943

God, to you I call early in the morning.

Help me pray

And gather my thoughts to yourself

I cannot do it alone.

In me it is dark,

But with you is the light;

I am lonely, but you forsake me not;

I am faint-hearted, but with you is help;

I am restless, but with you is peace;

In me is bitterness, but with you is patience;

I do not understand my way, but

You know the way for me.

Father in Heaven,
Praise and thanks
Be yours for the night’s rest.
Praise and thanks be yours for the new day.
Praise and thanks be yours for all your kindness
And faithfulness in my past life.
You have shown me much good,
Let me now receive from your hand
What is hard.
You will not lay upon me
More than I can bear.
For your children you let all things
Serve for the best.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You were poor
And miserable, captive and forsaken as I am.
You know every need of humans,
You remain with me
When no man stands by me,
You forget me not and seek me,
You will that I recognize you
And turn to you.
Lord, I hear your call and follow,
Help me!

Holy Spirit,
Give me the faith that rescues me from
Despair, addictions, and vice,
Give me the love for God and humans,
That destroys all hate and bitterness,
Give me the hope that frees me from
Fear and despondency.

Holy, merciful God,
My Creator and my Savior,
My Judge and my Deliverer,
You know me and everything I do.
You hate and punish evil in this world
And in the next with no respect of persons;
You forgive sins for the one
Who asks sincerely;
You love good and reward it on this
Earth with a good conscience
And in the world to come
With the crown of righteousness.

Before you I think of all my loved ones,
And of my fellow prisoners, and of all those
Who do their hard service in this house.
Lord, have mercy!
Grant me freedom again,
And let me so live in the present
That I can live responsibly
Before humans.
Lord, whatever else this day brings—
May your name be praised!
Amen.

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One response to A Prayer for Tough Times

  1. 

    It is right and necessary for us to act when we see injustice. Far too often even Christians turn a blind eye. This happens because people want to deny they have any personal responsibility and they do not want to bring complication to their own lives. This is why the church is dying. Now as we rise up and ask our God to move on behalf of these victims may God himself fight the battle! And let us stand on the battlefield awaiting instructions and speaking the words he gives into our mouths. When the sleeping giant wakes up, meaning the church, it will be because we, the church take ownership of the sufferings of others and do something about it! Then we will see that God is alive!
    When we finally allow God to take our passions and move us into them then the world will lose it’s grip. Will we receive some blows in the process? Sure we will, count the cost. The truth is you will pay dearly if you do not obey. We have to stop thinking that someone else will take care of it… The devil has been very clever to whisper complacent words into our ears… He has wounded many a Christian soldier and they lie in secret licking their wounds wondering if any of their fight was worth it and if they should step out again.
    If that is you… Remember…lukewarm is not the way to live. remember the presence of God when He met you as you once stood to fight… and get off your rear and get back to it.
    “I will not die an unlived life.
    I will not live in fear or falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom, goes on as fruit”.
    This is a quote by Dawna Markova….

    We all make choices, everyday, all day long. What will I eat, should I call my mother today or wait..what to wear. We make other choices that can slowly or quickly alter the course of our lives. Just start making the choices to be there…wherever there is…At the Statehouse for the rally next Tuesday at 5… Visiting the sick, loving the unlovable…forgiving your annoying neighbor, talking to your estranged father, going to church, going on a missions trip….
    Where are you going? Are you living life or just existing? Are you spending your life or investing it?
    The choice is yours..
    Choose wisely

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