Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Week of Prayer: Wednesday:

Pray for Salvation for Loved Ones

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord isn't slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.

“Prayer is reaching out after the unseen.” Andrew Murray

I never quite understand why some of my friends from differing streams of the Christian faith do not like to speak of "salvation" or of people being "lost." Perhaps they have seen a few too many signs proclaiming "Jesus Saves" or encountered a few too many people who think they know exactly who is lost and who is not, or who think there is only one way that can happen, and that is by repeating a prayer.

Years ago someone repeatedly painted JESUS SAVES on the sidewalks in downtown Milwaukee. Each day as I walked to work from the parking garage I would step over several of these little declarations, and I would always wonder who in their right mind would think that defacing public property was a suitable way to proclaim the good news. Well, perhaps the painter/preacher was not in their right mind. Nonetheless, "saved" and "salvation" are words used many times in scripture. "Saved" shows up 104 times in the King James Version and "salvation" 158 times. As for me, I can joyfully sing "I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see."

God of Salvation, my heart rejoices that you came not to condemn but to save. We pray today for those who are lost in despair, in fear, in prisons of confusion and brokenness and sin. We pray not just for our own loved ones (though I am naming some of those)--we pray for your loved ones--all the world. Since the song "Come Thou Fount" has been playing here for some days now, I keep thinking of the line, "Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the throne of God..." I praise you that you, God, seek us, your frail and fragile and foolish human creation. We ask that your light shines into the darkness today and that the darkness will not overcome it. We pray for all to come to your throne of grace. Seek them, Holy Spirit, until they are found. Amen