Safe in the shadow of the Lord
beneath His hand and power,
I trust in Him,
I trust in Him,
my fortress and my tower.”
– paraphrase of Ps 91 by Timothy Dudley-Smith
Heavenly Father, Your word and being is of compassion, merciful care and everlasting love to all, regardless of merit. The response to this has to be our choice. But, if we come choosing to trust You in your nature and openly admit with contrition where we have fallen short or turned away from You, Your everlasting mercy erases our failures and unites us with Your heart. We long for this acceptance and healing.
Lord, I trust in You and give thanks and praise.
“My hope is set on God alone though Satan sets his snare,”…
The temptation to be obsessed by becoming “successful” and gaining material wealth and power too often based on exploiting others and the world You have created is seen as being mainstream and so seductive. We think of our cheap, instant fashion created by people in sweat shops; our flowers often out of season grown in developing countries using chemicals not allowed in our own home states; cheap palm oil at the expense of deforestation and loss of habitat for wildlife and endangering the ecosystem of the entire planet. Our rubbish, whether technical, plastic, or ships and vehicles, dumped overseas where they are stripped by people in desperate need of work, often in very dangerous conditions, and contaminating their environment.
Lord, open our eyes to the convenience of our lives so dearly paid for by others we don’t see or rarely think of. But, these too are our brothers and sisters, created and loved by You.
I choose to trust in You, God, to keep each one of us in Your care and make us more aware of how we are co-dependent one on each other, regardless of where we live on this small, beautiful, but fragile planet.
“From fears and phantoms of the night, from foes about my way”…
The widespread use of violence in word, attitude, and action wounds, marginalizes, and even kills people. Anything that is “other” than what we are is portrayed as being negative and even not worthy of being allowed to exist. We remember people of faith being persecuted for being Christian in Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, Northern Nigeria, Iraq and even in Europe and the UK if people of other faiths chose to become Christian; for those Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Jehovah Witnesses and others who are routinely targeted by hatred and thoughtless violence in word and action and even torture in Russia, the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and many countries in Africa, South America and Asia. Our fear of difference and love of the same as ourselves distorts so often into ugliness and hatred of others.
We give thanks for projects, such as that led by Dr. Paula Green in Massachusetts, USA, bringing people together from across whichever divide exists in our communities for conflict resolution. Helping to put faces to the depersonalized hate or feared group of people, and to really listen to each other are major starting points.
I choose to trust in You, God, by darkness and by day. Forgive us our smallness of mind, heart and understanding and open us by the in-pouring of Your Holy Spirit.
“His holy angels keep my feet secure from every stone;”…
Fake news abounds throughout the media and the world, built on fears and trying to cause division and confusion. In Venezuela, Israel, the Middle East, Europe the UK and Northern Ireland over Brexit; countries, politicians, multinational companies trying to manipulate others through media disinformation and lies, breaking down trust, increasing the sense of helplessness and hopelessness in so many: we recall the Chinese telecoms corporation, Huawei, Facebook, Twitter, most major newspaper groups in the UK, and so many of our own governments who are involved in this to varying degrees. We give thanks for the individuals and groups daring to challenge, often at great personal cost, even of their lives, and hold to account those perpetrating such destructive practices. You are the God of truth, justice and what we rarely speak about now, “righteousness”.
I choose to trust in You, God, and with Your help, unafraid go on. Keep hope alive for all those who look and trust in You so others too may come to know You and Your love.
“Strong in the everlasting name, and in my Father’s care”…
The widespread epidemic of violence of gun and knife crime, and using sex as a weapon of violence is destroying lives and communities throughout the world but with especial focus on India, Canada, the UK, the USA, South Africa, and the Middle East.
We give thanks for many initiatives both at national and local levels to combat this globally including Boston, USA as far back as 1995, inspiring others in Scotland and now England.
I choose to trust in You, God, who hears and answers prayer.
Daily, let our prayer be that in all we seek to be and do as individuals and communities, we choose to be safe in the shadow of You, our Lord, our God and Redeemer. Possessed by Your divine love, help us to trust in You and meet Your unfathomable love with our puny and sometimes swithering love and, so, be participants in transforming and transfiguring all of Your Creation of which we are part. Power in Your terms is Love. May we become people of such power.
AMEN. LET IT BE SO.