O God, come to our aid. O Lord, hurry to help us.

“It’s been a lousy week”, a friend of mine told me recently.  When I asked what he meant, he told me of two people in his life who had broken their marriage vows, sowing pain and wounding into their families.  “Oh, and on top of that, someone shot an airliner out of the sky.”

Yeah.  It has been a lousy week.  While we always live with the mystery of good and evil co-existing and even flourishing side-by-side, we don’t ever get used to it.  Not getting used to it is a good thing, I think.  Not getting used to it is a sign that deep in our hearts, we remember a place we’ve never been . . .a home we’ve never seen.  Deep down, we know we were intended for eternity and blessedness.  We never get comfortable with Genesis 3.  That’s good.

Yesterday in our church’s Worship Service one of the pastors led us in a prayer that acknowledged our helplessness in the midst of a broken world and sought God’s help.  What I really liked about this prayer is that it didn’t try to problem-solve or strategize while praying — it didn’t offer solutions to God to see if He liked them.  The words simply named the problems, and then asked for help.

O God, come to our aid
O Lord, hurry to help us.

We think . . . of refugees from countries like Syria, fleeing for their lives, desperately clinging to the hope that other countries will welcome them in and treat them with the dignity they deserve.
. . . of Flight 17 shot down over the Ukraine; of the families and communities that lost their loved ones, and of a situation where such a terrible tragedy was seen to be an acceptable political maneuver.
. . . of a small strip of land named Gaza where centuries old hatred is boiling over into a staggering amount of death and violence.
. . . of Egypt and Pakistan where assaults on women have been increasing instead of decreasing despite governments avowal to make their countries safe for their mothers, daughters and sisters.

O God, come to our aid
O Lord, hurry to help us.

We think . . . of a family and community in Calgary that lost a child and grandparents through human action only possible coming out of the darkness that lies in the depths of depravity.
. . . of the thousands of people still dealing with the results of major flooding in Regina and Manitoba.
. . .of raging forest fires in the Northwest Territories and British Columbia, and of all the lives that have been and continue to be put into turmoil as a result of these disasters.
. . . of Shirtless protesters (and clothed protestors) seeking answers from failing leadership, of arrests, convictions and suspicions of fraud, theft, deception, and incompetence, and of those public figures who live as flawed humans like the rest of us, but whose lives are paraded for all to see.

We pray for . . .all those we know who are struggling with pain, loneliness, breakdown of families and broken relationships.
. . . for those with spiritual, physical, emotional, or mental illness, and the weight of the stigma they often are forced to live under. Lift them up, with healing, dignity and self-acceptance.

O God, come to our aid
O Lord, hurry to help us.

Lord God,
when our world lay in ruins,
you raised it up again on the foundation of your Son’s Passion and Death.
Give us grace to rejoice in the freedom from sin  which he gained for us,
and bring us to everlasting joy.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.