Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Prayer for Guidance

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” —Psalm 32:8

Sometimes, Lord, it’s so hard to see. We squint and struggle to make sense of what you’re showing us. Help us know when you are guiding us, Lord, and when we are clutching at the wrong answers. Help us know, as this peace process unfolds, how to best follow your voice, how to love each other with your perfect love, and how to continue to turn to you and, when it’s your will, to wait until the time you choose to answer our prayers. Thank you for teaching us how to live in your care and respond to your voice.

Father, I come before you today in the name of your matchless son with several concerns. You know each of these things and have been preparing me for them even as you are using them to prepare me for tomorrow, and for that I can only thank you. Your word tells us that suffering will produce endurance, leading to character and hope. It is this hope that I long for, though I am not yet ready for it. I am impatient, I lack the resolve and the faith to step confidently in the direction you have designed for me. It is, in part, a case of not knowing your will and is, in part, seeing the timing of it all that can only be attributed to providence. I say that I just want to know for sure what path I am to take, but am afraid to listen to the answer. Oh, if only I could just know what way to go and avoid the strife that I believe will be my guide in this! But then, how would I gain endurance? How would I learn to hope only in you?

You have promised to care for us and you have brought us through the storms of life many times. Why do I fear? Why do I look for my own answer to this problem when your answer is perfect? You promise the grace to face each day, but I am so quick to ask for the grace for tomorrow before its time.

Through the years, you have provided for my needs whether I sought to honor your name or not. Why do I fear? Why do I retain my grip on things of this world when the promise I hope for is so much better? Why do I ask for more faith and then complain as my faith is tested? Why do I pray for a deeper sanctification then complain when the heat turns up?

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief! Remind me constantly to seek my joy in you and you alone. Turn my gaze toward you and not to your gifts. Keep me from idolatry. Plant a resolve within me and a peace that only comes from finding you to be the only treasure worth seeking. Make the right path plain to me and give me the courage to walk on it. Give me the peace to hold up as you fulfill these things, for I don’t have it within myself. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but you do. Walk before me and make my path straight. Keep my eye on you so that I will follow your steps and not fall to my own path. My family is counting on me in this and I don’t even know what it is that I don’t know.

But you do. I look at two options in this decision. There may be more, but I am blind to them. Blind me to all options but the one you have chosen. I will follow your ways with a confidence not in my understanding but in your mercy, for I deserve nothing that I ask. It is only through your son that I dare to bring this matter before you.

I come before your throne in confidence that you will remain faithful. I thank you for the times of peace that you have given me as I anticipate your deliverance and the joy that I have felt as I remember that you are shaping me into one who will rely only on the steady ground of your mercy. Remind me of your power when I forget. Show me your glory when I look to my own solutions.

For all of this and those things that I have not mentioned, I pray.

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