I prayed this prayer on Sunday at church. People were very gracious in their response to it so I thought I would share it here. The reading was from Mark 4: 35 – 41
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea,“Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
I have found myself in a bit of a storm lately and I have been saying things to God like, “I can’t do this” and “are you going to let me drown?” I have been praying that God would wave his magic wand and get me out. But this week, God, speaking through the ages with the words of Mark asks me instead, “why are you so afraid, do you still have no faith when I have never let you drown?” And I realise that he hasn’t, here I am, my head still above water. I have wanted healing to appear with a bang. It hasn’t appeared as such but grace has arrived as it usually does, in a more quiet way through the text of a friend that said, “would you like me to pick up the kids today” or my neighbour dropping by to see how I was going. I realise that this story from mark, like my own story, isn’t about a storm, it is about something bigger and that is Jesus and his faithfulness to us.
Let us pray.
We come to you this morning bringing to you the stories of our lives. We give you thanks for all that is good. For our families and friends, for warm beds to sleep in on cold winters night, for our church and the praising of you that happens here and the cups of tea we share. We give you all that is hard. We ask you to be with us in the messes we make of our lives. We ask you to be with us when we feel alone, overwhelmed, afraid and unsure of ourselves. We ask you to grant us the wisdom, love and healing we need to journey on.
In the storms, in the darkness and in the daily messes of our lives it is so easy to miss you. Forgive us God, our lack of faith and strengthen it in us. Let our struggles and muddling through as much as our victories give glory to you.
God, we give you today people weathering greater storms than ours. People we know struggling with poor health or grief. People in our town living with oppression, violence or just trying to make ends meet. People in our country who have come here seeking asylum, peace and a place to call home but instead suffer rejection and fear. People in our world who are fighting wars and natural disasters that never seem to let up.
God, we pray for them and for ourselves with the hope that we are carried by your grace and held by your love. That you never let us walk alone, through the calm and through the storm you never let us go. You are faithful, you are good and your perfect love is casting out fear.