At Church we are learning 'king of love" by the band 'I Am They'. It's a wonderful re imagining of the old hymn 'the king of love my shepherd is'. Psalm 23 has been associated with funerals in our culture and while it is appropriate and comforting, it is good to have it in a form that is able to be part of joyful celebration of God's lifelong faithfulness.
In my devotions this week Psalm 40 was part of the readings and as I sat down to write a prayer for Sunday these two Psalms came to mind. In them it is easy to see a great list of the great blessings and benefits that the Lord lavishes on his people... and as I wrote them down it seemed a bit ingenuous simply to list them like you would a shopping list or a to do list at the start of the day... I thought that behind those words is the reality of a real God, who really listens to our prayer, who really cares and who really has and continues to act and move in the reality of life. Thus this prayer.
The spaces between lines in the second half are important as they invite us to stop and contemplate how our stories intersect with God's story and how the gospel story has rewritten our lives. Hopefully they make this list of oft used words become a giving thanks for what God has indeed done in our lives.
Please feel free to use any part or all of this prayer if you find it helpful.
We come to thank you this morning and give you praise,
We acknowledge all the things you have done in our lives
Your creation, provision, leading, guiding, protection
And your abiding presence in those ebbs and flows of life
From deep dark death shaded valley floors
to the comfort and rest of green grass meadow and still water by
and even to the wondrous achievements of mountain summit
in all these things we acknowledge your goodness and grace
We were sinking into a bog of our own sin and brokenness
But you reached out, pulled us out and gave us a solid place to stand
Jesus Christ, who lived, died and was raised to life again, is our saviour
Jesus Christ, who lived, died and was raised to life again, is our rock!
We were singing the same old words to the same old tune, going no where
But you have given us a new song, words of life and freedom songs
You invite us to attune ourselves to you, and tell of your goodness
It seems almost ingenuous to simply list your goodness to us like this
Because behind the words we use is the real truth of your faithful love
A real God, who really cares, really acts in the midst of the realities of life.
We all have our own stories,
our own sorrows and joys
Our own successes and failings
Our own pains and shame
Our healings and being made right again
Our own "turning aways" and "wandering offs"
Our turning back and your welcoming home embrace
Our own chains that would bind and hold us captive
Our moments of liberty and freedom in you
Our own moments of doubt and despair
Our awakening to faith and knowing you are here
the real truth of your faithful love in our lives
A real God, who really cares, and really acts in the midst of the realities of life.
So this morning loving God
We simply say thank you for who you are and what you have done in our lives
Glory be to God, father son and Holy Spirit