Friday, February 22, 2013

Prayer of the Day - 2nd Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, you see that we have no power to defend ourselves.  Guard and keep us both outwardly and inwardly from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

The prayer of the highlights what we do not want to admit: We have no power to defend ourselves.  That is evidence by how easily we are decieved, how frequently we rebel, and how persistently we try to defend ourselves for our sins.  But our sins have no excuses and no defense.  Before the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh, we have no power to defend ourselves.  Before God, we have no right to defend ourselves.

Therefore, we flee to our Lord for refuge.  We pray that the Lord would guard and keep us from all adversities.  We usually think of adversities which would effect our bodies -- such as car accidents, wars, broken wrists (sorry, Philip), diseases, bumps, and bruises.  And while the Lord usually does defend us against such things, they are not the enemy.  Car accidents do not send people to hell.  Sin and unbelief do.

Therefore, our most fervent prayer is for protection and strength against all that would assault the soul.  Most often, that assault comes from within our sinful hearts and depraved minds.  The devil may dangle temptations before us, but it is we who act on them.  The world may foster corrupt and selfish attitudes, but it is we who give into them and pursue them.

Our refuge alone is our Lord.  Jesus provides forgiveness for all our sins and deliverance from death.  The Holy Spirit remains the Lord and Giver of life who sustains us through the word and sacraments.  And, of course, we pray daily to our Father in heaven that he would lead us not into temptation (that is, to bear up under it) and deliver us from evil.  God is our refuge and strength.  Therefore, we flee to him for mercy and protection.  And God is faithful.  He will keep us safe.

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