A Prayer for the week – February 23, 2020

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:3-6)

There is loss and sorrow and grief around us O Lord. We mourn the loss of those so dearly loved, and we mourn with those who mourn. When your bitter providence brings us low and we cannot determine what to do next, remind us of your gracious presence. You are not a God disengaged or disconnected, but are acquainted with our grieving. You are near to the brokenhearted, so near in fact, that you say that those who mourn are blessed, which almost seems unfathomable to us. May we see and experience what that means as we mourn. Moreover, we are reminded that your suffering and sorrow and grief was chosen so that it might reconcile us to you. We would not choose such grief but you have. In that choice you display your love to us. Jesus, your death made atonement for our sins, and in your resurrection and ascension you are our High Priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses and you abide forever interceding for us. Our hope is in you. Teach us to number our days aright that we might gain a heart of wisdom. You are the resurrection and the life. Where else shall we go Lord, you have the word of eternal life, and we have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God. When we look to the hills and consider from where our help comes, we remember, our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. And all creation groans until the day of redemption, when we will sing and proclaim, “O Death where is your sting!”, because you will ransom us from the grave. And until that day, we rejoice even in our sorrow and mourning, that you Jesus have purchased a people from every tribe and tongue and race and nation and have made us a people of your own. To Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever Amen.

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