Reading and Prayer – November 9

Reading: Isaiah 38:9-20

9 A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:

10 I said, “In the prime of my life

    must I go through the gates of death

    and be robbed of the rest of my years?”

11 I said, “I will not again see the Lord himself

    in the land of the living;

no longer will I look on my fellow man,

    or be with those who now dwell in this world.

12 Like a shepherd’s tent my house

    has been pulled down and taken from me.

Like a weaver I have rolled up my life,

    and he has cut me off from the loom;

    day and night you made an end of me.

13 I waited patiently till dawn,

    but like a lion he broke all my bones;

    day and night you made an end of me.

14 I cried like a swift or thrush,

    I moaned like a mourning dove.

My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens.

    I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!”

15 But what can I say?

    He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.

I will walk humbly all my years

    because of this anguish of my soul.

16 Lord, by such things people live;

    and my spirit finds life in them too.

You restored me to health

    and let me live.

17 Surely it was for my benefit

    that I suffered such anguish.

In your love you kept me

    from the pit of destruction;

you have put all my sins

    behind your back.

18 For the grave cannot praise you,

    death cannot sing your praise;

those who go down to the pit

    cannot hope for your faithfulness.

19 The living, the living—they praise you,

    as I am doing today;

parents tell their children

    about your faithfulness.

20 The Lord will save me,

    and we will sing with stringed instruments

all the days of our lives

    in the temple of the Lord.

Prayer

Father, there are times in our lives when we despair. 

There are times when troubles overtake us, when difficulties mount, when illness overwhelms us, when we give in to despair. 

Even so, Lord God, help us not to give up on you. 

Help us to remember that you are with us, that your love surrounds us, that your Spirit dwells within us, that we are in the palm of your hand; you will never let us go. 

Help us always turn and return to you with a prayer of praise on our lips; 

May we speak to our children and our children’s children of your faithful love. 

Amen.