Reading and Prayer – October 10

“This week’s Guest Contributor is Will Henbest. We are grateful for the readings he has selected and the prayers he has composed.”

Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights—
His faithful love endures forever.
the sun to rule the day,
His faithful love endures forever.
and the moon and stars to rule the night.
His faithful love endures forever.

23 He remembered us in our weakness.
His faithful love endures forever.
24 He saved us from our enemies.
His faithful love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every living thing.
His faithful love endures forever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His faithful love endures forever.

God of Heaven! Lord of Lords!

You are so, so very good. 

God, we talk about your goodness. We talk about your love. But we want more than words. For more than words of understanding. We ask for a deep and unshakable knowing deep in our bones that you are so full of faithful love that nothing can separate us from you. 

Our lives sometimes feel like a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Full of days where we cry out to you, and thank you for your love, and days when we ignore you altogether. Days where we follow in your footsteps, and days where we turn and run in the other direction. Days when we can’t seem to thank you enough for all that you’ve done, and days where we can’t seem to thank you at all. 

But through it all we know that your love is faithful. Even when we are unfaithful, your love endures. You don’t give your love stingily, or begrudgingly. Not in small paper cupful’s. No, you pour your love out generously. To try and understand how deep your love for us is, would be like trying to swim to the very deepest depths of the ocean. We’re surrounded by the ocean of your unwavering love that never fails. What could be more worthy of our thanks than this?!

And yet, we recognise that so often we ignore this love. Often, we have no interest in really understanding this love, because we are more focussed on other things. We’re scared about what it might mean if we really took the time to know you and be changed by you. So, instead of thanking you for your love, we chase after other things, and then we complain that we don’t feel satisfied by them. We show very little love to the people around us, and then question why the world is such a cruel place. We don’t come to you in prayer and thankfulness, and then we question why you seem distant, when we’re the ones who have created the distance. 

Father, please forgive us. 

Hear the good news!“The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. 10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. 13 The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him!”