“Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.” – Psalm 142:4
God, help us to have wisdom and commitment today that we might fixate on two things when we gather for our Sunday times of worship. Help us to think upon You, wait for You, listen for You, discern your movement and lay hold on your instruction. Win our hearts anew and convince us again that You have always been the well from which we drink our sweetest satisfactions. Place a song in our hearts so there can be one from our lips. Gladden the discouraged among your children, embolden the fainthearted, reassure the timid and reorient the wayward among us. Let us fixate on You, the invisible God who cannot be seen with eyes. Our hearts turn upward right now, confident that You will not pass us by.
Along with that request, Lord, please let us find the ones whose hearts cry out the sad lament that the Psalmist has written above. He was sure that nobody would notice him, nobody could care for him. His distress was that there was no place to turn, no haven, no sanctuary, no refuge left for him to find. Father, that man was sorely defeated and he will be in our congregation today, and I am sure that his concerns could be reinforced if I and my brothers and sisters fail to make him a priority. It could be that he is also accompanied by a she just like him; a downtrodden woman, spent and beleaguered, frustrated and rejected. These men and women won’t be able to sing, won’t worship You, won’t even be able to know if You are real because of all the pain that obscures their perception of You and your promises. Please cause us to see them. Please love them through us as we yield right now to your desire to become everything to them. Our creeds and confessions are not going to salvage them today, Father. They need our warmth, our genuine care, our embrace and even our tears if their own hearts are broken. Please let them find that elusive refuge among us. God, we need genuineness to fill the place. For the glory of your Son, remove from us pretense and piety – instead let there rest upon us a mark from You that convinces these jaded hearts that they are loved and welcome in our midst. We do not aim for mere friendliness, we are petitioning You for the substance of care for them.
Help us today, great God. We want to tend to the hurting and forgotten. If they come to us with false assurance that nobody will care for their soul, have them leave us happily knowing they were wrong.
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