26 July 2014

As images trickle out

of the horrid persecution of our fellow Christians under ISIS, the importance of remembering the persecuted in prayer comes to mind. Here is the paragraph that touches on this in LSB's General Prayer I:

Comfort, O God, with Your Holy Spirit all who are in trouble, want, sickness, anguish of labor, peril of death, or any other adversity. Grant courage and steadfastness especially to those who suffer for Your name’s sake that they may receive and accept their afflictions in the confidence that You will acknowledge them as Your own.

This, though, is not exactly how the older prayer used to read. It was more audacious. If you look in your old The Lutheran Hymnal on pages 23, 24:

All who are in trouble, want, sickness, anguish of labor, peril of death, or any other adversity, especially those who are suffering for Thy name's and for Thy truth's sake, comfort, O God, with Thy Holy Spirit, that they may receive and acknowledge their afflictions as the manifestation of Thy fatherly will.

And I ask myself, if I were under horrid persecution for the Gospel, which petition would I want my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ to pray for me? That I would receive and accept my afflictions in the confidence that God will acknowledge me as His own or that I would receive and acknowledge my afflictions as the manifestation of God's fatherly will?

To the world the older prayer makes no sense at all; seems an absolute affront to our notions about God. But when you're with Jesus in your own Gethsemane, I suspect the comfort of "Thy will be done" addressed to our precious Abba is what will carry the day for us. The older prayer, simply put, invited us into Jesus' prayer and in that there is an abundance of peace.


Rev. James Leistico said...

"This Dr. Robert Barnes we certainly knew, and it is a particular joy for me to hear that our good, pious dinner guest and houseguest has been so graciously called by God to pour out his blood and to become a holy martyr for the sake of His dear Son. Thanks, praise, and glory be to the Father of our dear Lord Jesus Christ, who again, as at the beginning, has granted us to see the time in which His Christians, before our eyes and from our eyes and from beside us, are carried off to become martyrs (that is, carried off to heaven) and become saints....
Let us praise and thank God! This is a blessed time for the elect saints of Christ and an unfortunate, grievous time for the devil, for blasphemers, and enemies, and it is going to get even worse. Amen."

Oh, for such a mature faith to say it all so joyously. I have much maturing that needs done yet.

David Gray said...

We still use the TLH in our church and this is just another reason to appreciate it.