Evening Prayers for Ascension Day, 21 May 2020
Draw on the Promises of God
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.
1 Chronicles 4: 10 NIV®
The Life Application Study Bible NIV points out the lessons which we can learn:
Jabez acknowledged God as the true centre of his life. When we pray for God’s blessings, we should also pray that He will take his rightful position as Lord over our work, our family time, and our recreation. Jabez prayed specifically to be protected from harm and pain. We live in a fallen world filled with sin, and it is important to ask God to keep us safe from the unavoidable evil that comes our way. We must also avoid evil motives, desires, and actions that begin within us.
The Bible is filled with thousands of promises on which we can draw depending on our circumstances. There is a great deal of anxiety around due to the coronavirus: loss of lives, loss of health, loss of employment, loss of financial security which can lead to loss of housing, and loss of one’s way of life.
For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1: 7
For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, do not fear,
I will help you.
Isaiah 41: 13
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Other uplifting passages are:
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 4: 4–11
Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount that we should not worry, but instead have faith in God, focus on our Provider. (Matthew 6: 25–34)
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings
Let us pray:
Father, We come to you with very deep concerns and anxieties
about our lives, our families, our communities, our countries,
as the world is being ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
Sometimes it is hard for us to think that things will ever improve
and yet we must have faith.
Help us to remember that you are near and that you will never fail us.
Help us to come to you when we are frightened or disappointed,
and may we remember to tell you about our joys, as well as our troubles.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4: 8