>A Prayer for Japan

>Earthquake and Tsunami near Sendai, JapanImage by NASA Goddard Photo and Video via FlickrI find this prayer interesting…not because I disagree with it but because it’s just not the way I talk or write. 

Father in heaven, you are the absolute Sovereign over the shaking of the earth, the rising of the sea, and the raging of the waves. We tremble at your power and bow before your unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways. We cover our faces and kiss your omnipotent hand. We fall helpless to the floor in prayer and feel how fragile the very ground is beneath our knees.

O God, we humble ourselves under your holy majesty and repent. In a moment—in the twinkling of an eye—we too could be swept away. We are not more deserving of firm ground than our fellowmen in Japan. We too are flesh. We have bodies and homes and cars and family and precious places. We know that if we were treated according to our sins, who could stand? All of it would be gone in a moment. So in this dark hour we turn against our sins, not against you.

And we cry for mercy for Japan. Mercy, Father. Not for what they or we deserve. But mercy.

Have you not encouraged us in this? Have we not heard a hundred times in your Word the riches of your kindness, forbearance, and patience? Do you not a thousand times withhold your judgments, leading your rebellious world toward repentance? Yes, Lord. For your ways are not our ways, and your thoughts are not our thoughts.

Grant, O God, that the wicked will forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Grant us, your sinful creatures, to return to you, that you may have compassion. For surely you will abundantly pardon. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus, your beloved Son, will be saved.

May every heart-breaking loss—millions upon millions of losses—be healed by the wounded hands of the risen Christ. You are not unacquainted with your creatures’ pain. You did not spare your own Son, but gave him up for us all.

In Jesus you tasted loss. In Jesus you shared the overwhelming flood of our sorrows and suffering. In Jesus you are a sympathetic Priest in the midst of our pain.

Deal tenderly now, Father, with this fragile people. Woo them. Win them. Save them.

And may the floods they so much dread make blessings break upon their head.

O let them not judge you with feeble sense, but trust you for your grace. And so behind this providence, soon find a smiling face.

In Jesus’ merciful name, Amen.

(This is from John Piper and Desiring God)

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2 thoughts on “>A Prayer for Japan

  1. >"We know that if we were treated according to our sins, who could stand?" Really? Tell me, James, what sins have you committed that you would deserve such a fate? Have you killed anyone? Have you stolen things? Have you beaten your wife or children? My guess is that you've just been human. No, we're not perfect, but that's not a sin.And I also agree w/ you. This wouldn't be a prayer you'd come up w/.

  2. >Have I stolen things? Yes. Nothing big and nothing missed. Have I beaten my wife or children. No. But I have disrespected them at times. Not any of the "big" offenses but I lust, have greed, struggle with pride greatly. Those are sins. They are roadblocks to relationships with people on earth and with God in heaven. Now, be clear that I believe in grace greater than all our sin, the seemingly minor offenses (just human things) that I listed and the big ones too. Christ died for the big sins and the littler, subtler, more socially acceptable ones (over consumption of worldly goods, for example). And, since sin has no place in the holiness of God, all those things that either make us "human" or are hindrances to relationship with God would be enough to keep one out of communion with God.BUT…Christ comes, Christ dies, Christ rises again. And through that, he takes on the death that would have kept us away from God. That's grace. Didn't deserve it. Thankfully receptive of it. I believe Christ didn't die just for the murderers of the world, but the less newsworthy sinners such as myself.And…still I struggle with sin. But with the awareness that I'm not perfect, just forgiven.

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