Monday, October 15, 2012

Prayer with Faith is the Work- '31 days'- day 15

Do you remember the man who was born blind? People wondered if it was God's wrath that had caused this disability. Jesus answered: "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him" (John 9:3).

Just watch The Butterfly Circus, and you will see that Jesus is so right. When a person is born with (or develops) a disability and still contributes positive things to the world, that shows God's glory. There is a mother in a wheelchair who picks up her two children from school, using a converted van with a ramp. I don't know her, and she might hate this, but I see God's glory in her. How dare I complain about the bad parking when it really is difficult for her to get up in the morning. 
But sometimes a child's problems are linked to the sins of the father.

I have a friend who just started fostering children between 1 and 6 years old. She has two children over ten years old of her own, and she thought that children under six would be less likely to act out sexually or violently with her children. Now, she has to discern if she can take two infants born addicted to meth without completely upending her children's schooling. She doesn't know if she can handle the constant crying of drug-addicted babies. These babies did nothing wrong, as Jesus said, but their parents completely failed them. And maybe their grandparents failed them. Society failed these babies even as my friend, part of society, is trying to give them something stable in their lives.

I have a distant family member who is being hospitalized for anorexia. Her father has been abusive and her mother feels helpless. Both, in different ways, have failed their child. Does a twelve-year old have the mental fortitude to actually choose to be ill as a way to have some control over her life or did some familial sin push her over the edge? If only her father would get on his knees and make a complete Saul/Paul-level change. 

I've been praying Psalm 51, not only because I am a sinner in need of grace but for those people who have refused to hear Christ. This psalm is very important to all Christians, and it is a common prayer for Byzantine religious as well. Do cloistered nuns 'need' to pray this psalm? Perhaps they do not need to pray it for themselves. The grace is poured out on those who need it and who will accept it.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodguilt, O God, O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem;

then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar. (Psalm 51)


  1. Thanks for the video and the prayer from Psalms. I needed some reality.

    1. You're welcome! I just love that psalm- it might be a bit 'dramatic'- but I think we can all relate


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