Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe
“Stories like that make a boy grow bold
Stories like that make a man walk straight”
— Rich Mullins, Boy Like Me, Man Like You
Reflection: Stories of Faith :: A Guided Prayer
By John Tillman
So many times we celebrate the miraculous escapes of the Bible. But we should not forget that even though Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego survived the furnace, they still died in exile as a part of an empire that murdered hundreds of thousands of their family members.
Likewise, we should not spiritualize the response of Nebuchadnezzar. He was not converted, nor did he set in place a government supportive of faith in the true God. He’s just as violent and murderous on behalf of Yahweh as he was in opposition to him.
The king’s declaration shows that he doesn’t understand. He threatens violence against those who speak against God, as if God’s reputation and name need defending by human means.
Nebuchadnezzar’s response is that of an ego-driven, violent, positional leader projecting his own needs onto God. When we place our hope in human government, this is what we can expect.
The only king we should celebrate is the one who appeared in the fire with those condemned.
Today, we close with a guided prayer using part of our reading from Psalm 107. As we tell our stories of faith, we celebrate every moment—the struggles, the losses, and the miraculous moments of victory.
Stories of Faith
Oh, Lord, remind us of your great deeds in our lives and in the lives of others.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe
It is important for us—the redeemed—to tell our stories.
We tell them, Lord to celebrate the miraculous.
To laud the Lord of our salvation.
To praise the Prince who enters our struggles with us.
We do not celebrate these stories demanding similar outcomes.
We know and accept that in this world we will have trouble.
We celebrate victories because they show the world
a picture of the ultimate outcome of our lives,
despite the brokenness or current situation of our lives.
Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
prisoners suffering in iron chains,
because they rebelled against God’s commands
and despised the plans of the Most High.
No matter our sins, you call us to redemption.
No matter our wounds, you regenerate and strengthen us.
No matter our trials, you mercifully spare us.
No matter our losses, you grant us your victory.
No matter the manner of our death, we are assured of resurrection by the power of the slain Lamb of God.
He sent out his word and healed them;
he rescued them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Heal us, oh God. And allow us to tell your story.
Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, Lord God of hosts; let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me, O God of Israel. — Psalm 69.7
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.
Read More Face Like Flint :: A Guided Prayer
In what ways are we willing to accept victory with Christ but not suffering?
Where do we reach for our swords, when Christ calls out, “No more of this!”…and heals the one we would attack? Are we willing to heal our enemies?
Read More Seeing the Lord :: Readers’ Choice
In the year of disappointment, loneliness, fear
in the year of confusion, desperation and chaos
I saw the Lord.
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