Battered with Love-Worldwide Prayer

Scripture Focus: Psalm 75.1-3
We praise you, God,
we praise you, for your Name is near;
people tell of your wonderful deeds.
You say, “I choose the appointed time;
it is I who judge with equity.
When the earth and all its people quake,
it is I who hold its pillars firm.

Reflection: Battered with Love—Worldwide Prayer
By John Tillman

Christ’s love is the power working within us, to change not only our lives, but to manifest his kingdom of love in our dark and loveless world. 

We first need to understand his great love for us before we can show that love to others. Sometimes his powerful love has to batter its way through our defenses and self-hatred to invade our hearts. Only when we allow these walls to fall can we fearlessly love our neighbors and our enemies as we are called to do.

Battered with Love 
A psalm acknowledging God’s intervention from the USA

Oh Lord
You battered me with love, you assaulted me with mercy,
You pierced me through with compassion
and turned my sorrows into peace;
you gave meaning to my calamities and
my heartbreaks you repaired with your presence.
And still I could not love like you loved,
nor could I see myself in the beauty you found
with your searching eye.
For I was shackled with depression,
and my hand was against my own neck,
my thoughts against my own heart.
But you would not let go until you saw
the dawning of my liberation.
Then you turned my eyes towards you
and you let me see the face of God,
the wondrous smile of the Son of the living God,
in the glory of Love.
And so I was changed, and I believed,
and I was never more the same.
And where there was darkness, you birthed light,
where there was wickedness you painted in the colors
of righteousness and peace.
And upon my brow, the forehead of my temple,
you carved a new name, one secret and holy,
known only to you, a gift to be revealed
in the fullness of time to your eager, watchful servant.

*Prayer from Hallowed be Your Name: A collection of prayers from around the world, Dr. Tony Cupit, Editor.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for His Presence
For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in him — Psalm 62.6

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle

Today’s Readings
Ezekiel 27  (Listen – 5:15)
Psalm 75-76 (Listen – 2:33)

Read more about In Praise of God’s Mercy :: Worldwide Prayer
How can it be that you condescend to love me, to save me, to lift me, to envelop me, to calm my fearful heart?

Read more about Praise from a Stump :: A Guided Prayer
We are a ground down, burning stump of a fruitless tree!
In ashes, we repent.

Beyond the Mystery is Mercy

Psalm 75.2-3
At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars.

From John:
In the next couple of days we will look back at some posts highlighting Jewish scholar, Abraham Joshua Heschel. Heschel was instrumental in the efforts of the civil rights movement, working alongside Christian pastors who stood for the cause and is an important theological voice for Christians to be familiar with.

Reflection: Beyond the Mystery is Mercy
By Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972)

The sense of the ineffable, the awareness of the grandeur and mystery of living, is shared by all men, and it is in the depth of such awareness that acts and thoughts of religion are full of meaning. The ideas of religion are an answer, when the mystery is a problem. When brought to the level of utilitarian thinking, when their meaning is taken literally as solutions to scientific problems, they are bound to be meaningless.

God’s power is not arbitrary. What is mysterious to us is eternally meaningful as seen by God. There are three attitudes toward [this] mystery: the fatalist, the positivist, and the Biblical.

To the fatalist, mystery is the supreme power controlling all reality. He believes that the world is controlled by an irrational, absolutely inscrutable and blind power that is devoid of either justice or purpose.

A tragic doom is hanging over the world, to which gods and men alike are subject, and the only attitude one may take is that of resignation. It is a view that is found in various forms and degrees in nearly all pagan religions, in many modern philosophies of history (history as a cycle of becoming and decay), as well as in popular thinking.

The positivist has a matter-of-fact orientation. To him the mystery does not exist; what is regarded as such is simply that which we do not know yet, but shall be able to explain some day. The logical positivist maintains that all assertions about the nature of reality or about a realm of values transcending the familiar world are meaningless and that, on the other hand, all meaningful questions are in principle answerable.

The awareness of mystery was common to all men of antiquity. It was the beginning of a new era when man was told that the mystery is not the ultimate; that not a demonic, blind force but a God of righteousness rules the world.

The theology of fate knows only a one-sided dependence upon the ultimate power. That power has neither concern for man nor need of him. History runs its course as a monologue. To Jewish religion, on the other hand, history is determined by the covenant: God is in need of man. The ultimate is not a law but a judge, not a power but a father.

*Excerpted and abridged from God in Search of Man by Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Prayer: A Reading
Jesus taught us, saying: “So always treat others as you like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets.” — Matthew 7.12

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Numbers 31 (Listen – 5:52) 
Psalm 75-76 (Listen – 2:33)

Thank You!
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Read more about Saved by Mercy
But one must face the fact: the power of Evil in the world is not finally resistible by incarnate creatures, however ‘good’; and the Writer of the Story is not one of us.

Read more about Prayer for Older Brothers
One son was humiliated by his own scandalous behavior.
One son was humiliated by his father’s scandalous grace.