Worth Reading–February 3, 2012

by Steve

It’s been a few weeks since I posted a prayer from Scotty Smith. This one is a good one.

A Prayer to See Jesus and Go with Him to the Brokenhearted
By Scotty Smith

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Ps. 34:18

Jesus, your mercy is measureless; your patience is limitless; your grace is boundless. None is more bighearted towards the brokenhearted than you. We begin, enter and will end this day enveloped in your love and guided by your hand. Everywhere we look, we will find you there. There’s no dark, hard, crushing place you are not present. Continue to open the eyes of our hearts.

When we look into the deep well of the Word, we see your commitment to set us free from our imprisonment to sin and death, guilt and shame, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. In the gospel we see and we savor lavish love, irrepressible power, and living hope. You are constantly singing these words over us: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). You see in us what we’ve yet to see, and we have peace.

When we look at places like Haiti, Calcutta, and Darfur, we see your footprint, hand and heart; because you came to preach good news to the poor—not just good news concerning spiritual poverty but also the good news of a kingdom which provides food for the hungry, clean water for the thirsty, shelter for the homeless, advocacy for the marginalized, family for the orphan.

When we look at systemic evil in the world—human trafficking, the idolatry of greed, an ideology of terror, the pornography industry, to name a few—we’re so thankful that you’ve also come to proclaim the day of vengeance of our God. No one is a greater champion of justice than you, Lord Jesus. One day, all the pillaging weeds of unrighteousness will be replaced with mighty oaks of righteousness—”a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor” (Isa. 61:3). We see weeds, you see garden.

Today, Lord Jesus, this very morning, we’re especially thankful that you’re close to the brokenhearted and that you save those who are crushed in spirit. Help us see you in the valley of death’s shadow; in the wilderness of wails; in heartland of heartache. Today we pray for parents who will bury their babies; friends who will receive painful life-altering news; brothers and sisters in Christ beginning to deal with very old wounds with very present power; neighbors to whom you feel distant and cruel.

Some stories and moments make us wonder, “Why, O Lord?” and “How long, O Lord?” Thank you for not despising our weakness and weariness. But of course you wouldn’t, for no one was broken in heart and body like you, no one was crushed in spirit like you, and you did it all for us, Lord Jesus.

Anywhere you are we need not fear going. Because you are near, we don’t have to be afraid of drawing near to our friends in crisis. Give us heart, words and tears to love to your glory. O for the Day when we will forever be done with a spirit of despair and will only wear the garment of praise. So very Amen we pray, in your kindhearted, ever-present name.