Deliver Us From Evil

This series of poems exploring the Lord’s Prayer has been a valuable devotional exercise for me – I hope it has been for you too. If you want to recap any of these, simply go to “Categories” on the bottom of the right sidebar of this page and scroll down to “Praying the Lord’s Prayer”. I know I will be reviewing these from time to time.

Now, for this second to last installment – Deliver us from evil. Here, at the end of this prayer, we are praying for deliverance from bodily evil/harm and from the Evil One. On that Last Day, we ask to be saved from this evil world and delivered to God to abide with Him forever. Praise be to God that we have the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Deliver me, oh God, from all evil.
Save me from all harm.
Help me,
Strengthen me,
Shield me with Your arms.

Satan never tires of his prowl.
He’s always seeking.
Looking,
Watching,
As a lion sneaking.

I am not strong enough to fight the fight.
I am very weak.
Overpowered,
Overwhelmed,
I am very meek.

Jesus Christ is my victorious king,
He saved me by grace.
Amazing
And awesome
My sins he erased.

Oh Lord, show me Your mercy on that Day.
Take me to Your side.
Mercifully
Lovingly
With You to abide.

Good Pleasure

The text for preaching this morning is Luke 12:32 where Jesus says that it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom. It is a rich and Gospel-packed verse and I can hardly wait to preach it this morning. The following is part of the Holy Communion liturgy I wrote with the Gospel text in mind. May it bring glory to God.

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It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God, our Shepherd and Father; for it is Your good pleasure to give us Your kingdom. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, You have saved us from our sins and redeemed us from the clutches of the Evil One. You have placed us in the vault of Your fortress and carved, in granite, our names in the Book of Life. You are the hope in a violent and hate-filled world. You are the Light in the stormy waters. You are the Truth as the Deceiver works overtime to lead Your flock astray. Nothing and no one can stake their claim on Your children. For these reasons, and many more, we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing Your unending praise…

A Prayer for the Church

Father God, Lord almighty, gracious and merciful, give to pastors a more intimate relationship with You that they would long to preach the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified and raised for sinners; a Gospel without the bells and whistles that often distract. Give Your Church receptive and picky ears that they may desire only the pure, unaltered Gospel, not a social justice rant that can not save their souls. May leaders not desire their own glorification but rather humble themselves under the cross of Christ. Your Church, oh God, seems to long to be accepted by the world; acquiescing to its demands to liberalize its message and turn a blind eye to sin. May You convict, transform and embolden Your Church to stand out and be a lighthouse in this dark world. It’s not about being liked or being popular, but rather about being obedient to You and shining the light of the Truth through Jesus Christ. Oh God, send now Your Holy Spirit into our lives that we may draw people to the light of Your love through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

May…

May the Lord bless and keep you.
May His Love overwhelm you.
May His strong hand protect you.
May Your sins convict you.
May His grace still amaze you.
May His forgiveness humble you.
May His Spirit transform you.
May Jesus comfort you.
May this Truth give you peace,
this night and always.
Rest, child of God, rest.
Amen.

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

As a Christian, simply claiming, “the devil made me do it“, to justify a sin is never a defense. We are sinners, plain and simple, and thus we are guilty of disobedience. Satan, the father of lies, is the master deceiver and he will be judged and condemned. For the Christian, our only hope is Jesus. He saves us from our sins, but in this life now, we still must be alert and fight the battle of temptation. Praise be to God that there is forgiveness through faith in Christ. In the meantime, fight, but know that you do not fight alone.

God,
Father,
Lord,
I am weak.
I am a sinner and thus it’s You I seek.
Satan is the father of lies,
He deceives and leads away.
He does this without fail,
Every single day.
I give in,
Even though I know Your way.
THIS I do every single day.
Going astray,
Oh, how I disobey.
I do what I do not want to do.
I don’t do as I should.
I don’t listen as I ought,
Oh how I wish I understood.
Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life.
Your Way is wholly right.
Oh God, I want to walk the straight and narrow,
For Jesus is my great delight.
I know that you don’t lead me into temptation,
That falls to the father of lies.
So help me, Lord and Savior,
For I do not want to die.
And so I cry out to you,
For I am helpless and weak.
Without You, oh Lord my God,
My outlook would be very bleak.
Lead me,
Guide me,
Show me Your way.
This I ask that You do,
Please, Lord, every single day.

Hope and Life

The following chalk art was created by my imaginative 6-year-old daughter. It used to adorn the sidewalk in front of our home. Knowing that the lawn sprinklers would soon wash this masterpiece away, I made sure this was digitally preserved. This artwork, from the heart of a 6-year-old, inspired the following poem. To God be the glory!

Through death to Life,
You give me hope.
Through dark to light.
I can now cope.
For the cross rises above this broken world
and life rises from within.
I now have hope and strength for through Jesus Christ
eternal life now begins.
The sun shines,
The flower blooms,
Oh Lord my God my final place is not the tomb.
And now my heart leaps for joy,
I just can not contain it.
My face radiates with love,
Something that will never quit.
So may the cross brightly shine,
A hope for the world to see.
My sins have been wiped away.
That is Your loving decree.

Praying the Psalms ~ Psalm 88

It is okay to be honest with God. It is okay to open the flood gates and pour out your heart to God. God can handle it. God can handle your feelings. You are not going to hurt God’s feelings with your laments and crying out to Him. Yes, there will be dark times in your life and yes, it is okay to run to God with your fears and despair. Too many people have been taught to be careful what you say to God, but one of the things the Psalms teach us is to raise our voices to God, but to do so in faith; for God is faithful.

Notice at the beginning of the Psalm, the psalmist refers to God as my salvation. It is in that light that I offer this prayer for you…

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O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry!
[Psalms 88:1‭-‬2 ESV]

Oh Lord, my God, I am in utter despair.
I am lost.
I feel embattled on all sides.
My hope is waning, especially when I look to this world; seeing the hatred and violence, oppression and division, walls and weapons, loveless words and hate-filled rhetoric.
Oh God, I cry out to You but it appears a hopeless endeavor at times.
People close to me are hurting.
People that I love are in pain.
People dear to my heart are without hope and I am at a loss for words.
I don’t know what to say to You. I don’t know how to pray.
Turn Your ear to my prayer.
Look upon my sorrow.
Gaze upon me with Your love.
Though I feel You are distant, I know that You are not.
Though it feels like You are not listening, I know that You do.
Though is feels like I am abandoned, I know that I am not.

But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
[Psalms 88:13 ESV]

Enemies attack.
The Evil One is having a party in my midst.
Darkness surrounds me.
Oh Lord, my God, show me Your glory.
Touch me with Your mighty hand.
Speak to me with Your still, quiet voice.
Hold me in Your loving arms.
I cry out to You in hope, for You are ever present.
I cry out to You in hope, for thy will be done.
I cry out to You in hope, for I am Your beloved child.
Oh Lord, my God, You and You alone are my salvation.

Amen.