God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns. 6 The nations are in an uproar; the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice; the earth melts. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations; I am exalted in the earth.” 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
A few months into COVID, my daughter shared these comments of my granddaughter:
During dinner, she said, “Mom, can I stop and talk to Jesus for a minute?” Mom didn’t stop her. Later, my granddaughter said, “I asked him to help the scientists get the shot ready and that we won’t get the germs.”
The prayers of a 5 1/2 year old.
Can I get an “Amen?”
What is your prayer? Do you take time to pray?
This psalm, I believe, is an invitation to prayer – be still and know that I am God.
Bishop Michael Rinehart shared these words a few years ago.
Invitation to Prayer
Prayer was very important to Jesus. A few weeks ago we read about Jesus’ healing of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. At sundown the whole town showed up at the door with their sick. After an exhausting evening, we are told:
“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” (Mark 1:35-37)
Ministry is so exhausting, we need prayer to renew our strength. Isaiah 40 says those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. Prayer is waiting on the Lord. As the psalmist says, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46)
Jesus says, “My Father’s house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.” What does it mean to be a house of prayer for all people? Are we a house of prayer? Are all people welcome? Who is not here?
Prayer is not another task. It is an invitation to come away, to get off the treadmill, and spend restful time listening. I believe our lives are chaos without this. One writer said our lives without daily prayer are like a book written without using the space bar. Canyouimagineabookwrittenwithoutspacesbetweenthewords?
Here is the good news for the church, a house of prayer. While ministry is exhausting (heck, life is exhausting), God has given us a well from which to quench our spiritual thirst. When we are exhausted, Jesus invites us to come away to a quiet place and find refreshment for our souls. When we are exhausted from the ministry of the gospel to which God has called us, we are invited to wait upon the Lord. We are promised that those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will run and not be weary. They will walk and not faint. They shall mount up on eagles’ wings.
Is your house the house of prayer? Our Lord invites us to come, eat bread, drink wine, and find our souls refreshed. And it will become like a well within us, springing up to eternal life. Let us be a house of prayer for all people.
Let us pray: Almighty and ever-living God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create in us new and honest hearts, so that, truly repenting of our sins, we may receive from you, the God of all mercy, full pardon and forgiveness through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen