Forty Days of Prayer March 17, 2013

Happy St Patrick’s Day.  For about 5 years I taught Latin at our school and every year in the middle of March I had the students read a passage from the autobiography of St. Patrick in the original Latin.  It was not an easy read for the students, but it was very inspirational. I thought maybe today I might share a prayer of Patrick.

As I arise today, may the strength of God pilot me, the power of God uphold me, the wisdom of God guide me. May the eye of God look before me, the ear of God hear me, the word of God speak for me. May the hand of God protect me, the way of God lie before me, the shield of God defend me, the host of God save me. May Christ shield me today.  Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me,  Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit, Christ when I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me,  Christ in every ear that hears me.  Amen

What I love about this prayer is that Patrick wants to embody Jesus, so that anyone who meets him, sees and feels the presence of Jesus.  Patrick was one of the great missionaries of the church’s history.  As a young man he was kidnapped by pirates from Ireland.  He spent a few years in bondage as a slave in Ireland and learned that they had no knowledge of Jesus.  After escaping and returning home, to England, he is led into ministry and then decides to go as a missionary to Ireland.  Incredible things happen, and he spends the rest of his life starting and establishing the church there.   There are a lot of legends surrounding Patrick, but what is very powerful about him is that he brought Jesus to a whole country by giving his entire life for that very purpose.

What makes his testimony so powerful is the commitment to care for people you would think he would only be angry with for kidnapping him.  God often uses people who have a relationship with something to work best.  I can think of Chuck Colson who started a prison ministry after spending time in prison.  Every one of us is best able to serve in an area we have shared experiences with, where we have an emotional involvement that tugs at our heart.   The message of Patrick has power because one would not expect forgiveness and love to be the reply for the past.  That is just what God does for us in Jesus.

In Christ’s Service,   Pastor Dave

Dear Lord, lead and empower me this week.   Help me to see where I can minister in a way that shares your Son, in all of my words and actions. In Jesus name. Amen.

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