The God Who Encourages Us
March 4, 2013 | My Jottings
This morning at Community Bible Study Leaders Council, one of our children’s program teachers, who’s one of the sweetest people I know, shared about encouragement. Carol shared most specifically how it’s okay to ask God to encourage us when we’re really down or discouraged, and the examples she gave about how God has answered that prayer for her were truly marvelous.
Then she closed with a prayer she had found, and I was so moved by it I came home to see if I could find it online. And I did, so I’d like to share it here.
This is a beautiful prayer in praise of the God who encourages us, and it’s by Scotty Smith, the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN.
A Prayer In Praise of the God Who Encourages Us
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4
Dear heavenly Father, I praise you today for your compassion-driven, wisdom-laden, Swiss-timed commitment to encourage us—especially through your Word. You could delegate a legion of angels or you could send a raven to feed me breakfast, either of which would be nice—but you, yourself, come to us in the Bible. I’m humbled and grateful. How foolish we are to ignore the Scriptures.
Indeed, the Bible is such a gift to us. It is a treasure trove of hope, an artesian spring of refreshment, a perpetual supply of redemptive surprises, an always-working GPS for return trips to gospel sanity.
For it is the cradle of the Christ, not a manual for self-reform. It shows us that wisdom is a Person—Jesus, not a formula for success. It reveals the depth of our need, so we might boast only in the riches of your provision—the gospel of your grace. It frees us from giving you little bit parts in our stories that we might find our place of servanthood in your story.
Father, may the “eternal encouragement and good hope” of the gospel free us for a day of good deeds and helpful words. May this be a day of loving and serving the people you’ve placed in our lives—a day in which we accept others as you have accepted us in Jesus; a day in which we forgive others as you have forgiven us in Jesus; a day in which we are as forbearing and patient with one another, as you are towards us in Jesus.
As this day begins (and continues), fill our hearts with your beauty, so that our words will offer life-giving encouragement—no matter what we experience from others. May the overflow of our hearts reveal the wonders of your love, not the pressure of our agendas. Give us thick skin and big hearts for whatever providence determines for this day. It we must conflict, may we do so redemptively. Let us repay good for whatever comes as us.
Should we “leak grace” (and surely we will), refuel the joy of our salvation that we might love and serve you well until we climb, once again, into our beds. How we praise you for your steadfast commitment to our encouragement and hope. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.
* * * * * * * *
I hope someone encourages you today. I hope you can encourage someone else today. And I pray that God Himself would encourage each one of us, especially through His Word.
So many of you encourage me—thank you for that!