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As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion and kindness...” (Col. 3:12)

 

Lord Jesus, the Gospel should be all the motivation we need to live as a compassionate people in a world of suffering. Not just 24/7, 24/365 you shower us with compassion, kindness, and engagement. Hallelujah, and thank you.

Yet sometimes it takes us (me) a bit of fresh pain to generate fresh compassion for others. My holiday prepping and merrymaking has revived a bit of sciatica in my lower back. My 72.9-year-old body isn’t quite as limber as it used to be. But in my not-really-all-that-bad discomfort, I’m moved to pray today for chronic sufferers—those who cry out, “How long, O Lord?” with more hurt, tears, and heartache than me.

Jesus, I (we) pray for friends and neighbors with unrelenting physical pain—those who get little if any relief from medical care. The guarantee of our resurrection bodies has never been so sweet to us.

We pray for those suffering with emotional and mental illness, living in the cruel world of delusional thinking and kindness-sabotaging emotions. We also pray for their loved ones and caregivers. Jesus, please grant extraordinary measures of your mercy, grace and wisdom. That promised Day of all-things-new… Jesus, thank you and bring it. Ukraine… hungry children… injustice of every type… indeed, bring the Day.

We pray for individuals and families who share new and ongoing stories of addiction. The holiday season “ramps up” these stories; so, Jesus, please ramp up our compassion, kindness, and strength for loving well.

Jesus, lastly today, we pray for those who are in the most powerless and helpless of all conditions—those who are strangers to your saving grace, living oblivious to their greatest need and the wonderful riches of the Gospel. Whether they are chronic sufferers or live lives of chronic-prosperity, bring these precious image-bearers to yourself, Jesus. So Very Amen, we pray and trust.

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