Friday, 22 July 2011

Guidance in a time of worry

In my nightly habit of reading a passage or chapter from the Bible - usually the New Testament - I have very occasionally asked specifically for guidance and strength over this or that worry, before taking up my Bible to read that evening's chapter. I would never dream of using the Scriptures superstitiously; when I have prayed in this way, it is always a case of willingly accepting whatever is there for me to read, whether it appears to have a bearing on the matter in question, or not. However, on more than one occasion the aptness of the words has been startling, and most comforting.

My recent concerns for a loved one began to feel rather overwhelming the other day; and the impulse came to me to make my special prayer. That night I reached Chapter 2 of The Acts of the Apostles. In the newly-given power of the Holy Spirit, Peter addresses the crowd. He quotes King David, in Psalm 16. As I read, I came to these words:
You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of gladness with your presence. (1)
The words were like balm to me. But next morning, wanting to be sure of the words, I read the chapter again; and this time I re-read the following, earlier verse, which had not sunk in on first reading:
I saw the Lord always before me;
For he is at my right hand
That I may not be shaken. (2)
The vividness of these words struck home, right to my heart. I copied them onto a card; and the person for whom I had prayed took the card most happily.

We must always pray, and never lose heart! (3)

1. Acts 2:28
2. Acts 2:25
3. Luke 18:1

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