Lord, help me to face my fears. Sometimes they get me all screwed up, at other times I forget about them. Help me not to be ashamed of them, nor of myself for having them. Having acknowledged them, give me the courage to move beyond them and to take hold of the mighty love you give me to overcome them. In Jesus’ name I ask it. AMEN
Lord, help me throughout this day to fulfil my duties, to be cheerful to all whom I meet, to accept criticism without being upset, to listen to other people’s problems, to give them an understanding ear without trying to micromanage their lives, and to press on to the end of the day with quiet determination. I ask it in Jesus Christ’s name. AMEN
I pray that you will give your counsel to trade union leaders. Make them resolute in seeking redress for grievances, and persistent in bargaining for more just working conditions. Help them also to understand the problems of others and to work for the good of all. In the name of him who worked in a carpenter’s shop, even Christ. AMEN
“For those who fear you, you have raised a banner”.
Psalm 60:4 NIV
In the movie, “The Longest Day”, the story of the D-Day landings in Normandy in World War II, there came a point where a battalion of Scottish troops landed on the beaches and moved up to the battle front. Each time this unit was shown in action there was a piper marching in front of the troops. Slowly the pipes filled with air and out came a tune amidst the noise of battle. The sight and sound of the bagpipes spurred the troops on as they sought to advance. This was the Scottish way of raising a banner.
The psalm declares that God has done the same thing for the embattled Israelites. Banners were used as rallying points for troops in preparation for battle and for leading them into action. When the action erupts in warfare the soldiers get scattered and lose contact with their units very easily. Raising a banner serves as a mustering point, a place to re-group in order to fight again. It also stirs the blood and encourages the fighting men to renewed valour. The psalmist was saying, in effect, “You have allowed us to be hammered in battle. Now get us going again. Your presence, Lord, serves as a banner which will give us new heart and your right hand will give us new strength”.
For Christian believers, Christ has raised a banner for us by his crucifixion. This banner has comforted the dying. It has inspired courage in those being martyred for their faith. It has been the good news which missionaries have taken to foreign lands. It has been the reconciling point between estranged people. It is the hope, both for the church and for the world.
Lord, help us to rally around your cross.
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