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Unlike Santa

There is a story about three friends who went deep-sea fishing. Suddenly a storm arose out of nowhere. Its severity threatened to sink the boat before they could return to shore. Two of the men began to pray for deliverance, but the other man just sat there, watching the growing waves. His companions begged him to pray, but he hesitated. He said that it had been years since he had prayed or been to church. They insisted and he finally said this short prayer: “O Lord, I have not asked for anything for fifteen years. If you will deliver us safely from us this storm, I promise you that I will not bother you again for another fifteen years!”

How many of us have a prayer life about like that?

The real problem with that prayer is that God is not Santa Claus. God is not some great cosmic gift giver. No, the scriptures tell us that God is more like a loving parent who wants to hear from us, and who is not bothered by our prayers. And, while it is true that God doesn't always give us what we want, a life lived in communion and conversation with him, is a life that is grounded in deep peace.

May you know in the very deepest part of your being that God is reaching out to you with love. And may you live your life in such a way that you have time to listen and respond.

Let us pray: Today, loving God, we ask you to speak deep into our lives. Help us to know beyond any doubt that you are with us, that you know us, that you care. We long to have your guidance and peace at the very center of our lives and so again this day we turn over to you anything that may be separating us from you...

We pray now for the world around us – for the leaders of the nations, and for the leaders of our nation. We especially lift up the men and women serving in the military – and those who have served – here and around the world. Give them a sense of your love and presence even in dire circumstances. We pray for the hastening of the day when wars will cease and your peace will reign. May that peace reign even now – beginning with us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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