Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr (Memorial)
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
We all have things we hope for, both things that we don’t see yet and things that aren’t yet the way God intends them to be: relationships that need reconciliation, health or financial challenges to overcome, the blossoming of faith in a child or grandchild. Here’s the good news: God has given each of us the gift of faith, and that gift can provide us with assurance that these hopes can be realized. But how can you develop that faith? By treating it like a muscle that becomes stronger as it is used.
Let’s exercise our faith muscle today as we strive in prayer for the things in our lives and in our world that aren’t yet the way God intends them to be.
“Thank you, Lord, for the gift of faith! Make it a firm foundation in my life. I know that you have redeemed me, but my hope falters when I recall the times I fail to live up to your love for me. Help me know you are with me, ready to catch me when I fall, ready to strengthen me to keep moving forward. Help me grow into the person you intend me to be.
“Lord, I know that you want my family to be a place of love and respect, but we aren’t there yet. Angry words and hurtful actions make me wonder if we will ever make it. Help us, Lord, to be patient and considerate with one another. Help us to forgive one another, especially the family members we find it hardest to love. I believe you can do this in each one of us even though I don’t see it right now. So I will keep on asking!
“Lord, I know you want your people to be one. But I see brokenness and division within my own Church and among all Christians. Help us, Lord, to see your presence in one another. Help us to see our common ground and strive to grow closer to you each day. No matter how deep the divisions are, I believe that you can bring us together in unity as you work, unseen, in each person’s heart.”
“Lord, I will keep praying especially for those good things that I do not yet see fulfilled. May these trusting prayers strengthen my faith!”
Psalm 145:2-5, 10-11
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