Lenten Devotional, 3/2/2012


Friday, March 2

World Day of Prayer
Lord, Have Mercy 

Read Luke 18:9-14 

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. -- Matthew 5:7

In one of the many church classes and seminars I've attended over the years our District staff person, Cheryl Denley, talked about a breath prayer. It is a short phrase that is repeated often during the day as a way of staying close to God and being open to His leading.

As I thought about this concept of prayer, I realized that I had been doing this, however unconsciously, for a long time. When my feet hit the floor in the morning the first words out of my mouth are usually, "Lord, have mercy." I didn't really think about this as a prayer until one morning my husband said, in response to this utterance, "What are you complaining about?" I replied, "I'm not complaining, I'm praying." From that time on, I consciously make this statement a prayer.

As I go through my day and something hurts, or things don't go as I want them to, or someone disappoints me, or I don't have time (or didn't plan well enough) to do something I want to do, or just in general Life Happens, I find myself saying, "Lord, have mercy."

I think of mercy as a gift, something I haven't earned but something I pray will be shown to me as I, like the tax collector in our scripture reading from Luke, acknowledge my shortcomings and failures as I ask God for mercy.

The flip side of this equation is found in the Beatitudes in Matthew, "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy." So, in order for me to expect God to show mercy to me I must show mercy to others. It's that simple. "Lord, have mercy!" 
-- Jane B. Thomas

Prayer: Merciful God, look on us with mercy and love and teach us to reflect that love and mercy to others as we go about our lives everyday. Amen

Jane B. Thomas is a member of Free Springs UMC near Como Mississippi.

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