Prayer of the Weak
Words Matter

Teach Us to Number Our Days


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A few years ago, reflecting on the news of a friend's death, I wrote:

So many deaths ... My wife said to me last night, "It's going to be more and more," as I informed her of the death of death of a friend and colleague of 20 plus years. "We are getting older." So true. It is the end of life that gives so much meaning to our younger years which remain so vivid in our view like yesterday. Our children do not comprehend this, cannot fathom how quickly life passes and how one might begin to find attachments to a better world. We love this life, embrace this life, and live it with gusto and great dreams, but we know also, of a better place. We can find ourselves at home even now, in the eternal embrace that gives meaning to our days and hope to our future. In that loving embrace, we come home ... and gratefully, so did my friend .

The prayer of a maturing heart to be prayed in our youth, that we would be aware of the fragility of time, the shortening of days, and the seriousness of our sinful wastefulness, that we might embrace our suffering and discipline as part of God's love and our maturing process, that we would learn to be glad, that we would see with a broader deeper, and more eternal perspective, and that we would be satisfied with God's love. The result, by grace will be the favor of God as shown in His blessing upon our work, His power in and through us. Amen.

"So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
    that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
    and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!"
(Psalm 90:12-17 ESV)