Saturday, March 19, 2011

I Arise Today Through A Mighty Strength

The Breastplate of St. Patrick

I arise today
through a mighty strength.
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me...

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of Creation

A friend and I have been bouncing this prayer back and forth in its abbreviated form and also the longer more ancient version. The Lord had us focus in on the stability of the rock, firmness of the ground, passage superimposed upon the heart braking earthquake suffered in Japan.

Living in Alaska as we do with its frequent tremors as well as volcanoes "breathing out threatenings" we watched the destruction in Japan with a prayer for our own safety. It could have been us. May Christ swiftly aid those so in need at this hour and spare us a similar fate.

The only safe place in our world is in Christ. He is our stable ground, our firm rock. There is no other security. He is our life, our breath, our peace, our nourishment, our strength.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength. (Isaiah 40 edited)

Whatever tomorrow holds for any of us upon this planet let us arise in the mighty strength that is ours in Christ and give Him all the Glory who is both God and Rock.
Gracious, Lord, remember your church in Japan. Help your people to find all they need for life. Protect them from discouragement and despair. Be the Shepard who carries them through the aftermath of this great storm to a place of safety. Reunite the lost, return financial stability, light the lamps of hope. In Jesus Name. Amen.

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