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The Favoring Hand of God

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

“The king granted my requests, for the favoring hand of my God was upon me.” (Nehemiah 2:8)

It is not unusual for me to have sleepless nights when I worry over things that I wish I could change. Sometimes they are big, big things like how I wish puppy mills didn’t exist or the dog-fighting trade would end (I am a dog person in case you didn’t notice), and other times it’s a smaller thing like the outcome of a project or a conflict at work that I wish would easily resolve. The big things are the ones that hit me in the heart, challenge my faith and turn my prayers from faithful and gracious to questioning and desperate. If I am going to pray to God for a desired outcome, to change a heart (mine or someone else’s) or for strength to weather a situation, I need to ask myself if what I am praying for fulfills my desires alone or if it fulfills God’s wish for me or for the world? Am I living a faithful life and am I open enough to see His answer if it isn’t readily apparent? Would God’s “favoring hand” be upon me? In today’s first reading, I believe God touched the hearts of the king and queen because Nehemiah’s faith was strong and he was praying to fulfill God’s promise. Nehemiah felt the favoring hand of God because he was doing his part. The question I need to reflect on further is if I am doing mine.

Faithful God,

help us to remain steadfast in our devotion to You,

so that we may remain firmly in Your favor.

Strengthen our resolve as we face life’s challenges,

so that we may always feel Your loving presence.


Julie Ward
Vice President Innovation & Strategy, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center

NEHEMIAH 8:20-23 ● PSALM 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6 ● MATTHEW 18:1-5, 10

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