by J. Grant Swank, Jr.
The days and years have sped so rapidly by, and now I find that not only am I no longer young, I'm past the years called middle age.
I also find that as I continue to grow older, I truly need Your help and stamina to keep me close to Your house of prayer. The devil would have me think of my aching bones and worn muscles.
It is true that at times I am unable to get out to church, although You know, Lord, how much I really want to come. Yet I pray that I may not give in to Satan by using my minor aches and pains as excuses to stay home from worship services, opting to follow the easy way by watching TV.
Lord, as I near heaven's gate, may I be found more and more in prayer. Satan would try to deter me by whispering that I have prayed enough down through the years, and that since I am old, I do not need to spend as much time in that exercise. May I always remember that the devil is a liar.
Lord, help me also with my Bible reading. You know how Satan tries to make us think that the stories recorded in Your Word are "old hat" by now. I have gone over them time and time again, but I know better than to believe I have learned everything there is to know about them. Take me back to the Book with a new zeal and a renewed ardor.
Help me to keep on serving by being faithful in my Sunday school class, by attending the monthly mission service downtown, by helping in the convalescent home outreach, by writing notes of cheer to others, by keeping myself joyfully active rather than becoming mousy and withdrawn, by being young at heart-even when my body tells me that old age is slowing me down.
Lord, the baits of Satan are a bit different for me now than they were when I was younger. I am no longer tempted by lustful pastimes or superficial pleasures. Yet I am tempted to boredom, even to monotony, and this spills over into my spiritual life.
Can I dare forget that it is still more blessed to give than to receive? Or that giving can be merely a cup of cold water in His name-a smile, a handshake, a call, a greeting card, a right attitude, an encouraging word, a pat on a child's shoulder, an uplifting word to a teenager, an intercessory prayer. There is still a great deal that I can do of worth.
Lord, my hands are not pretty like they used to be. They are not smooth and muscled like they once were. But they still can clasp another hand in Christ's love. They can make a pie for someone else. They can pick up a phone to call another person with the note of Christ's love and encouragement.
Lord, my mind is not always as alert as it once was. But it still recalls past answers to prayer, the wonderful services I have experienced, the memories of bodily healings and spiritual touches from heaven. So remind me to share my faith in Christ with those who are younger. Help me to encourage and lift those who are starting out on the Christian walk.
Lord, I see the teens and remember when I was young. But don't let me pass them by, thus contributing myself to the generation gap. Instead, help me to put my arm around their shoulders, to whisper in their ears that I am praying for them. It is easy to be critical. But, Lord, I want to love them.
Lord, I need You now as much as I've ever needed You. I am growing older. In the short time still allotted to me on earth, please make me more and more like You!
Cracker Barrel Journal