When I was in seminary, I would often say, “Lord, if you are going to return soon, please do so before I have to actually get around to writing this paper or before I have to take that test, because I would hate to waste the effort on all this school work only to have you come back right afterwards.” Now I see that same thought in many problems, which are much more serious. Lord, if you are coming soon anyway, come before this person gets the results back on the biopsy. Come before that person has to go through chemotherapy, or this couple’s marriage breaks apart. Come Lord before this teen has yet another friend stab them in the back, saying mean things to others only to act like their friend when they are together. Come quickly Lord before all these things happen.
Of course, that sort of prayer is all wrong. Jesus taught that he has already come and by the power of the Holy Spirit he is present still in the class with the teacher you think has it in for you, at work with the boss who won’t give you a break or the co-worker who drives you crazy. Jesus is already here in the marriage that is falling apart and in the frightening news you await from the doctor. When we pray “Come quickly Lord Jesus,” it should not be an invitation for Jesus’ to come back in glory to make all our problems go away. Instead we should pray “Come quickly Lord Jesus into my problems and my pain.”
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor