God, you are good to Your people and to those who are pure in heart. We praise you for your goodness.
We must acknowledge that despite your goodness, we have sinned.
Our feet have slipped and we have almost lost our foot hold.
We looked at the arrogant and we have envied them,
wanting to be like people who do not even acknowledge you as Lord.
We have envied the prosperity of the wicked,
thinking that we would rather have material things than the Saviour of our souls.
It is difficult for us to look at sometimes, Lord.
These wealthy, powerful people look so healthy,
so free from the burdens that are common to us.
They are evil,
– and yet they don’t seem touched by human ills.
They wear pride like a necklace and they cloth themselves with violence.
They have callous hearts and they bring forth sin.
The evil conceits of their minds know no limits.
And yet for some reason…
they seem blessed, happy, rich and strong.
Forgive us for wanting to be like them.
We are confused about these people, Lord.
They scoff against you,
and have far more than most.
They hurt others and get rewarded with more riches!
“Do you even know about these people, God?
Do you, the Most High, know how evil some of these people are, and how evil they are acting?
Why have you not done anything about them?”
You don’t seem to.
They are getting richer and they seem carefree.
It’s like all of the good that we do is in vain.
It’s like all of the work we do to stay pure is in vain because they are prospering and we are suffering.
We don’t talk about this much, Father.
If we bring this up we might harm some people’s faith,
so we don’t bring voice to our complaint in public.
We’ve tried to understand it, but we just can’t…
it breaks our hearts and muddles our minds.
But then we came to church.
We entered your sanctuary,
we sang songs to you,
we heard your word,
we remembered your Gospel
and their final destiny.
You opened our eyes to see what is really happening.
Their feet are on slippery ground.
They are already cast down into ruin
and all of the worldly collections they have will be destroyed.
Their life is like a dream and all that they have done,
all that they have,
all of their wickedness and ill-gotten treasures
will be completely swept away and they will have nothing.
When you finally deal with them, they will be nothing more than a fantasy
– an old story long forgotten.
Our bitterness and grieving at our lack of riches was foolish, Lord.
We were ignorant to be jealous of the wicked.
We were as dumb as a wild animal.
And so we resolve to stay with you.
Keep holding us by our hands.
Give us your guidance and your counsel,
and then after this world has passed away,
take us into your glory.
In all the world, there is really nothing better than you.
When we get to heaven, our greatest treasure will be you.
Our flesh and our heart might fail us, but God,
you are the strength of our hearts
and our portion forever.
We stay close to you because those who are far from you will perish.
You will destroy all those who do not have faith.
Lord God, no matter what…
no matter what happens in this world…
it is good to be near God.
We have made you the Sovereign Lord of our refuge
and we will tell everyone of your wonderful deeds!
We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
(Adapted from Psalm 73)