In Our Midst: A Nightly Prayer

In Our Midst: A Nightly Prayer

In Our Midst: A Nightly Prayer.

“Lord, you are in the midst of us, and we are called by your Name; Do not abandon us, O Lord our God.”  (Jeremiah 14:9; prayed in the middle of the Compline, a nightly service of prayers).

The Hebrew word for “in the midst” means in the very center of, in the direct middle of. God is not lurking in a corner, He is not a wallflower, He is not hiding behind anyone. God’s presence is openly and freely available to all, in the very middle of us. Jeremiah reminds us of an absolute truth. Once someone has known God’s presence, it is unthinkable to consider His absence. Jeremiah is pleading with the Lord to remain in his people’s midst, to stay in the middle among them. He can’t even imagine what life would be like without God’s presence. Without God, there would be no light, only darkness and confusion. Without God, there would no life, only death and destruction; Without God, there would be no goodness, nothing but evil and sin. Without God, there would be no hope, nothing but despair and defeat. We desperately need God to live up to His name Emmanuel, God-with-us, or life as we know it would simply disappear into nothingness. The world would hopelessly fall apart, nothing would hold together. God’s presence is the glue of the universe. Indeed, “Cast us not away from your presence, Lord. Take not your Holy Spirit from us.” (Ps. 51:12).

As we drift off to sleep, we would do well to thank God for His presence in this world, His presence among us, His presence inside each of us. In faith we ask Him to continue His mercies and remain with us through the night, neither leaving nor deserting us in our frailty. For we are called by your Name, O Lord. You rule over us, we are known as your people, your possession. We are your  children, named by you, included in your Name. We have found our identity in you, and are lost with any other name. Thanks be to God.

In Our Midst:

“The Lord said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14).

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will calm you with  His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17).

“Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,’ declares the Lord. ‘And many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become my people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.” (Zechariah 2:10-11).

“Surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20).