For Consistency in the Christian Life

LORD, what is the matter with us that we are so fitful and moody,
so changeful — one moment professing our love for Thee,
and the next moment yielding to temptations
that lure us away from Thee?
One moment, cheerful, smiling, and kind,
and the next, glum and surly.
Lord, we do not understand ourselves!
What strange creatures we are!

Yet, we do not pray, our Father,
that always everything should be the same,
for we would get tired of unending sunshine,
and long for a shower of rain.

We do not pray that our way may always lie on level places,
for then we would long to see a mountain.

We do not pray that always our lot might be favored
with pleasant strains of music,
for then we would long for the ministry of silence.

But we do pray, O Lord, that there might be some pattern of
consistency in our relations with Thee.
Teach us how to maintain life on an even keel,
that with a balance life of faith and trust in Thee,
and kindness and love toward each other,
we shall not be at one moment up in the sky
and at the next at the bottom of a well.

Help us to walk with our hand in Thy hand,
knowing that Thou Thyself didst come down
from the mountaintops to walk in the valleys.
So may we not give way to despair when we too return to the valley,
but know that the trail will wind up again.

But whether on the mountaintop or in the valley,
may we ever be aware that Thou art walking beside us.
And if Thou art with us,
what difference does it make where we are?

In Thy Name, we pray. Amen.

from The Prayers of Peter Marshall

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