This post is a bit random, but I’m interested to know, what would you do?

We watched a thought provoking episode of ‘Lewis’ the other evening. I’m not accustomed to finding myself challenged by detective stories, they are the sort of thing I like to read or watch for some relaxation. Let me tell you about it, see what you think.

The challenging moment comes when Hathaway is faced with a woman who has been poisoned and will be dead in mere seconds, it is traumatic enough for him to be there in that dreadful moment, but, and here’s the challenge, she says to him, ‘Pray for me?
She has been openly sceptical, ridiculing the faith of others, seeking to demonstrate the shaky foundations she’s sure they stand on, then, in a moment, suddenly faces her own death, in mere seconds she will be dead.

She asks Hathaway, ‘Pray for me?’ he has previously been a man of some sort of faith, and it is assumed he will know what to do. He pauses, it seems he does nothing.

My question then, ‘What would I do?’
I know the likelihood of me, or you, being in a situation where we are called upon to pray like this is slim, but never mind that, what would you or I pray?

I’m not saying this is THE answer, but the Jesus Prayer springs to mind as appropriate:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, be merciful to me a sinner.’

In Luke 18:9-14 Jesus tells this story.

‘To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, robbers, evil-doers, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.’

In the moment it is impossible for someone to know the inner workings of the dying one’s heart.

Might they have had a revelation of God and want to respond to him, but don’t quite know how?

How long does it take God to show himself to one at such a time?
Or it may be that this is simply a panic driven ‘cover-all eventualities’ last minute grasp which may indicate no heart response to God at all, just fear of death, but how am I, or you, to know that? We can’t. All we want to do in that moment is offer help, and real living hope in those last moments.
Jesus said to the thief on the cross, ‘Today you will be with me in paradise.’ There was no time for the man to prove himself repentant by life change, but Jesus heard his heart’s cry and brought him out of one kingdom into another.
‘One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him:
“Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23:39-43

So, faced with this awful moment, we could tell the dying one we will pray and they can listen, and echo it in their own heart and mind.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, be merciful to me a sinner.’

Wouldn’t we want someone to do this for us if we didn’t know Jesus yet?


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