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A Prayer to Do the Right Thing

Daily Guideposts writer Patty Kirk shares a prayer for your God-given purpose.

Woman's hands praying

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. . . . For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28, 30

Last night, on the phone, my sister commented that God’s purpose isn’t for people to be happy. “Everybody thinks it is, but it’s not. God wants us to do the right thing.”

Sharon’s bleak assessment inhabited me this morning as I dithered around trying to make myself go down to my mother-in-law’s house to wash, dress, feed, and spend time with her. Sharon’s right, I told myself. God simply wants me to do the right thing, however reluctantly.

Reflecting on my mother-in-law, though, it felt just wrong. She’s always done the right thing, as far as I can tell. Sure, she has her faults. In the grocery store, she never failed to point out people who were “large,” as she put it. She herself has always been tiny. And there were other things. Mostly, though, she’s been selfless and kindhearted all the years I’ve known her. Motivated, it seems, by a keen desire to be helpful. And always cheery.

Nonetheless,her mealtime prayer—the prayer she’ll pray before breakfast today—is for forgiveness: “Dear Lord, please forgive my sins. Help me do the right thing.” And even now, her brain frayed by Alzheimer’s, she seems, above all, happy.

God’s purpose is that we be like my mother-in-law, I think. Reliant on His help to do the right thing. And thus, happy.

Dear Lord, please forgive my sins and help me to do the right thing. Cheerfully, happily.

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