Romans 8:18-39 (ESV)

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[g] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[h] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

A Prayer (Written by Charis Lacey)

Father, as I begin my day with fear and anxiety for my friends who are doctors and nurses, I rejoice with the reminder of your deep love that I see in Romans 8. Today is one of those days I feel creation groaning to be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. I feel myself waiting eagerly for full adoption as your daughter and the redemption of our bodies. And I know that as I hope for what I don’t yet see, I must wait for it in patience.

Holy Spirit, help me in my weakness as I do not know what to pray in the midst of COVID-19 and the utter devastation it is producing in our country and in our world. Intercede on my behalf. Remind my heart even now of the joy that comes from knowing that you, Father, work all things for the good of those who love you.

Oh! The richness of knowing that, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” For you did not spare your own Son, Father; you gave him up for us! Remind those who know and love you in the medical field that they cannot be separated from your love. Help them, Spirit, not to be anxious about anything, put to present their requests to you. I pray that your peace, which surpasses all understanding, will dwell in their hearts. Protect them, Father, in ways that you see fit, and use this season to draw us all closer to you.


The Backstory of This Prayer

Charis read Romans 8:18-39 this morning as she participated in her Community Bible Reading (CBR) Journal.

The CBR Journal is a simple, straightforward tool that helps people make sense of the Scriptures through the story of the gospel: praising God for who he is, mourning the sin of our own lives and of the world, seeing Jesus as the rescuer of our lives and of the world, and responding as the Spirit leads.

Monday-Friday, the CBR Journal provides one chapter from the Old Testament, and one chapter from the New Testament. On Saturdays, the CBR Journal features a Psalm. There is no set reading on Sundays.

As individual participants benefit from the CBR Journal, they are invited to share their meditations and reflections with the members of their gender-specific CBR Group (through emails, group text messages, etc.). This way, we’re not simply reading the Bible in isolation – we’re doing so in a community-setting that allows us to both make disciples and be discipled.

If you are looking for a way to kick-start your study of Scripture, or if your usual patterns of Bible study have been disrupted due to COVID-19, be sure to visit our Community Bible Reading (CBR) page. Contact [email protected] to learn more about CBR Groups, and to even receive your own copy of the CBR Journal.