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The Mercy Prayer

When I heard Thomas Nelson, Inc., had recently published The Mercy Prayer by Robert Gelinas, I could hardly wait to read the book. Not only do I often pray, “Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy,” but the thought of a whole book on this short Bible prayer intrigued me.

As we’ve previously discussed, the first mention of prayer in the Bible occurred during the lifetime of Adam and Eve’s grandson, Enosh, when “people began to call on the name of the LORD,” Genesis 4:26. The Bible doesn’t specify the words or sounds used, but the “name” and “the call” imply the prayer, “God, help!”

During an especially difficult or scary time, that prayer erupts from most of us, reportedly, even nonbelievers caught in a life-or-death crisis or other foxhole. However, the most often prayed prayer is not, “God help!” but “LORD, have mercy.”

As the Introduction to The Mercy Prayer points out, this prayer offers “more than a cry for help. It is a cry for love. Through it we are not simply asking, ‘God, will…