a prayer for believing the gospel more

Gracious Father:

Forgive me for my faltering faith in the gospel. Consistently I live below its privileges, contentedly playing with mudpies in the slums when a holiday at sea is on offer. I fail to apply its rich benefits every day. I fail to see myself as you see me, and I fail to live with the joy and thanksgiving that should characterize your children.

I know this is true, Father, because of how I respond to criticism. (more…)

a prayer from psalm 61:1-4

Psalm 61:1-4:

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge undder the shelter of your wings!

What wonder it is, Father, that you hear my cry and listen to my prayer. When my heart is faint, which is often, I can call to you from the ends of the earth – and I can be sure that you will hear me. Because of the blood of Jesus, I approach you not as a servant or slave but as a son (Rom 8:15). Just as a prince can command an immediate audience with the king, I can come to you in any moment of need, knowing that you will allow me to enter into your presence. What grace! (more…)

a prayer for experiencing the Spirit of adoption

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Romans 8:14-17

Lord, I confess that I live far below my privileges in Christ. Though rich because of grace, I live as a spiritual pauper. Though given a Spirit of adoption, I live as a spiritual orphan. Though a co-heir with Christ of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms, I live as a slave, begging for scraps at your table. Help me to experience the Spirit of adoption. Help me to feel like – to live like – the cherished son that I am in Christ.

How do I betray my failure to experience a Spirit of adoption? (more…)

a prayer for seeing god as he is

Weak is the effort of my heart, and cold my warmest thought; but when I see Thee as Thou art, I’ll praise Thee as I ought.

from John Newton, How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds

Father, so often I am confused about what I really need. The shadows of longing and desire in my heart distract me from the true longings and deep desires that only you can fill. (more…)

a prayer for finding approval in christ alone

Grant me to hear thy voice assuring me: that by thy stripes I am healed, that thou wast bruised for my iniquities, that thou hast been made sin for me that I might be righteous in thee, that my grievous sins, my manifold sins, are all forgiven, buried in an ocean of thy concealing blood.

I am guilty, but pardoned, lost, but saved, wandering, but found, sinning, but cleansed.

from “A Broken Heart” in The Valley of Vision

Lord, I confess that my hearts longs, too often, for the respect and admiration of others. I feel this, both when I receive those things and when I do not. When others think well of me and speak well of me, my spirit soars into the atmosphere of pride, arrogance, and feelings of smug, self-righteous superiority. When others do not think well of me or speak well of me, I plunge into the depths of despairing narcism and self-doubt. (more…)