Five Prayers for 2018
We must never be embarrassed to discover or perhaps re-discover that we are not the prayer warriors we would so like to be. Effective prayer is real work and, in some cases, moves more toward an identified calling.
“Lord Jesus, teach us to pray” (Like 11:1) requested the disciples. When we add that request to the one Paul gives us in Rom. 8:26, “We know not what we should pray as we ought,” we will discover that we are in good company.
My wife, Judith, seems much more diligent and effective in prayer than I. When I discovered that my excessive use of “please” in verbal prayer was evidence that my prayer was seeking to have it my own way, it caused the seeking and response that seems to have birthed these five prayers.
Finding expression for our spiritual person may be more of a challenge than we have anticipated. All of these five prayers may not belong to you. My request is for you to read them all and allow the Lord to breathe upon the heart-cry that serves as some form of jet-assisted takeoff for you. The intention is for us to experience some release from an unknown log-jam in our human persons. It may be that you are able to own them all!
Once you identify with one or more, it may be well to copy them into your personal journal. Be sure to include the date that the Holy Spirit has chosen to make that particular expression of prayer your very own.
Written prayers can be amazingly effective when they essentially assist us in expressing some deeper longing or heart-cry to communicate some ambiguous but urgent spiritual hunger.
Here they are in living color. You may notice that they are somewhat progressive in nature, and intentionally personal for the purpose of lighting our fire:
1. Lord Jesus, I ask you to glorify your son/daughter in my weakness. Your strength is made perfect in weakness. Allow me, to know and experience your Glory, even while I am still in my weakness, for the solitary purpose of making that Glory known to others.
2. Father God, keep me in Your Love. Your very nature is Agape. Guard, protect and preserve me in the Presence of that Love. No one can actually be safe until we are able to embrace and/or endure anything that a fallen world can dish out! Show me how to partake of an ample supply of Your own Nature that comes to me/us in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. It is called the supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ.
3. My prayer is that You would keep me alert to all that is objectionable and displeasing in Your sight. My personal choice is to know and understand those human responses that bring You joy and pleasure. May my life on this earth contribute to Your Will and Purpose being accomplished.
4. Increase my capacity, skill, and willingness to Love others as I have been loved. Enable me to freely forgive injuries from others as I have been forgiven. Impart the spiritual capacity to absorb human failure in a manner similar to the one in which You have absorbed my own. Free me from my hypocrisy and allow me to embrace Kingdom Reality.
5. As I grow older, increase my aptitude to engage and embrace Reality that is spelled with a capital “R”. Kingdom seems to increasingly present itself as removal of distance between what I believe and how I live. My very best seems increasingly inadequate! Allow the Christ who is able to supply all that is needed for life and godliness to transform all that needs to be transformed so that my person will count for You and the Kingdom which that Your good pleasure to give.