Jesus is using this Lenten season to provide some unusual ups and downs in my sanctification process. Here’s a prayer to encourage those walking through the fires of refinement.
But I call to You for help, LORD; in the morning my prayer meets You.
Almighty God, majestic in Holiness, incorruptible in Power, inexhaustible with Compassion, never-failing with Love:
I call to You for help.
I am in despair. I am afraid You don’t want to meet me this morning. All night my tears have been my food. Anxiety has been my companion. Darkness has overcome me. The morning has come, but Your mercies are not new. And I don’t know why.
I am afriad I am not good enough to be in Your presence. I am afraid You are distant. I despair that my will-power is too weak to make me holy and good. I despair that this morning I am unusually looking to my will-power to make me holy and good. I am trusting in horses and chariots.
I fear what people may think if they know of this weakness. I despair that in this moment I am tempted to please people. I despair that I am thinking more highly of self than I ought. I despair that I desire to show You, myself and others the wonder-working power of my strength.
These things I never want to think!
Yet today, what I don’t want to think I find myself thinking. What a wretched man that I am! Who can deliver me from this present darkness?
What is my strength? What is my will-power?
My strength is nothing. My strength is dead. My will-power is lifeless. Powerless. Eternally impotent.
What purpose can be found in my weakness? What purpose is found in Your heavy conviction?
Perhaps Your glory and my good…
O Precious Holy Spirit of Christ, Great Comforter and Teacher. Thank You for revealing this great truth: all night and morning You have been a Faithful Gardener tilling the soil of my heart. Uprooting rocky idols and killing useless thorns and thistles. My cry for help has been answered! You are not avoiding me. You are sanctifying me. You are refining me. You, – Who fully adopted me and called me to Yourself through the precious blood of Christ and have promised condemnation no more! – You are not distant. No, the opposite. You are near. Very near. Too near for me to control. Too near for me to fight. You know my tendency is to look away from Your holiness. But in Your hesed, Your faithful love, You have brought the Holy to me. You became flesh and dwelt among us. Undeserved. Unmerited. You tear down walls I build in my heart. You invade my innermost rooms. You take captive every evil deed and thought and effortlessly bring them to submission under Christ, where they are securely imprisoned in eternal chains of darkness until the day He returns to make all things new!
This morning, God, make me weaker! For when I am weak, then I am strong. Your grace is sufficient for me. Your power is perfected when my will-power is destroyed. I have been crucified in Christ. I no longer live, Christ now lives in me. I died in His death. Now I live in His resurrected life.
Christ, make me weak so that Your power may reside even more in me. Use in any way You choose, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, stress, sickness and daily concern for Your congregation to conform me into the image of Your Son, Jesus. Is this a dangerous prayer, Lord? Is it dangerous to request You do what it takes to fill my heart and life with nothing but love for You? Absolutely not! It is a far more dangerous thing is to stand before Your bench of judgement and hold as my only defense: “I am good enough.”
You know the deep places where spiritual forces wage war for my joy in Christ. You know where enemy spies want to see treason against Your atoning death and resurrection.
Tear down the citadels fueling my reluctance to surrender all things to King Jesus. Silence every voice tempting me to negotiate the terms of my citizenship within Your Kingdom.
Your word this morning has proven again to be living and effective and sharper than any blade I’ve held. Your Divine scalpel dissects my heart precisely where selfish ideas and thoughts abide. Nothing is hidden from You. Continue Your work. You are the Potter, I am the clay. Mold me that Your eternal purpose set forth in Christ Jesus might come to fruition through the gifts You’ve apportioned me. All to the glorious praise of Your grace.
I called to You for help, and You heard my cry.