I’m a selfish person, self-centered, self-conscious, self-grandizing, self-loathing, self-satisfied, self, self, self, and to make matters worse (and I’m quoting my sister-in-law Marian here), “wherever I go I take me with me.” It’s a heavy load, a daunting task, a very self-serving enterprise. Paul Tripp says from the day of birth all of us fight for the “Kingdom of One.” I certainly do…I saw the tail end of The Bachelor the other night – he certainly does (oh my gosh – stay away from that guy!). It’s part of the human condition.
So, Cas (or you whoever you may be), how’s that working for you? Hmm. Not so well.
In an effort to allow Jesus His rightful place as King in my life, I recently began praying a simple prayer. I borrowed a few ideas from Richard Foster’s book, Prayer (great read for those of you inclined to the spiritual disciplines). I began starting my days (most of the time anyway) with:
A prayer of emptying – Philippians 2:1-9. I walk through the passage in my mind, or read it from my Bible, and pray through each verse according to the day’s anticipated events. “Consider others as more important than yourself.” Hmmm, that one gets me every time.
Then, a prayer of surrender. I, pry, open my hands and lay the day’s stuff at His feet. Sometimes it’s feelings, other days (like today) it’s jealousy and comparison. “Present your body a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God…” (Romans 12:1).
Followed by a prayer of release. All of the tasks I hope to accomplish, the conversations I’ve had or need to engage in, the money I hope to acquire or spend or save, whatever it is and say to the Lord Jesus, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”
Finally, a prayer of hope. I ask Him to show me the Gospel – hope, resurrection and life, redemption, Him, throughout the day. “Help me hear Your voice, and listen. Enable me to see You in the midst of the ho-hum, the maddening, the inconveniences, exhaustion, traffic.
He’s helping me remember He is God and I am not.