March 9, 2020
A prayer for this stage of the Lenten journey
Ceasing and increasing
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.
I know my life is redeemed and I no longer live slave to sin. This is by your grace and saving power alone. In faith, I have believed the Gospel, been restored to fellowship with God the Father, and been set free from the dominion of sin.
I have been united with Christ in His death through my baptism and raised into a new way of life that expresses his resurrection (Romans 6). I know that my acts of obedience are not my accomplishments, but are enabled and empowered by the gift of the Holy Spirit.
I confess to you, my Lord and my God, that there are habits of thought and desires which still linger. These are the results of living in a fallen world…the world that awaits your ultimate redemption when you come again. Many times, these habits of thought and desire are not something I choose in the truest sense. They are kind of like my default responses to situations of worry, stress, uncertainty, and dismay.
Some of these things are like wounds and weaknesses, not of my will but of something much deeper. They are like wounds in my heart or weaknesses in my deepest self. They may come from things done to me by others, hurts in the past that have shaped the way I feel about life. They may come from self-protective habits that I developed to defend myself from others. They may come from a part of me I have never acknowledge to you and confessed to you, because I am just blind to my real needs. But, I know that these habits of thought and desire are not in conformity to your will and your character, O Christ my Savior.
Help me to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, who is given to me in your name. Help me yield my whole being to the examination of your searching Spirit. Give me the courage to see anything that holds me back from living in the fullness of your character. Give me the faith to believe your love is greater than my failures. Give me the grace needed to confess completely all that is in me that keeps me from living in the fullness of the freedom from the power of my own brokenness and sin.
So, today I name a specific habitual failing in my spiritual life to you. (Here, after moments of reflection, name to God a specific habitual failing or more if you need.)
Today, I ask for the courage and grace to identify what has caused this habitual failing. (Here, after some time of self-examination and remembering, see if the Holy Spirit will bring to mind a memory of someone or some thing that has hurt you or created a wound or weakness of character in you.)
Now, I confess to you that (anything the Holy Spirit has helped you identify) has been a source of habitual failing in my walk with you. I name it to you now. I cease to ignore it anymore now that you have helped me realize it. I will name it to you every day until it is healed and I am delivered from it.
Today, I choose to have my deepest soul and its hurts, its weaknesses, its blindness, its fears decrease in my own character. I choose to have Christ increase and the fruit of the Spirit be my portion.
Let me stand before the Cross and see my bleeding Savior. Let me know that You died not only for my actions and sins, but for the sins and actions committed against me. Let me increase in the healing grace and freedom that Your power and victory have won for me.