There is a good, better, best pattern to the Christian life. To be in Christ is good. To be with Christ is better, better by far. But even for those who are with Christ now, the best is yet to be. I want to encourage you as we look together at what the Bible...
Have you been wrongfully blamed? Or have you been misunderstood for your intentions? Pray with me:
1. You see me.
God, thank you for seeing me. I know that you are always right, true, and just. You see me, and you see when my heart is loving you through what I say or do.
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)
2. Your judgments are true.
Thank you that when human judgments are lacking, your judgments are flawlessly true—I long for your standards to reign on this earth, down to every minutia.
Will not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Genesis 18:25)
3. You sought me.
Father, I know that you sought me while a sinner and have worked through me even while I still have sin in my heart—what grace through Christ! Help this truth spur me toward wanting to give grace to others.
As a prisoner in the Lord, then, I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling you have received: with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love… (Ephesians 4:1-2)
4. Make me content.
God, who can know your mind? Please don’t let me expect that you want to use me as a teacher in someone else’s life, as if I know the plans you have ordained for another’s growth and benefit. I am content to play whatever part in others’ lives you want me to play.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
5. Motivate me rightly.
Father, I beg that you would keep my heart from self-centeredness; I pray that your Word, truth, reputation, love, and gospel would motivate me. May my foremost concern be you.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you. (Romans 12:3)
6. Help me trust your good work.
God, you have done good work in me; don’t let me believe that you have not truly been present in my life—my mind, will, and heart—for righteousness. Don’t let me ever discount you.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
7. I confess my deceitful heart.
Father, I confess that my own heart evades me. I acknowledge and sorrowfully confess that to ever objectively state my complete innocence, holiness, purity, or righteousness in any given moment of life would be impossible for me to do.
If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1 1:10)
8. Thank you for Jesus, the spotless Lamb.
All the more, I worship you, God, that Christ was spotless.
…but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Peter 1:19)
9. Humble me when you use me.
God, if I have been faithful in how I have acted or spoken before you, let it be in care for others. If I have ultimately taught and helped another through speaking or acting in truth, let me be glad never to receive the credit for being the teacher.
We are glad whenever we are weak, but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection. (2 Corinthians 13:9)
10. Fill me with your love, always.
Father, help me remember that even if I had all possible faithfulness in knowledge of the truth, I would always need, included in this, driving love for my brothers and sisters in order to possibly please you.
…and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2)
11. Fill me with praise for what you’re doing in others.
God, please help me to be as full of praise to you for the full forgiveness you give to my brothers and sisters as I am for my own salvation.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… (1 Peter 1:3)
12. Fill me with sorrow over other people’s sin.
Father, help me to have compassionate sorrow for the sin of others, praying as a true partner against it alongside them, regardless of how I have felt or been affected.
Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? (2 Corinthians 11:29)
13. Give me joy in you alone.
Lord, please don’t let me be fooled into thinking there are perfect circumstances “out there” for me to find. Instead, remind me that abiding joy is found in fellowship with you and in knowing that I have done your will.
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:10-11)
14. Help me find security and freedom in you alone.
God, I trust you to keep me secure and free—for you are my strength and shield.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. (Psalm 28:7)
15. Thank you for covering my sin.
God, I thank you for not counting my sins against me, but for paying for every single one. You have made me overflow with gladness and praise.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (Psalm 32:1)
I praise you, Father, for your unfailing grace and truth for my soul through Christ.