A Prayer Against Pride

Pride is the great canopy for a galaxy of sins.

Today I am reminded once again of my pride because of the power of Your Word and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. I can truly say with David, “My sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3).

My pride calls, wants, needs, and forefends every whimper of my flesh. Lord, my fear of praying about my pride is that I cannot possibly see it in all of its ghastly horror as You see it. Confessing it is even harder because my blindness to its subtleties only allows a miniscule portion to be confessed. I hate it! I hate it! I hate it! For as I grow in my walk with You, I see it is the seedbed of everything ungodly.

Although in this life, I may never eradicate the pride of my flesh, may You say of me as you did Hezekiah, “However, Hezekiah humbled the pride of his heart” (2 Chronicles 32:26).

 Thank You for increasing my walk and reverence for You so that I may hate my pride. “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way, And the perverted mouth, I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).

 I do believe with all of my heart that “A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor” (Proverbs 29:23).

Oh my Lord, how You can love me is beyond my understanding, but I thank You that You do, and that I know it.

Praying Against Pride

I confess that my pride and self-centeredness are always lurking beneath each breath, glance, and turn of life. They are the ever-present combatants skulking in the shadows just out of sight until the attack. They seek to draw me into their dungeon of pride through both criticism and praise, poverty and prosperity, and love and hate. Thank you for humbling me and giving me a hunger for walking in humility before you, although, my failings and weaknesses, at times, envelop me as though I am but a small stem in the eye of a tsunamic torrent.

Thank You for your promise, “He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way” (Psalm 25:9). For because of you, this is my desire. “Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose” (Psalm 25:12).

Oh my precious LORD, “forgive all of my sins” (Psalm 25:18), and they are many, more sins than any one in the world it seems to me.

Help me to balance praise for how dramatically You have changed who I am and how I love while never ignoring or making light of the sinfulness I see in my heart, which immeasurably disheartens me because You are always good and deserving of infinitely more. May I prize humility in every thought and action so that honor comes to You first and then to those whom you bring to me. “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).

Thank you that you have brought me to a place in which I can clearly see how dastardly despicable and de-humanizing pride is; this vividness affords a constant reminder that fighting the domination of pride is a noble endeavor. Yet, I know this has nothing to do with my own acumen or abilities (Romans 12:16–20).

May my pride lie in defeat today more than yesterday, having been slain by the sword of the Spirit, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2). “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12). “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Peter 5:6).

 “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:2b).

A Pastor’s Prayer

Lord, I ask that I may shepherd Your flock with the same devotion that You shepherd me. May I not seek recognition, prosperity, status, or anything that detracts from being the shepherd of Your people.

May I be found faithful to feed, protect, lead, and care for them according to Your Word and not trends, visions, fears, and the ideas of man. May I not be tempted by the flesh to do those things that are pleasing to me, but only that which is pleasing to You. May I live daily knowing that the church does not exist for me but I vocationally exist for her.

May I pastor in the fullness of Your Word. If not for you oh God, I would not be able to contribute one thing to Your people, but by Your grace I will give what You give me.

“So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep” (John 21:15–17).

A Simple Prayer to be a Faithful Follower of Christ

Lord, let me never see myself as anything more than a follower of You, and never let me lean on the flesh, what others might or can do. May I never seek to be anything more than a follower. Please allow me to quickly see when I am seeking to lead myself, and as quickly step in line behind You. I pray for a decreasing fear of what may come in following You by a greater understanding of Your majesty, wonder, and incomprehensible nature and work.

I know that being a follower of You is the greatest blessing, calling, and endeavor that a human can be allowed the privilege of receiving, and I am grateful every day for that blessing of blessings.

May all of my errors, failings, mistakes, misjudgments be not from willful rebellion against You, out of a desire to promote me, but rather may they only flow out of a sincere misunderstanding of You. May they be failings of a pure heart on a quest for You.

Jesus’s call is simply “follow me” (Matt 4:19; 8:22; 9:9).

Betrayal

Serving in the work of our Lord Jesus provides ample opportunity for turning a servant’s heart into a cynic’s heart. An act of betrayal can hurt so deeply, disappoint so significantly, and rupture faith so cunningly that we can find ourselves moved a step or two away from the servant’s heart and closer to the cynic’s heart.

We may still serve others, but now with less passion, or we may even move to a fuller blown cynicism in which the foremost thought in serving others is protecting ourselves from the pain of betrayal.

Betrayal can only happen in such a poignant fashion by someone we love, and to whom we have unguardedly given ourselves. To guard against even the possibility of being betrayed again is to become only a shadow of the servant we once were. Whereas, we can rightly guard against cynicism by keeping our eyes upon our Lord Jesus, desiring to experience him in every way, and praying for his protection (Matt 6:13; Phil 3:10).

We may pray, let not my heart be guided by the wound of betrayal, and guard me from using prayer to heal my wounds by wounding others. Let me bear the pain of betrayal as my Lord Jesus did, and by doing so reflect his love to others and grow to love him more. May I rejoice that by his grace I am not the betrayer;  may I learn more of my Lord from the anguish of betrayal.

“Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.” (Psalm 41:9).

Thanksgiving to God for Making us a Dad

Thank You for this blessing beyond the beyond. In this You have enabled me to grow deeper in my understanding of You as my Father, though, I make no comparison of quality, only of enlightenment. It has truly enriched my understanding of sacrificial love, devotion, caring, sadness, and joy that a child can bring.

It makes me weep for the sadness I bring to You when I act spoiled and ungrateful or untrusting. It makes me ever so grateful when I follow and grow, albeit by grace and grace alone, knowing this pleases You. Because you have graciously made me a father, You have allowed me to experience with my own children the majesty of what it feels like when they honor me, as well as the grief when they do not; thus, heightening my desire to please You.

You have allowed me the sadness of parenting to remind me of my frailness as well as theirs, and our constant need of Your grace. You have allowed me to give and receive love to help me grow in appreciation of Your love; although, it is unfathomable in all of its fullness.

May my fathering reflect you so that my children love and follow you more than they do me. Thank you my heavenly Father for granting me the honor of being an earthly father to my children.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

A Prayer for Faith over Fear

I pray that You would grant me faith above my fear, and that my fear, no matter how dreadful, daunting, and hellish in velocity, would never cause me to shun the walk of faith. May my heart be willing to die where I am, lose all earthly possessions, be laughed at without mercy, and be capsized in the torrents of fear’s rage rather than to turn my back on the walk of faith.

May my physical and emotional traumas and ailments from the walk of faith through the lion’s den of fear be scars of faithfulness and not failure. Though my fear cause me trembling, may my fear not be allowed to displease You as I traverse the deep waters of depression, disillusionment, or human wisdom on my journey to Your chosen destiny. The things which kindle fear within me are ever so minor in light of Thy greatness as are the trials of some of my brothers and sisters in the faith, which serve as a humbling reminder of my weak faith. Grant that my weakness would display Thy strength and mercy.

Guide me through the maze of discerning the difference between faith and presumption, and may I fearlessly shun presumption, with its roots and nourishment drawn from the cisterns of pride and hell. May I rather dwell in Thy chosen place of humility.

My dear wonderful and holy Lord, my eyes are blinded in the clouds of bedevilment which hide from me even my next step. May it forever be so that in You and You alone I trust to keep me on the path you have chosen. “For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:2).

A Prayer for a Heart of Evangelism

May I see the lost as You do and sacrifice as You do and mourn as You do. May I live so they may see You and not me. May my speech be your words. May I serve you with a daily burden for people who do not know the wonder of You and your salvation. Oh God, by your power and grace may we see untold numbers broken over sinning against You and drawn into Your presence with mourning over their sin and joy over Your grace.

I pray my lack of evangelism will decrease with every passing day, that my selfish, shortsighted flesh will be subdued. I look to the cross and see what it means to crucify the flesh, yet all too often I feed the flesh.

My Father, with wonder beyond words, holiness that I can feel when I pray, and power that the ages testify to, please forgive me for all too often loving things that are not the passion of the cross.

Thank you for permitting me to play even the smallest part in someone experiencing salvation by faith in my Lord Jesus Christ.

A Prayer of Contentment

May I hear all reports of what you do through others to advance the kingdom with a grateful heart. May I be predisposed to see Your mighty works and rejoice, and only be inclined toward doubting because of heresy and sin. Oh God, let me not be critical because You have not chosen to so use me; even if you have chosen to leave me in the hollows of obscurity as long as You are with me. Let me rejoice when righteousness advances according to Your power.

My loving Father, forgive me when I run to self pity and flee from thankfulness. Thank You for speaking from Your Word to jostle me from my pride so that I may walk with You anew. Each time I am saddened by my plight, feel underappreciated, or that my cross is too much for me to bear, I am but shortly, awakened by your grace to the peace that I have with You; I am rescued by my joy and gratefulness for even my next breath, much less the superabundance that I really have from Your mercy. Thank You for not allowing me to live in such a sinful state, and may my visits there become shorter and less frequent as I learn of You.

May I cherish Your withholding of blessings that expose my sinfulness. May I see the lust of my heart as the evil tyrant it is and flee to the rule of my Savior. May I do so more quickly today than yesterday. When I look to my thoughts of what I need, need to do, or future uncertainties I find  worry and anxiety, but when I trust in You, I find peace and fullness. May every anxious or discontent thought sound the trumpet of sin in my life, my own self-reliance, and be quickly banished by repentance and reliance on You.

Prayer of Forgiveness and Repentance

Oh God, forgive me of thoughts so vile, and yet to You infinitely more so. Forgive me of even the slightest thoughts, aspirations, delights, or passions that do not have Your glory as preeminent. Expose my pride so that I will be ever mindful of my frailty, which makes me vulnerable to cast away everything that means anything in a weak second. I repent of selfishness, self-centeredness that would seek for me to justify that which You want me to repent of. Forgive me.

Thank You for grace a billion times unmerited, for protection from me, my greatest enemy, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit and Your Word, which You so lavishly bestow upon me. May I never lose the wonder and praise for Your conviction in me. Lord I repent today, and I pray, although in no way do I deserve it, that You will continue to convict me and call me to repent. I pray I will run to repentance and not from it so that I might not sin even more against You, or in some way show that I do not treasure grace. There is no doubt in my mind that I am the most evil, vile, sinful human being that You ever loved. Thank You for grace, mercy, patience unmerited, and of untold supply.

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8–10).