Oh Lord please, I beseech you, guard my heart, and mind. Guard them from pondering ingratitude, betrayals, arrogant religious talk, and others’ self-righteousness lest I become what you loathe. For to ponder such can only lead to dying from within as the root of bitterness’s fecundity produces growth that chokes the Word in my life and makes repentance seem so distant and hard, producing ungodly talk and self-defense.
Please dear Lord, let my thoughts be spent not upon such that leads to bitterness. Rather may my meditations hover in the rays of your grace and love, which leads to praising you and walking with you. May bitterness be overcome with blessing and anger with thanksgiving. May hurts from others be subdued by my contemplation upon your undeserved goodness to me each and every day.
I pray the very same for those whom I hurt through my own thoughtlessness and insensitivity. Grant them not to be tempted by my failures, but only by your grace drawn more closely to you.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31).
“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15).
May I honor You with gratefulness and reject every sinful prompting to chronicle my “woes” as long as the world stands.
Lord I pray to be convicted when I complain about a lack of ice while there are children who die daily because of contaminated water. Teach me the godly discipline of silence before I complain of inconveniences when children’s parents are taken from them in war. Forgive me of my prideful, arrogant, and bovaristic complaining; moreover, may I walk in the Spirit so as not to grumble of being overfull because of abundance while children whom You love starve.
I pray on this day that I will never overeat again, while children want for food, so that I may not sin against You in gluttony, self-centeredness, and pride.
May my diet be spiritual before physical, and may I eat with thanksgiving until I am not hungry rather than to a state of overindulgence because it is there. May I do this so long as there are little children whose stomachs hurt because of hunger and parasites from unsanitary conditions.
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25)
Lord, let me touch the things around me, but not cling to them. Let me hold things necessary for physical life, but not own them. Let me have You as the only end and the end to every thought and endeavor.
Lord let my joy be divine, coming from You, and be experienced in communion with You. Lord may my life be Your tool, my will be Your will, my desires have You as the always end.
Oh my Lord, You are my master, object of praise and devotion, and You are my friend; You have never turned Your face from me, though I from You, and You have protected me from myself more times than I can count.
Thank You, in my words, from my heart, and may You see it in my life.
May I be the husband of the Scripture. I know all too well that these are tritely impious words if I shun death. For I shall never love as Christ loved me, nurture as Christ has nurtured me, protect as Christ has protected me, or bless and edify as Christ has edified me unless I die to self. But oh my Lord Jesus, dying is so dreadfully painful and difficult because my flesh is so brutally enthralled with the sensate stimuli of this world.
For my flesh passionately desires to be served, recognized, encouraged, extolled, catered to, agreed with, and know the future is secure, and therefore opposes with a hellish ferocity even the very mention of death. Although I surrender to die to self and make no place for the deeds of the flesh (Galatians 5:19), it is a daily and at times moment-by-moment battle, for the flesh vigorously and rigorously wills to live, and so my flesh and spirit are in constant war (Galatians 5:17).
With bemoaning so deep in my being that I dare not, yea even cannot utter it, I have often been startled as one stormed in the still of night with the truth, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38).
May I be meek, not weak and not relish in ingratitude.
For I must not merely be willing to die, I must choose death, pursue death, and will to being devoured by death so that Christ may live through me so that “I may know the power of the resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings” (Philippians 4:10).