PRAYER FOR HONEST REFLECTION
(This is taken from a challenging sermon by John Piper – given 8/5/12.)
People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. 2 Tim. 3:2-5
Form of godliness ~ Using religion without treasuring Christ
I often believe that I am further along on this journey of sanctification than I really am. I’m pondering each thing on this list to really see how much of each thing is still in me. Shine Your light in my heart, Lord. I want to be ready when You come.
Am I a lover of myself? Am I narcissistic? Often, life is all about me. Change me. Make my first thought of You, not myself.
Am I a lover of money? Often, I am captivated by beautiful things. Change me to love Your beauty far above all.
Am I arrogant? Do I have an inflated view of myself? Change me by showing me my depravity ~ to remind me how I can do nothing good without Your grace.
Am I abusive? Do I desire, even secretly to be verbally hurtful? Change me so that, by default, I leave all offenses in Your hands.
Am I disobedient? Or do I downgrade it to just ‘stubborn’? Change me so that I see my rebellious spirit as You see it.
Am I ungrateful? Do I presume upon Your kindness? Change me so that every trace of entitlement is relinquished.
Am I unholy? Am I disturbed by how different from Jesus I really am? Pave the road from mild disappointment to heartbrokenness.
Am I heartless? Am I unable to empathize? Do other’s sad stories affect me beyond shallow pity? Change me so that I resemble You, a high priest who is touched by every one of my infirmities.
Am I unappeasable? No matter how many times someone says they’re sorry, do I stubbornly think they haven’t paid enough yet for their sin? Change me so that I forgive as readily, and outrageously, as You.
Am I slanderous? Do I love to twist what others say? Change me so that I am grieved when a brother or sister is disliked? You love them and I should, too.
Am I brutal? Am I dead to all tenderness? Has life hardened me? Change me so that I am as tender and teachable as a child.
Am I reckless? Do I crave others’ admiration for taking risks and being courageous? Change me so that I acknowledge there are no risks. Just well founded faith.
Do I have just the appearance of godliness? Do I use religion so others will worship me? Change me so that I treasure Christ and think of myself last.
And in all my sinfulness, give me the joy of grace, not the self-inflicted punishment of self-condemnation. Amen