Prayer: The Joy of Becoming Less

Forwarded by a friend – some excellent words:

“Dear Jesus, I am not sure about a wardrobe of camel’s hair clothing and a diet of locuts and wild honey (Matthew 3.4), but I am sure I want more of John the Baptist’s joy – the joy of you becoming greater while I become less. Indeed, John leaped for joy at the very thought of you even before he was born (Luke 1.39-41). Could you, would you do the same in my heart?

Jesus, when I try to imagine this kind of joy and freedom, I get really excited…and a bit quiet. What would it be like to have a joy largely defined by people making much about you – so much, in fact, that I wouldn’t really notice them not making much about me? That would bring greater freedom from the insecurities of my pride and from my desire for the approval of others.

Jesus, what would it be like to want your name to be loved and vindicated a zillion times over mine? What would it be like to wait and listen for your voice a whole lot more than impatiently clamoring for my voice to be heard? That would bring more freedom from my need to be understood and to be in control of my reputation.

Jesus, what would would it be like to experience greater grief when people don’t “get” you than when they don’t “get” me? What would it be like to say with John, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven” (John 3.27) and really, really mean it – to accept the giving and the taking away in life equally as sovereign appointments from your throne of grace? That would bring freedom to love and serve you no matter what.

Jesus, most kind and beautiful bridegroom, bring more of this joy and freedom to my expectant heart. I pray in your priceless and peerless name.

Amen”

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What a humbling prayer! Oh, that I would speak that way to my Bridgegroom!

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