[Yes, that’s what I meant to say: “to be used rightly by the word of God.”]
Your word, Lord, is alive and powerful in the ears of faith. Grant me believing ears, so that I will hear your word clearly and welcome your word warmly into my mind, my heart, and my life.
My calling is to preach your word, Lord. But I admit that I cannot preach it with any power and clarity unless I first receive it with faith and submission. The submission is often hard for me.
Sometimes, I don’t receive your word submissively but rather attempt to take it by force in order to use it for my own purposes – to impress your people with my own skill and oratory and creativity or to bend them to my own wishes rather than your good purposes. I confess it, Lord and King of my life. I sometimes turn your word into a tool to serve me and my goals. I name that rebellion and idolatry of self. Forgive me Lord, and empower me to recognize when I do that. Or maybe not so much “empower” me as “sensitize” me – make me sensitive to this sin, especially to recognize it, to turn from it, and to seek instead your better way.
Transform my approach to your word, so that I might be soft, pliable, receptive, submissive before your word. Turn me, so that I cease from imposing my will on your word. Enable me instead to surrender to your word that, by your , your word might impose your will on me.
Make me, then, a serviceable instrument for conveying your word into the lives of your people. Give them what I’ve just asked you to give me – submissive, receptive, welcoming hearts of faith.
©2013 Gary A. Chorpenning; all rights reserved.