Prayer Note #57 — Relying on God vs. Presuming upon God: A Prayer

Wheeling Suspension Bridge, Wheeling, WV; photo by GAC

I am utterly and in every way dependent on your mercy and grace.  My life my salvation, my well-being all of it hangs by the thread of your merciful, kind, gracious disposition toward me.  Your love and desire for my well-being is the only bulwark for me against catastrophe of every sort in my life.  Nothing I could attempt to do would strengthen my position or secure it more than it is now.  I can only trust to your intent to do me good in Christ.

I face two real dangers.  On is the temptation, provoked by fear and a hidden arrogance, to  attempt to strengthen my position with you on the basis of my own efforts, a temptation to believe that I can in some way find some more comfortable security in place of you, a security that is somehow stronger than your love.  Every time my fears, dreads, anxieties rise up, they push me toward an idolatry that looks for some more tangible security than you, especially one that I can control.

Yet, I know that there is no greater safeguard of my well-being than your mercy and love, Father. I can add nothing to that.  It is well, right, and best for me, if I will simply rest in you and follow your leading.  Lead me in the way of holiness and healing.

The other great danger is the temptation for me to presume upon your grace and mercy.  This, I confess, I have done for many years.  I have presumed upon you to overlook my dreadful and repeated sins.  I have thought of how you have used wretched sinners in the past despite their wretched sinfulness, and I have given myself false comfort to knowingly persist in my sin.

Frosty Rock near a Waterfall; photo by GAC

You have beyond all reason persisted in your grace toward me, but now I know my presumptuousness, and I am appalled by it.  I tremble in my soul to see it and to see the shocking hardness of my seared and scorched heart.  To depend on your mercy and love is softness in me and glory to your name.  To presume upon your mercy and love is a vile, flinty, hardened affront to your honor and goodness.  I shudder to see it in myself.  I fall before you unnerved and speechless.

Plow my soul, my heart, my whole being.  Turn up the hard, pounded, impervious ground of my heart, my soul.  Break it up.  Loosen the soil of my heart and soften it.  Plant and water it.  Bear the fruit of your mercy and grace in me.  All is of you.  Nothing is of me.  Lead me in the way that brings glory to you and to me peace and joy and rest in the rest in the shelter of your goodness.

©2018 Gary A. Chorpenning; all rights reserved.

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