Lord, as we approach your throne this evening, we have nothing to offer. You know.
You are the maker of all the earth. You never grow weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of your understanding. You are faithful and compassionate and loving and pure. You are the perfect Father who provides all comfort, all joy, all love, all peace. All power lies in your hands. You are our deliverer. You have delivered us from the darkest pits of hell. You give us beauty for ashes. Your mercies are new each morning. You are patient. You are kind. You do not boast. You are not proud. You are LOVE. Your presence extends over all the earth.
You have no reason to accept us in graciously -- let alone listen to our pleas and fill us with the comfort we so desperately seek. Father, you know our darkest parts. You know our filthy impatience with your precious children who you love more than we could ever imagine. You have seen us in our most disgusting hours. You know our prideful thoughts, our disobedience, our idleness. You know our distrusting hearts. You know our jealousy, our bitterness, our hard-heartedness, our anxieties, our ridiculous fears. You know our unclean lips. You know that even our actions done in attempted obedience to you can be filled with impure motives. You know our desire for the approval of others and the severity of our selfishness. It's repulsive. You know when we rise and when we sleep. You know when we can't sleep. You know our every tear.
Father, you know us better than we know ourselves.
And yet, in your abundant mercy and grace, you look upon us with love.
Only you, Lord, could forgive and redeem and restore us in the way you have.
You knew that our deepest problem in life would be our own sin. And despite your deep hatred for sin, you have a love that surpasses any human conception of normalcy. Your love for us is not normal. It is supernatural. It is holy and pure and perfect and basically incomprehensible. Your deep love for us caused you to send your one and only son Jesus to this sin-ridden world. And Jesus your sacrificial love for us cost you your very life. Yet you chose to endure the hardship and the pain of the cross for us, that we might know you, that we might know your deep, abiding, perfect love for us.
You chose to die and willingly surrendered your life on the cross to set us free and make us whole and new and finally complete.
Jesus, I pray that we would grow to understand the depths of your love for us that you would have endured the most brutal, painful death that we might be restored and adopted back into your family.
Jesus, give us eyes to see our problems today in the light of the cross. We have not yet endured hardship to the point of the shedding of our blood. May we thank you for our problems. May we thank you for our pain, knowing that you are refining us and sanctifying us into your image. Lord, help us to believe that the result of suffering is joy. Thank you that you would be SO gracious and loving to discipline us. Thank you that you never give up on us. Thank you that even when we kick and scream and cry and shake our fists in the air, doubting your perfect provision, you still love us. Only you, Lord.
Thank you that you have provided, that you will provide, and that you are providing. Thank you that your presence enfolds us on every side.
Father, I pray that you would help us to fix our eyes on you. Lift our eyes from our circumstances and our feelings and onto you. Thank you that nothing can thwart your purposes. Thank you that you are faithful, God. Thank you that we can trust you implicitly. Thank you that in Christ we are made new. Thank you that we are completely new creations. Thank you that we never have to be anxious or afraid because we trust in your character. Change our hearts of stone. Help us to surrender our idols before you.
Lord, may we be men and women who desire not the affection and approval of others but men and women who rest solely in the truth that we are your sons and daughters. May we be men and women who believe your truth beyond a shadow of a doubt, who trust in you in every situation, who laugh without fear of the future.
Make us into men and women who desire your will above all else.
Lord, may we be women who find our security in you, women who believe you at your word, women who trust you implicitly and completely. May we find our identity in the fact that we are your daughters, clothed in the robes of righteousness. May we rejoice that while we were dead in our sins, you came that we might have life. May we breathe deeply in peace and seek first the kingdom. Turn our eyes away from our circumstances and toward the cross. May we be women who can't wait for heaven -- not for the absence of pain but the presence of our Savior. Lord, change us. Transform our lowly selves into individuals fashioned into your likeness. May our greatest desire be to know you, to experience you, to learn from you, to feel your love, and to love you. Lord, make me like Mary. Make me like Elisabeth. Make me like Jesus.
When we're homesick, when we're spit upon, when we feel the weight of our own sin crashing down upon us, give us your strength to lift our eyes from our circumstances to you. Help us to thank you in times of difficulty, in seasons of pain. Give us FAITH to believe that you will never leave us or foresake us. Give us faith the size of a mustard seed to face our dark sides, our painful memories, our Goliaths, and our seemingly insurmountable mountains with confidence because we trust that you who began a good work in us will carry it to completion.
Lord, you know that all of the things we seek here on earth are merely an illusion of all you have to offer us. Help us to recognize the idols in our life plainly for the false gods they are. Constantly remind us and make us aware that no matter what we seek, you alone provide the comfort, love, peace, and security for which we search.
May we fall into your arms, Father. May we be still. May we breathe and rest and find comfort and peace in the truth that we have been adopted into the family. We're a part of the party. And nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing on the earth around us or in heaven above or even the grave below can separate us from the love of Jesus. We are covered in your blood. We are protected by your mighty right hand. You are fiercely committed to us. We will not be shaken for you are beside us. Though the winds may rage and the walls may crash around us, you will sustain us. Each morning, your mercies are afresh. Your love alone satisfies.
We love you, Lord. Thank you for committing to us forever with your death on the cross.