Dear God, sometimes I forget to just spend some time with you. I was sitting here this morning trying to think of what scripture/song/image/story to use as a starting point for my journal and then I thought, “What if you just talk to God without any of that stuff?” Hmm. Interesting concept.
Of course, there are concerns on my heart, but I don’t want to start this prayer there. I want to start by simply saying that I trust you. And when I don’t trust you, I really intend to trust you. I have said this many times before, but I’m like that father asking you to heal his son: “I believe. Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) Father, I trust you. Help my distrust. Help me to accept the fact that you are doing things I cannot see and that your plans are good. When I am disappointed that my prayers are seemingly going unanswered, help me to let go of what I think the answers should be.
I’d also like to say that I’m sorry for my hubris. I’m sorry that I think too much of myself and what I have to offer you. I’m sorry for sinning. I’m sorry for coveting, lying, lusting, and lethargy. I’m sorry that sometimes I feel sorry for myself. I’m sorry that, even for brief moments in my heart, I complain to you. I’m sorry that I don’t always bring my burdens to you, but try to solve things on my own. I’m sorry for judging others instead of trying to see them with your eyes and loving them. I’m sorry for being downright selfish. Thank you for making a bridge for me to reach you through all of my pain and using that bridge to make me a better man.
In talking about trusting you and complaining about my circumstance, I’m reminded of your words to Job in Job 38 when you say:
It’s funny, but after praying all of that about trust and repentance
“Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? “Who kept the sea inside its boundaries as it burst from the womb, and as I clothed it with clouds and wrapped it in thick darkness? For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores. I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves must stop!’ “Have you ever commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east? Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth, to bring an end to the night’s wickedness? As the light approaches, the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal; it is robed in brilliant colors. The light disturbs the wicked and stops the arm that is raised in violence. “Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you explored their depths? Do you know where the gates of death are located? Have you seen the gates of utter gloom? Do you realize the extent of the earth? Tell me about it if you know! “Where does light come from, and where does darkness go? Can you take each to its home? Do you know how to get there? But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!
Oh, how I hope you never have to speak that way to me (again). I know you’ve had cause to in the past because I have grumbled against you. I am truly sorry.
It’s interesting how starting a prayer talking about trusting you regardless of my situation and repenting changes the rest of the prayer. Yes, I have a list of supplications I’d like to bring to you, but they seem wrong now. I have children, nieces and nephews, siblings, and parents on my heart. I have work. I have friends. All of these things are on my heart. Some of them are tragic and some are in life-threatening situations. But in the grand scheme of your sovereignty and your plan, the prayers for solving these various issues seem wrong. No, what I want to pray for is that you will bring all of us into perfect relationship with you, and that you will make any pain that is being suffered by someone count. Don’t let it return void, but use it for your glory.
Father, that is my prayer today. It’s largely the Lord’s Prayer. My Father in Heaven. Hallowed be your name. May your kingdom come and will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give me this day my daily bread, and forgive me of my sins as I forgive those that sin against me. And lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours forever and ever.
It is in Jesus’s name and the power of what he did that I dare to approach you and pray,