O Infinitely Passionate Father,
You have created me with the capacity for deep affections — to love, to loathe, to desire, to delight, to excite, to grieve, to laugh, to enjoy, to fear, to be depressed, to be thankful. And you made me this way that I may glorify you by finding you my Supreme Satisfaction and the Fountain of everything delightful.
But I confess that my affections for you are often grievously tepid while my selfish interests steam.
- I am bold to defend my own honor and reputation and often timid to defend yours.
- I am quick to satisfy my bodily appetites and often slow to feed my soul with the Bread of Life.
- I squander moments devoted to communing with you while carefully protecting moments devoted to banal entertainment.
- I am distracted from speaking with you by books that need straightening, email that needs answering, and a bald spot in the yard that needs seeding.
I am easily and foolishly concerned with worldly success and prosperity while languid and unmoved about the greater things of another world!
And I know that my errant affections are most offensive to you when I hear of the infinite height, depth, and length, and breadth of your love for me in Christ Jesus,
- Of your giving your infinitely dear Son to be offered up a sacrifice for my sins,
- Of the unparalleled love of the innocent, holy, and tender Lamb of God, manifested in his dying agonies, bloody sweat, loud and bitter cries, and bleeding heart,
- And all this to redeem an enemy like me from deserved, eternal burnings, and give to me unspeakable and everlasting joy and glory,
- And my response is cool, lethargic, and indifferent.
O gracious Father, thank you that your Son’s great sacrifice is so great and so sufficient that it pays even for such sins of erroneous affections!
But, my affectionate Father, I am humbled to the dust that I am not more affected at what affects you! I repent of being “slothful in zeal”! No more, Father! Make me boil in spirit as I serve you (Romans 12:11)! To be moved by your glorious gospel and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4) is why you gave me affections! Nothing in earth or heaven is greater or more important.
Today, I take to heart your Son’s warning: “Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm… I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15–16). Merciful Father, make me hot! Whatever it takes, whatever it costs me, give me the Spirit-salve for my heart-eyes (Revelation 3:18) so that I may see what is Real, believe what is True, treasure what is Valuable, and forsake what is worthless.
In the name of Jesus, your glorious Son, the Pearl of Great Price, amen.
This prayer was inspired by and adapted from a portion of Jonathan Edwards’s book, Religious Affections (the last three paragraphs of Part 1).
Prayer for a Lukewarm Heart April 28, 2012
Fighting for Faith April 25, 2012
I read this blog post today and was greatly encouraged and challenged. How many “little” things threaten to steal my joy, and I grumble and complain and worry and fret and totally lost sight of the big picture – sleepless children, interruptions of my agenda, sibling conflicts, spilled milk, sickness, hurting friends,…..
Gloria Furman writes:
Jesus is able to comfort us in the grief we experience when we catch a whiff of death.
Jesus is our sovereign joy in the midst of the weakness we feel when we’re called to serve beyond our strength.
Jesus is with those who are being persecuted for their faith.
And Jesus forces stuff like microscopic staph infections to submit to his glory and his good purposes in our lives.
The God who is with my sister-in-law in her grief is with our Christian brother in his jail cell. The God who gives us strength to serve others when we’re feeling our weakest is working to bolster our faith through the millions of little things that vex us.
The fight of faith is waged in the context of this physical world—death, persecution, discouragement, and disease. That’s why I love this earthy yet ethereal description of the way God helps his children:
“There is none like God, O Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help, through the skies in his majesty” (Deut. 33:26).
Yet in all of these earthly circumstances, our wrestling is not primarily against flesh and blood. Paul reminds us that our warfare is spiritual and that Jesus dealt the death blow to Satan when he died on the cross.
Jesus gives hope to those who are sleep-deprived for whatever reason.
When we place our faith in Jesus who died on the cross for our sin– in our place– then we will never be deprived of the all-satisfying God who rides through the heavens to our help. Because of the cross we can have the Lord as our portion every morning and forever.
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 31:24).
What a powerful reminder of the hope that Christ gives us in His gospel!
True Comfort April 5, 2012
What is your only comfort in life and in death?
That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.
Parental Amnesia April 3, 2012
Gloria Furman writes about how we as parents, and especially as moms, easily suffer from parental amnesia. What is parental amnesia? She points out two main areas it manifests itself:
- First, we forget that, Lord-willing, our children will grow up to be adults.
- Second, we forget that our children are more than just potential adults. They are people made in God’s image and they have eternal souls.
She says, “When the mundane looms larger than eternal life we forget who God is, who we are, and who our children are.” How sadly true. And how easily the mundane can loom larger without our gracious God intervening and giving us an eternal, heavenly perspective!
Another quote: “By God’s grace I can resist the temptation to treat my children as interruptions to my will for my life. Instead, God enables me to treat them as precious gifts he is using to shape me into his image according to his will for my life.”
How I need Him to step into my “world” and redeem it for His glory!
Raising Brothers March 21, 2012
After all of the posts about raising girls, here is a good one my husband brought to my attention about raising boys. It especially deals with raising brothers and is very thought-provoking.
Forgiveness for Moms Who Fail March 19, 2012
This was an encouragement to me this morning:
In my twenty-five years of pastoral ministry, I don’t think I have met a mom, including a preschool mom, who feels like she has done a good enough job. Most mothers labor under the weight of guilt—of frustrated ideals, imperfect performance, and deficient production. The laundry remains undone; story books unread, and tempers flare. . . .
Planning Around the Church March 17, 2012
While our family obviously has an “easier” time being centered around the church in many ways (since my husband is a pastor), really the church should be the center of all Christians’ lives. Whether considering where to live, how to spend your time, how to commit your finances,….Christ’s church, for whom He left heaven,lived on earth, died and rose again should be the hub. Here is a great post examining these thoughts.