A Prayer for Repenting of a Privatized Gospel and Selfishness
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Rom. 8:29-30
Dear heavenly Father, one of the many things you’re convicting me about during Lent is the big family into which you’ve placed me. In the gospel, none of us is an only child. Though I came from the womb a selfish man, was raised in a culture of individualism, and am an introvert by temperament and often a loner by choice, nevertheless, you’ve made me for rich relationship and engaged community.
I’m seeing this everywhere in the Scriptures, but especially in the plural pronouns. The “we’s” outnumber the “I’s,” and the “our’s” outnumber the “my’s” about ten to one.
I praise you that the gospel is powerful enough to make a concave heart convex. I know of no other power which can free me for knowing and being known by others, and for actually thinking more of others than I think of myself (Phil. 2:1-11). It’s not how much I know, but how well I love that marks me as a follower of Jesus (Jn. 13:34-35).
Indeed, there are no ordinary people or unnecessary people in the body of Christ. There are no big people or little people in your family. We’re all the right size. Not one of us is more justified than the other or more precious in your sight. We’ll all be equally glorified when Jesus comes back—each one of us will be just as lovely and loving as our Savior.
Forgive me when my attitude and actions contradict these grand affirmations. Forgive me when I give more credence to my Myers-Briggs profile than my identity in Christ in explaining my relational style. Forgive me for privatizing my relationship with Christ—for giving credence to the charge of individualism. By your grace, enlarge my heart. May I be more intrigued with others and less irritated—more present and less ready to get into my own space.
Father, one day we will gather as your completed family in the New Jerusalem as sons and daughters from every race, tribe, language, and people group, eternally diverse and perfectly united. As we will love then, enable us to love in small yet observable ways now—one family, many children, all to your glory. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ loving and unifying name.