A Prayer for Healing from Grace Allergies
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” John 4:7-10
Dear Lord Jesus, you spoke these inviting words of hope to a very broken woman, trying her very best to keep her distance from you. She’d been on a quest to find life in the arms of men—many men, and it obviously wasn’t working for her very well. The more she tried to evade your gaze, the more you simply applied your grace. She ran; you pursued. She danced around; you stopped the music. I praise you for coming to seek and save the lost, and not just broadcast an offer from the distance.
Though the details of my story are different from this nameless Samaritan woman, the same foolish strategy is there: Playing games with you—like hide-and-seek, only I do all the hiding and you do all the seeking. I wish this tendency was completely in my past; but I still default to this fear-based, grace-robbing pattern when I forget the gospel.
Jesus, deliver me, and others like me, from our grace allergies—living with any degree of suspicion or aversion to the gospel. Why we choose broken cisterns, dumb idols, and self-help over your love is sheer madness. Grace is for sinners, not for pretenders, posers, and performers. You intend to heal us, not harm us; embrace us, not embarrass us; succor us with compassion, not shame us with contempt.
So, Jesus, once again I bring real thirst to you today. I bring my penchant to avoid you. I bring my allergic reactions to the gospel. I bring my excuse making and unbelief, my pride and my self-righteousness. I bring that part of me that would rather help others discover your grace than partake of it for myself.
I ask you for a fresh imbibing of living water, sufficient for the needs of my heart and the demands of this day. May this be a twenty-four-hour period in which I spontaneously join the chorus of many others who are singing, “Come see the man who told me everything I ever did, and he still loves me and is heaven-bent on freeing me. Certainly, this must be the Messiah, the Savior, the Lord.” So very Amen I pray, in your pursuing and all-satisfying name.