A Prayer for Marinating in Jesus’ Shame-freeing Love
Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”Heb. 2:11-13
Dear Lord Jesus, this Scripture comes today like a kiss from heaven; for I’ve thought, said, and done many things of which I am truly ashamed. I’ve been painfully shamed and I’ve shamed people I love. Shame is a pillaging thief, a venomous leach, and a marauding menace—one that robs us of dignity, freedom, and joy.
So when I hear you tell us in this text that you’re not ashamed of us—that you’re not ashamed to call me your brother, it humbles and gladdens me like nothing else.
You’re the only answer for the paralyzing power of shame, Lord Jesus. Shame has met its match in your multiplied mercies and irrepressible grace. How I praise you for doing everything necessary to deal with the ways I’ve been both an agent and a victim of sin—sin that has led to multiple layers and tentacles of shame.
And, as this text says, you’re the only one who can make us holy—the only one who can fulfill for me, and in me, all of the Father’s redeeming purposes.
In fact, I only dare cry out “Abba, Father” because you first cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Ps. 22:1). You took the fullguilt and the real shame of my sin on the cross. I really do believe this. I really want to experience it more fully.
And now you sing to us of the Father’s love. You declare his praises to my heart every time I hear the gospel, every time I gather with my brothers and sisters to worship the Triune God, every time I take the bread and cup of Holy Communion, every time I read the Scriptures, every time I listen to your voice in creation proclaiming the majesty and mercy of God.
Indeed, Jesus, you’re not ashamed of me. This is the theology I defend; make it the doxology in which I delight. So very Amen I pray, in your most compassionate and healing name.