A Prayer for Responding to Jesus’ Pursuit of Our Hearts

     Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.  Rev. 3:19-20

     Dear Lord Jesus, every day we have the privilege of living the hymn “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” for you love us tenaciously and you pursue us constantly. That you desire fellowship with us is one thing; but that you actually enjoy being with us is hard to imagine. We believe; help our unbelief.

     In the gospel we enjoy eternal union with you, for God has hidden our lives in you. But for various reasons, we tend to flow in and out of vital communion with you. All of our excuses are lame—busyness, the demands of ministry, a lack of sleep, not wanting to live under the “law of quiet times,” parenting pressures, work schedules, and etc.

     The sad thing is, sometimes we don’t recognize our heart drift for a quite a while—days, even months. It’s usually the people around us who first recognize our being out of communion with you, for rich fellowship with you changes the way we relate to everyone.

     Lord Jesus, there’s no greater rebuke than to hear you knock on the door of our hearts, yet that knock actually comes like a kiss—a Bridegroom wooing his beloved bride. It’s …

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A Prayer for Being with Jesus

 

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

Dear Lord Jesus, this simple story corrals my wandering heart this morning. Two unschooled, ordinary fishermen—Peter and John, were radically changed because of spending time with you. Their boldness was birthed from your beauty. They splashed grace wherever they went because of the grace you poured into their lives.

Oh, to be a man about whom others would be inclined to say, “He’s obviously been with Jesus. What else could explain his merciful heart for the broken, his courage in the face of injustice, and his calm in the presence of chaos?”

“What other motivation is there for loving so boldly, forgiving so quickly, and sharing so generously? What else could account for his patience when provoked, his loud laugh and his ready tears, the way he treats his wife and looks a stranger in the eye? Yeah, he’s been with Jesus, all right, because that’s not the same guy we remember from a while back.”

Lord Jesus, doing noble things for you is not the same thing as spending life-giving time with you. Thinking great thoughts about you is not the same thing as vital communion with you. Helping others understand the gospel is not the same thing as drinking presently and deeply from the wellspring of grace for myself. Refresh my communion with yourself, Lord Jesus. Renew my joy; get me back on the dance floor of Abba’s mercies; fill and overflow my heart with your lovingkindness.

Who or what do I have in heaven but …

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A Prayer in Praise of Jesus’ Persistent, Pursuing Love

     Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Rev. 3:19-20

Dear Lord Jesus, because the gospel is true, every day is an experience of living the hymn “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” for you love us tenaciously and you pursue us constantly. As hard as it is to imagine, you desire fellowship with us more than we do with you. It’s even harder to imagine that you actually enjoy being with us—that you constantly delight in us. We believe, Lord, help our unbelief.

In the gospel we enjoy an eternal unbreakable union with you; but for various reasons, we tend to flow in and out of vital communion with you. The sad thing is, sometimes we don’t recognize our heart drift for a quite a while—days, even months. It’s usually the people around us who first recognize our being out of fellowship with you; for being with you changes the way we relate to everyone in our web of relationships.

Jesus, that’s why there’s no greater rebuke than to hear you knock on the door of our hearts; yet, at the same time, that knock comes as an expression of great love—like a kiss. Indeed, nothing is more convicting than to hear your voice on the other side of that …

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A Prayer for Feasting and Fellowshipping with Jesus

A Prayer for Feasting and Fellowshipping with Jesus

Levi [Matthew] held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:29-32

Dear Lord Jesus, I can’t read this story without fueling my longing for the banquet of all banquets—the Day when you will gather your entire Bride, rejoicing over us with singing, and bring to completion the great salvation you have begun in us. Hasten that glad Day of consummate healing, freedom and joy!

Who will sit and be served by you at the wedding feast of the Lamb? A most unlikely bunch. Only those who’ve been saved by grace alone through faith alone; only tax collectors and “sinners,” and Pharisees and teachers of the law who’ve been clothed in the wedding garments of your righteousness; only those with childlike faith and a God-given perfection.

Lord Jesus, I praise you for making me a part of your broken-yet-beloved bride; for calling me, healing me, saving me. I have no problem acknowledging my sickness and receiving your remedy. There, there’s no greater friend of sinners than you. Thank you for eating and drinking, reclining and dining, …

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A Prayer for Being with Jesus

     Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13
     As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Psalm 42:1-2

     Dear Lord Jesus, this simple story confronts and corrals my wandering heart this morning. Two unschooled, ordinary fishermen, Peter and John, were radically changed because “these men had been with Jesus”—with you, the same Lord who lives in my heart and rules all things from heaven.
     O, to be a man about whom others would be inclined to say, “He’s obviously been with Jesus. What else could explain his merciful heart for the broken, his courage in the face of injustice, and his calm in the presence of chaos? What other motivation and reason would he have for loving so boldly, forgiving so quickly, and sharing so generously? What else could account for his patience when provoked, his loud laugh and his ready tears, the way he treats his wife and looks a stranger in the eye?”
     How well I know, Lord Jesus, that doing noble things for you is not the same thing as spending life-giving time with you. Thinking great thoughts about you is not the same thing as vital communion with you. Helping others …

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A Prayer Praising Jesus for His Tenacious, Meddling Love

     Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Rev. 3:19-20

     Dear Lord Jesus, every day we have the privilege of living the hymn “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” for you love us tenaciously and you pursue us constantly. As hard as it is to imagine, you desire fellowship with us, and not occasionally but continually. It’s even harder to imagine that you actually enjoy being with us. We believe; help our unbelief.
     In the gospel, we already enjoy perfect and eternal union with you; but for various reasons, we tend to flow in and out of rich communion with you—as individuals and whole church families. The sad thing is, sometimes we don’t recognize our heart drift for a quite a while—days, even months. It’s usually the people around us who first recognize our heart drift, for rich fellowship with you changes the way we relate to everyone.
     But no one cares about our cooling affections and wandering hearts more than you and you will not leave us alone. Hallelujah, you simply will not leave us alone. You redemptively “mess with us,” and we are so very thankful.
     Jesus, there’s no greater rebuke than to hear you knock on the door of our hearts, yet that …

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A Prayer about Thirsty Panting for Jesus

     As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Psalm 42:1-2

     Loving Jesus, there’s no craving more demanding than thirst. It’s neither patient nor polite. When we get even a little dehydrated, we’re usually quick to slake thirst’s unrelenting demand, one way or another. Thirst will not be denied.

     Because this is true, we join the Psalmist in crying out, “Jesus, intensify our thirst for you. Create within us an unremitting longing for rich communion with you. Keep us panting like the deer which pants after streams of water—the unpolluted, undistilled, never-ending brooks of your bounty. Keep us redemptively discontent until we find fresh refreshment in you.

     Quickly drain and smash the broken-cisterns of our own making. Don’t let us be even momentarily satisfied with any other beverage than the draft you draw, the potion you pour, the life-giving libation you alone can give.”  

     If we take up King David’s lament, “When can I go and meet with God?” you answer back, without delay, “Right now, my beloved, do not wait. If you’re thirsty, come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:38)

     If we should say, “But Jesus, where can we find you?” You answer back even quicker, “Not in the Law; not in your strivings; not in your labors; not in your earnestness; …

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A Prayer Praising Jesus for His Pursuing Love

     Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:19-20

     Dear Lord Jesus, every day we have the privilege of living the hymn, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” for you love us tenaciously and you pursue us constantly.  As hard as it is to imagine, you desire fellowship with us, not occasionally, but continually. It’s even harder to imagine that you actually enjoy being with us. We believe, help our unbelief.

     In the gospel we enjoy eternal union with you, but for various reasons, we tend to flow in and out of vital communion with you. The sad thing is, sometimes we don’t recognize our heart-drift for a quite a while… days, even months later. It’s usually the people around us that first recognize our being out of fellowship with you, for rich fellowship with you changes the way we relate to everyone.

      Jesus, there’s no greater rebuke than to hear you knock on the door of our hearts, yet that knock comes like a kiss. Nothing is more convicting than to hear your voice on the other side of that door, yet your voice is that of a Bridegroom wooing his beloved bride. It’s because you love us that you confront us and discipline us. All of your rebukes …

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A Prayer About My Distracted Heart

     As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

     Jesus, call me Martha. As this day begins I’m distracted by a number of “preparations,” and there are many things that are worrisome and upsetting going on all around me. So rather than trying to figure everything out on my own, and before I start blaming anybody, I’ll choose the better way and come to you.

     It’s always a joy to sit at your feet, Jesus. You’re always so welcoming, patient and kind. I rob my heart… really, I commit grand larceny…  when I get so busy doing things for you that my time with you suffers a slow but sure attrition. It’s never okay when I start taking for granted the intimacy I share with you in the gospel. It’s never okay when I invest more energy in defending the gospel …

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A Prayer About Being With Jesus

     When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

     Dear Lord Jesus, this simple story confronts and corrals my wandering heart this morning. Peter and John, two unschooled, ordinary fishermen men were radically changed because “these men had been with Jesus”—with you, the same Lord who lives in my heart and rules all things from heaven.

     Oh to be a man, about whom others would be inclined to say, “He’s obviously been with Jesus. What else could explain his merciful heart for the broken… his courage in the face of injustice… his calm in the presence of chaos? What other motivation and reason would he have for loving so boldly… forgiving so quickly… and sharing so generously?”

     What else could account for his patience when provoked… his loud laugh and his ready tears… the way he treats his wife and looks a stranger in the eye? Yeah, he’s been with Jesus, alright, because that’s not the same guy we remember from a while back. ”

     Lord Jesus, doing noble things for you is not the same thing as spending life-giving time with you. Thinking great thoughts about you is not the same thing as vital communion with you. Helping others understand the gospel is not the same thing as drinking presently and deeply from the wellspring of grace for myself. In all honesty, I’m …

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