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So Be It

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Let It Be So!

Father, at times the way of Christ is complex to our “sin–stained” and finite minds.  Forgive us for the times we have justified our vanity in the name of a good reputation.  O, Lord, grant us, in this brief life, the wisdom and courage to please others, or not to please others, for the sake of Christ alone, and not our own praise.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Father in heaven, have mercy on the misery of this world.  Forgive us for our part in causing the pain of others.  Waken us as never before to the preciousness of your mercy bought by the blood of Christ.  Fix our hopes so fully on the joy of heaven, that we become freest of all people on earth.  May our everlasting memories of your grace make us glad of all you changed and all you forgave.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Gracious Father of light, give us eyes to see Your worth.  Heal our blindness.  Save us from the deadly disease of seeing the world as worth more than its Maker.  Restore the capacity of our hearts to cherish infinite beauty and savor infinite sweetness.  Deliver us from the deadening effects of thinking this short life is the main thing.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Omnipotent, all-governing Father, not a bird falls to the ground apart from You, and not a hair of our heads turns gray apart from You.  Grant that we may know these great truths about You, and that we may speak them with winsome joy.  Forgive us for the arrogance of denying them, and for the pride of vaunted self-sufficiency.  Make us like children in our daily reliance on You, we pray. In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Father, deliver us from the self-deception that makes us believe anxiety is mere precaution, and that unfaithful precaution is anything other than cloaked anxiety.  O, how devious is the self-protecting soul!  Have mercy on us, and make us bold.   Free us from fear and from prudential avoidances of love.  Make us more eager for the joy of giving than for the security of keeping. In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Father, I love Your patience towards me.  I love it when You describe Yourself as slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  Oh, to be more like You!  Have mercy on my easily angered heart!  Forgive my many peeves and murmurings.  Grant that I would be saturated with grace, and let me show it to others, as I desperately need it for myself.  Because of Jesus, let it be so.

Lord, I pray that you would fill us with hope and joy and expectation that You have the power to put Your hand on us, and grant us the will to do what You command.  You have made it plain:

We are responsible to do what you tell us to do.  But we know that in ourselves we do not have the will to do it.  And so we cry with Augustine, “Lord, command what You will, and give what You command.”  Leave us not to ourselves.  Have mercy.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Gracious Father, grant me a lowly spirit of gratitude.  Make me feel the preciousness of past grace.  Give me an honest memory of mercy.  Forgive me for the pride of unremembered gifts of callous thanklessness.  Waken faith in my wavering soul and give me strong confidence in   your solid promises.  Where past and future meet, make me humble and bold.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Dear Father, I confess with shame that I am wired to love the praise of man.  I know this is sin, and deeply offensive to Your infinite worth and beauty.  Forgive me, I pray, and make the truth of Your election and Your faith-awakening gift kill all vanity in me.  Set me, O Lord, not to brooding silence, but to boasting in Your glorious name. Through Christ I pray, let it be so.

O Lord, forbid that I would be so foolish as to be a lover of wages more than a lover of undeserved rewards.  Make me feel the sweetness of being shown mercy.  Work childlikeness deeply into my soul, and make me find my joy and my rest in Your free gift of grace.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Yes, Lord, yes!  This is our heart’s desire.  Forgive us for adrenaline spurts of righteousness.  Forgive us for little sprints of holiness.  Forgive us for short flashes of noble-minded sacrifice.  Build into the fiber of our faith a rugged, resilient, never-say-die perseverance in the cause of truth and love!  Make us coronary Christians!  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Dear God and Creator and Father, I praise You for Your infinitely wise imagination!  I bow with wonder at Your power to put in place the universe so full of marvels for our joy.  I pray for the grace of imagination, lest I fail to render Your glory for what it really is, most beautiful of all beauties.  Through Christ, I pray, let it be so.

Thank You, Lord, for the lives of flawed and faith-filled saints!  Thank You for grace, amazing grace that saves and uses sinners!  Lord, don’t let us limit Your power by what we see in the mirror.  Help us to trust You.  Help us, as William Carey said, to expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.  We are not great. But You are great.  Your power is made perfect in our weakness.  We surrender all worldly claims on our lives. Come.  Make us useful for the glory of Christ.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

O Lord, Your ways are not our ways, and Your thoughts are not our thoughts. Yours are unsearchable and often baffling to our finite minds.  You have chosen to give Satan freedom to do great damage, when it would be no injustice to him to destroy him now.  We bow before Your wisdom.  We embrace with Jesus the cross that saves our souls and sends us into battle with faith in the superior beauty and worth of Christ.  Go with us.  Help us. In His great name, let it be so.

O God, You are all wise and sovereign.  Therefore we thank You for keeping in Your hands, not ours, the final determination of which paths are influential for Christ in our lives.  We confess our sin and our fallibility.  We do not want to run the world.  We want You to run it.  We rejoice that our best efforts may yield modest fruit.  And our most foolish choices may be made the means of great fruit.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

O Lord of hope, give us the eyes of John Newton and George Herbert.  Give us eyes to see the utter unlikeliness of being loved by Christ.  Take away the feeling that we deserve happiness.  Cause us to be amazed at the wonder of grace.  May grumbling and murmuring depart from our lips, O Lord, and make us tender toward sinners.  Thank You, Father, for mercy.  We cherish Your kindness and long to give to others the way You have given to us.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

O Lord, this is our heart’s desire: Make us meek, and make us mighty.  Give us confidence in the finished work of Christ, and give us humility because we are so far from perfection.  Open our eyes to the wonder of what You have already done.  And forbid that we would claim more now than is true.  We are weak, we are sinful, and we need Your help.  Thank You for our permanent acceptance in Christ.  Thank You for our daily help from Christ.  Thank You for laying hold on us.  Now complete the work You have begun.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Open the eyes of our hearts, Father, to see precious and limited role of Your Law in bearing the fruit of love in our lives.  Lead us into deep and personal union with Jesus.  Let this relationship with the living Christ transform our minds and wills so that we want what He wants and hate what He hates.  Make us, by this union, radically loving people.  In Jesus’ name, we pray, let it be so.

Gracious, all-knowing Father, we praise You for Your infinite wisdom, and for Your wise and holy purposes that govern all You do, and all You permit to be done.  We rejoice and take heart from the precious truth that nothing befalls us but by Your loving will toward us Your children.  We pray that You will protect Your church from harmful error, and lead Your flock in the path of truth.  Expose our idols, O God.  And grant us to treasure Christ above all things. In His name we pray, let it be so.

Father, we confess that we are the children, and You are the Father.  We are the learners, and You are the Teacher.  We are sinful and fallible, You are holy and all-wise.  Teach us to measure our thoughts by Yours and not the other way around.  Humble us under Your mighty hand.  Forbid that we would get angry with You, or criticize You, or be disappointed with You.   Make us tremble at such insults.  Oh, how deep are Your riches and Your wisdom!  How unsearchable Your judgments! How inscrutable Your ways!  We praise You!  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Lord, have mercy on us in our frail and fallible condition.  You are very powerful, and grass but we.  We flourish and are gone.  Grant us grace to trust that You are good in all Your works and all Your ways.  May we never doubt Your sovereignty, even in the most painful times?  Let the bones, which You have broken rejoice.  Though You cause grief, have compassion on us according to Your steadfast love.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Yes, Lord, we do take heart from Your New Covenant promises.  They are the sweetest ones of all.  And from this side of the cross we see that they are all blood bought and secure.  Thank You, Father, for sending Jesus Christ to be for us, by His blood, the yes and the AMEN to all Your promises.  He is now the great ground of our hope and joy.  Don’t let us despair in the battle of this brief life.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

AMEN, Lord!  Grant that we will love Christ above all things.  And may we spend our pilgrim life learning to love this world less and heaven more.  Put us out of taste with the delicacies of the devil, and give us a liking for the solid joys of Christ.  Guard us from the allurements of the lodgings of this journey, and fix our eyes on the end.  And so, Father, make us useful to this world, loving, helping, serving here, while leading people up to God.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Merciful Father, help us be ready to die well, Teach us how to help each other die!  You have shown us that it will not be easy.  But, Oh, how many promises You have given to help us say, “To die is gain.”  Deliver us from fear.  Give us unshakeable hope.  Remind us that suffering may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.  Make us feel that this slight momentary affliction, this vapor, is working for us an eternal weight of glory.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Father in heaven, we pray that You will work in us the will to fight the suicidal sin that our will desires.  We confess that there is a war within us.  We grieve over the remnants of our corruption.  Help us to set our faces like flint against the desire for anything above Christ.  And grant that we would treasure Him above all.  In His name we pray, let it be so.

 So, Father, open our minds, enlarge our minds, fill our minds, transform our minds, so that we think Your thoughts after You.  Incline our hearts to Your word, and not getting gain.  Have mercy on us in our foolish additions to things that dull us to the delights of knowing You in Your Word.  You have multiplied, O Lord our God, Your wondrous thoughts toward us.  Your thoughts are very deep!  All praise and honor to You!  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Father, indeed we do pray for gainsayers, but not for them only, but for ourselves also.  We have not seen and savored You as we ought.  We have not worshiped You with the white-hot affections that You deserve.  We have been lukewarm and half-hearted.  Forgive us, O Lord, our merciful God.  And lead us now into lasting joy.  Enthrall us with Yourself.  And break the power of all lesser pleasures.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

And so, Father, take the swagger out of our indignation.  Take self-pity out of our hearts, and presumption from our lips.  Make us feel that mercy is our life.  Teach us deeply that freely we have received, and freely we must give.  Make us brokenhearted, happy, useful sojourners.  In His name we pray, let it be so.

Lord, let us never cease to marvel at Your mercy and Your might!  These are the twin wonders along with Your wisdom that give us hope when all around our soul gives way.  Your mercy, Your might, Your wisdom!  You are very great, and we praise You.  Strengthen us the way You did Paul by word and, if necessary, by affliction.  May Satan’s devices in our lives ever be turned against his evil designs and made to serve Your righteous ones.  Grant us always to believe that Your invisible hand rules the world and is ruled by a heart of holy love and perfect wisdom.  In Jesus’ name, let it be so.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!  And while You tarry, keep us free from the sin of this world.  Oh, make our little lives count for the glory of Your name and for the fame of You Father.  Rivet our attention on Your cross, and fuse our affections to Yourself.  Waken our compassion for all who suffer, especially those who are rushing toward everlasting misery because of unbelief.  So open our mouths and open our hands and open our wallets while we have breath, and make us the most radically loving people on earth, for the joy of all peoples and renown of Your name, AMEN.                   

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