Friday, July 11, 2014

Heart Surgery

A Prayer for a More Christ-Like Heart, by Scotty Smith (with reference to Ezekiel 36:25-27):
     Dear heavenly Father, your promise of a new heart beating within my breast shouts of your mercy and might. There’s nothing I want more, and I praise you for how much of this great new covenant promise you’ve already fulfilled in your children.
     Already I’ve experienced the greatest of all “sprinklings”—the once and for all cleansing by the blood of Jesus. Though I’m still susceptible to the accusing and condemning work of Satan, you’ve forgiven me of all of my sins: past, present, and future—sins of word, thought, and deed. May this good news neverbe blasé or cliché to me.
     Father, you’ve already declared me to be perfectly righteous in your sight forever—a status that makes me yearn for the complete healing of my yet-to-be perfected heart. How I long for the Day when my heart will beat only for Jesus’ glory, marvel at his beauty, feel with his passion, think with his wisdom, and love with his affection.
     By the ongoing work of your Spirit, change my heart, Father. I want a kind heart, a tender heart, a sweet heart, a compassionate heart, a caring heart, a servant’s heart, a soft heart—the heart of Jesus. I long to be more restful and less resentful, more merciful and less mercenary, quicker to listen than to speak, quicker to be flexible than rigid, more likely to be consoling than controlling.
     I want to forgive from my heart, and not just avoid the pain of conflict. I want to encourage people for their good, not flatter them for my benefit. I want to feel joy and hope every time I hear your name, and not feel rejection and self-pity when I don’t hear my name. Like John the Baptist, I want Jesus to increase and me to decrease.
   I praise you, Father, for promising just such a heart through the resources of the gospel. My longings, hopes, and prayers are not in vain. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ matchless name.