Friday, November 12, 2010

A Prayer About God’s Longing to Be Gracious

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!    Isaiah 30:15-18     
Heavenly Father, your Word arrives at the portal of my heart perfectly chosen and timed. What more could I possibly need, in any season of life, than to remember you are the Sovereign LORD… and to realize you long to be gracious to me? How could I possibly resist such an offer? I praise you… I bless you… I worship you for being much more engaged and caring than I can even imagine.
Today, the call to repentance and rest, and quietness and trust is very convicting and liberating. Convicting, because riding off somewhere on “swift horses” seems like a very attractive option to me. Liberating, because I’m tired of the noise, busy, and clamor of the past several weeks. O, for the centering power of a quiet spirit before you. O, for the great strength of a heart at rest in you.
I’m not being pursued by enemies from without. The Assyrian and Babylonian armies aren’t on the horizon, coming at me at breakneck speed. I’m simply in need, once again, of learning my limits… of saying “Yes” to the right things and “No” to the unnecessary things… of living the rhythms of a gospel-driven life.
I repent of letting the tail wag the dog. I repent of letting needs dictate my pace. I repent of grabbing four more plates to spin than you intend. I repent of not honoring Sabbath rest. I repent of trying to be my own savior, again. I repent of thinking too much and praying too little. I repent of listening to the squawking voices of human parakeets more than the comforting voice of the Paraklete—God the Holy Spirit. I repent doing more things for you than spending unrushed time with you.
Father, right now, I choose to wait for you. I make no bones about it, I want the blessing that comes to those who wait for you. Enough of this frantic pace… on with fresh grace. As you rise to be compassionate to me in Jesus, I will sit down, shut up, be still and let you. Gladly will I comply with your longing to be gracious. So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.

A Prayer About God’s Longing to Be Gracious is by Scotty Smith

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