Pastor Scotty Smith posted a great prayer last week related to the ways we as believers often devour one another and how we need God’s mercy and grace to humble ourselves:
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Gal. 5:13-16
Forbearing Father, thank you for Scriptures like this one—those which chronicle our relational failures, foibles, and foolishness, as your beloved children. We’re not just prone to wander from you; we’re prone to hurt one another.
Come, Holy Spirit, come. Grant us godly sorrow and deep repentance for the ways we hide the beauty of Jesus in our churches through our pettiness and selfishness, our divisiveness and cowardice; our wagging tongues and our walking feet. Because of our love for the gospel and your glory, let us grieve as those who understand what is at stake. In a day when the culture is looking for reasons not to believe the gospel, forgive us for adding to their ammo and salvo.
Forgive us, Jesus. You’ve made it clear that the world will know we are your disciples by the way we love one another. You’ve also made it clear that the quality of our relationships is one of the ways the world will believe that our Father sent you to be the Savior of the world (John 17:20-23). How sobering…
Bring the power of the gospel to bear upon our shared and broken life in the body of Christ. Grace doesn’t free us to love poorly, but to love generously, extravagantly, in keeping with how Jesus loves us. Grace isn’t a green card for self-indulgence; it’s a green light for humbling ourselves, repenting and reconciling. Grace is our only hope for serving one another in love. So very Amen we pray, in your holy and loving name.
I add my Amen to this prayer which has proven very timely and a great help to me personally in the past few days.