Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Prayer Asking God to Move

Recently, some friends and I were discussing during our church's Foundations Course what it means to be "born again." Though it is used in many non-biblical ways, the phrase "born again" is a biblical one.  But what does it mean?  When we were born from our mother, even though our life began, the reality is that we were born spiritually dead.  In order to have spiritual life, we must be born "again" (or born "from above") (see John 3:1-21; 1 Peter 1:3-8; Titus 3:1-7).  This "new birth" is a transformation of our hearts, a change of our desires and inclinations.  (Titus 2:11-14; Ezekiel 26:25-32; 2 Corinthians 5:17).  This change is not something we can make in ourselves, but it is an act of God, a work of God in us (Look at John 3:1-21 again).  In many ways, the cry of the Christian's heart is for God to come and change us, to make us new, to transform us.  In fact, the desire to pray this prayer is evidence that you are already born again.

A Christian's spiritual life really starts when we respond to this move of God, and a Christian's life continues for eternity dependent on God in the same way.  We continually respond to and ask for God to work and move in us.

The following prayer comes from a book called "The Valley of Vision" and perfectly captures the heart of someone who knows they are dependent on God (John 15:5):

O Supreme Moving Cause,
May I always be subordinate to thee,
  be dependent upon thee,
  be found in the path where thou dost walk,
    and where thy Spirit moves,
  take heed of estrangement from thee,
    of becoming insensible to thy love.
Thou dost not move men like stones,
  but dost endue them with life,
  not to enable them to move without thee,
  but in submission to thee, the first mover.
O Lord, I am astonished at the difference
  between my receivings and my deservings,
  between the state I am now in and my past gracelessness,
  between the heaven I am bound for and the hell I merit.
Who made me to differ, but thee?
  for I was no more ready to receive Christ than were others;
I could not have begun to love thee hadst thou not first loved me,
  or been willing unless thou hadst first made me so.
O that such a crown should fit the head of such a sinner!
  such high advancement be for an unfruitful person!
  such joys for so vile a rebel!
Infinite wisdom cast the design of salvation
  into the mould of purchase and freedom;
Let wrath deserved be written on the door of hell,
But the free gift of grace on the gate of heaven.
I know that my sufferings are the result of my sinning,
  but in heaven both shall cease;
Grant me to attain this haven and be done with sailing,
  and may the gales of thy mercy blow me safely into harbour.
Let thy love draw me nearer to thyself,
  wean me from sin, mortify me to this world,
  and make me ready for my departure hence.
Secure me by thy grace as I sail across this stormy sea.

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