Archives for January 3, 2014

Praying for Grace to Run the Race Better in 2014, Looking to Jesus

As we look back over the omega of a year completed
we feel ashamed, disappointed to have crossed the finish line.
For we ought to have run a better race.
Both Thy record-book of memory and ours of conscience
find us sorely wanting in Scripture’s balances.
We wish we had worried about ourselves less and waited on Thee more,
reasoned to ourselves less and prayed to Thee more.
We wish we had feared others less and feared Thee more,
distrusted others less and trusted Thee more.
We wish we had justified ourselves less and repented more,
assumed less and experienced more.
We wish we had wasted less and worshipped more;
backslidden less and communed more.
We wish we had demanded less and assisted more,
intruded less and guided more.
We wish we had admonished less and served more,
talked less and said more.
We wish we had begrudged less and forgiven more,
offended less and inspired more.
We wish we had competed less and completed more,
repeated less and listened more.
We wish we had pretended less and embodied more,
imaged ourselves less and imaged Thee more.
We wish we had been faithless less and believing more,
sinful less and holy more.
We wish we had followed self-rule less and Thy golden rule more,
our words less and Thy word more.
But as we find ourselves  
halting with the weight of our shortcomings
in the first lap of another annual marathon,
we find Thy providence
humbling for the weight of Thy goodness.
We can’t understand why
Thou hast condemned us so little and blessed us so much,
despised us so little and graced us so much.
Why, dear Lord, why
hast Thou borne griefs, carried sorrows, interceded continually, loved fully, tendered with chastening hand, tailored afflictions, 
Why so much better to us than we to Thee?
Dear God, forgive our rewarding of evil for all Thy good.
Grant us in 2014’s 8760 hours,
to make more of the time we have so little of,
And less of the trivia we have so much of.
Grant us repentance in Christ,
in whom alone Thy goodness is housed,
and through Him tabernacle in us.
Divine Savior and Lord, Thou art the Way, Truth, and Life,
the exclusive Answer, embedded in eternal grace,
for unexplainable goodness.
Divine Forerunner, in the coming time Thou dost yet allow us,
we pray for grace
            to exercise uprightness through Thy righteousness.
            to persevere through Thy perseverance,
            to pray through Thy intercession,
            to thank through Thy thanksgiving,
            to live through Thy death,
            to die through Thy aliveness.
We pray for grace
to run the race set before us better, but only in Thy strength
making mention of Thy righteousness, even Thine only,
expecting nothing of ourselves, but everything of Thee.
Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever:
To whom else shall we go?
Enfold us in Thy shepherding arms,
let us hear Thy high priestly beating heart,
pencil upon us the image of Thyself,
and ripen us for eternal communion.