Scotty Smith has been posting a prayer a day on his blog.
Scotty’s bio can be read here. He’s a godly and gifted pastor, teacher and author.
Saturated in Scripture, conscious of Christian struggle, these prayers meditate on portions of Scripture, identify, personalise and confess the fallen condition focus evident within them, and then ask God for His gracious provision which enables His children to grow more like His first-born Son, the Lord Jesus.
They are careful, thoughtful and insightful. Those who prepare sermons or Bible studies would also benefit from studying the careful exegesis and structure employed in composing each prayer.
Read and learn, then take up and pray.
Here’s a couple of recent typical examples. You don’t want to read too many of these at once. It’s best to take them one a day and dwell in their truthful opening of Scripture.
A Prayer About Not Despising Weakness
He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Heavenly Father, I need some of your variegated sufficient grace today — just like every day. Not only do I need your grace to enable me to own and boast in my weaknesses, I need your grace so that I will stop despising weaknesses in others. By the gentle but sure convicting work of your Spirit, I can see how lately I’ve become a bit irritated, impatient, and impolite towards brokenness in other people, and this attitude is simply unacceptable.
Though I’d love to justify myself, there is no such justification. I’m a selfish man who would love everything and everyone to make my life as tolerable, predictable and manageable as possible. I assume the right to green lights at every intersection. I assume there will be an open cash register when I’m ready to check out. I assume the fish will be biting. What is worse, there are times when I don’t want people to fear the stuff they should fear, struggle with the same things I struggle with, or simply be the normal sinners that we all are. God have mercy on me, the sinner…
Dear Abba, Father, I am so thankful that your love for me is steadfast, and that I can count on new mercies every morning, including this morning… and all day long. I not only grieve my attitude, right now, by faith, I repent and abandon myself to the resources of the gospel.
Lord Jesus, I want… I need your power to rest on me and to settle my restless heart. I’ll not pray about next week, or even tomorrow. Just give me the manna of gospel-kindness for this one day. Help me to respond gently and not react rigidly to the weaknesses of others; help me to roll up my sleeves and not roll my eyes when I meet brokenness in others; help me to love as you love me, for that is the bottom line and the top priority. So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus’ name.
A Prayer About the Triumph of Mercy
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! James 2:12-13
Dear Lord Jesus, my heart is large today with an awareness of your mercy for me. You’re, indeed, a most wonderful, merciful Savior. I’m no longer afraid to die. I don’t have fears about the life to come. And I’m not afraid to live, for I’m not at all uncertain about what God thinks about me. For, by your life and death, you did everything necessary, not just to reconcile me to God, but also to place me in his eternal favor and delight. Mercy trumped judgment, on my behalf!
Now, all day long, every minute of every day, Jesus, you constantly mercy me — you don’t give me what, in reality, I deserve, instead you give me more grace. In the gospel you’re incessantly speaking words of encouragement, hope, and kindness to me. Even when you have to correct me, which is quite often, you give me “life giving rebukes”, not shame inducing stares or guilt inflicting words. Mercy continually trumps judgment, on my behalf.
Jesus, you’ve completely reoriented my relationship to the Scriptures, as well. The law that used to condemn me now consoles me—that which used to be a source of fear in me has become a source of freedom for me. Because the gospel is true, I can now honestly say, “the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul”—my souI.
Jesus, in view of so much mercy, your mercy for me, I have no excuses. I cannot justify allowing my judgmental attitude to trump your mercy in any of the difficult relationships and situations I now find myself. Help me to speak and act today as someone for whom the triumph of mercy over judgment is complete. Help me to speak and act as someone the Son of God has set free, free indeed.
I need wisdom, gospel-wisdom, to live and love this way, for I don’t want to be exploited, but neither do I want to get more cold-hearted or cynical. Mercy me, Jesus, continue to mercy me. So very Amen, I pray, in your loving and strong name.