A prayer from Scotty Smith asking for what we really need, and for the grace to be satisfied with whatever else God grants us:
“You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor” Ex 20:17
Godliness with contentment is great gain 1 Tim. 6:6
Love does not envy 1 Cor. 13:4
Heavenly Father, this tapestry of Scriptures is both convicting and consoling. It’s convicting, because on a daily basis (sometimes hourly), I can be envious of anyone in sight, and covetous of anything within reach. I can get envious of people who have less hassles and more resources; friends who can eat a whole cheesecake and lose weight; extroverts who are at completely at ease in every setting; and men who can fix anything broken in houses, cars, and boats.
I don’t covet my neighbor’s ox or donkey. But I’d love his ability to run every day without knee pain; and not forget names or where he put his car keys. I don’t covet my neighbor’s male or female servant. But I’d love his 2-handicap golf game; and ivy-laden, tree-shaded cottage at Rosemary Beach. Alas, I need grace.
But as convicting as these verses are, Father, they are even more consoling. Because through the gospel, I realize that all I really need is Jesus, plus what you choose to give me. If I owned everything I envy and covet—as your Word says, my bones would rot. It would never be enough.
Father, thank you for showing me that ingratitude is soul cancer and hoarding is heart disease. Selfishness is dignity thievery and comparison is relationship homicide. Acquisition is soul depletion and driven-ness is whole-life paralysis.
There’s a Jesus shaped vacuum in all of us that only Jesus can fill. Thankfully, he is—more and more. Free us to be more content in Jesus, more present with people, and more generous with what we have.
So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ beautiful and more-than-sufficient name.