“Lord, if we need anything to further your ministry and to serve you, provide all of it, along with the responsible hearts to manage it effectively for your glory and honor. Bless us and give us increase in all areas of our lives that can be used to lift up your name – our love for you, our love and service unto others, our wisdom and understanding, our testimony, our spiritual gifts, our exercising your authority upon this earth, our health, our families, our homes, our food, our property, our very breathe within our bodies. It is all yours not truly ours, only lent to us for your purpose, and with it comes a responsibility to be a good steward. But if we are going to use it to glorify ourselves or anything other than your name, take it all from us, and instead give us yourself. Take it all if you must. Let your will be done, not ours. Amen.”
Don’t think that I pray this prayer proudly. No, this prayer is greatly humbling when I don’t just say the words, but I mean them. You see, at times I find myself still battling that carnal nature that tells me that I need things, or wealth, or the approval of others. I see people who “have their lives together”, living in nice homes, driving nice cars – not killing themselves at a 24/7 job, not dealing with dangerous situations, not struggling to keep their cars running and their house from falling apart. I’ll admit, that so many times recently I’ve wondered, “What am I doing wrong?” And yes, there are so many things that I get wrong. I can’t walk in complete perfection like Christ, but I won’t stop following.
Yes, this prayer scares me. Because if this is all on me, I know that I am too weak on my own to succeed. So if it is all my will and my direction, I am better off if He takes it all from me and either gives me a big, fat, “Return to Go, do not collect $200” or just brings me on along to my final destination. I mean, really, what is the point?
But if it is all His work and, His will, with my commitment and action executing it, then it is being done with His power and authority, not my own. Yes, the Lord’s plans are to prosper me. And yes, people love to quote Jeremiah 29:11 but skip the surrounding verses – like verse 10 where the Lord mentions the 70 year investment before the “big payoff” of prosperity.
This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord .
“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord .
“I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
Jeremiah 29:10-14 NLT
In this day and age, the people want immediate prosperity, immediate miracles, signs and wonders, grace without repentance, salvation without faith tested and proven – people don’t want a commitment to God, they want fornication with the evils of Babylon. And the snares of temptation are set everywhere.
If we are walking under our own power, we are bound to be caught by a trap. So my only hope is the Lord. I don’t want to walk under my own power, because I know where my feet will take me. I need the Lord establishing my steps, and I need to keep on moving – to see this race to the finish. And may the Lord both remove whatever is in my way and provide me with everything that can be used to further His Kingdom.
I trust you, Lord.
Let me find my blessed assurance in you, and you alone.