Prayer Series: Coming Up Short

(5 min. read)

Everyone has shortcomings. Hardly anyone would admit they don’t have shortcomings, and if we see one not admitting to any, then that there would be his/her shortcoming. If we honestly can’t see any, we just simply have to ask the people closest to us proximally and relationally: “Do I have any shortcoming?”. And if they will be honest with their answers, we’ll discover at least one, for our good, hurtful to accept it may be.

Here are prayers from The Valley of Vision, my favorite prayer book and prayer coach next to the Psalms. In reading and praying them, may we have a heart that receives and repents, and along the way, find freedom in the grace and mercy of the Lord in light of our shortcomings. 🙂

O living God, I bless you that I see the worst of my heart as well as the best of it, that I can sorrow for those sins that carry me from you.

I praise you that it is your deep and dear mercy to threaten punishment so that I may return, pray, and live.

I fall short of your glory everyday by spending hours unprofitably, by thinking that the things I do are good, when they are not done to your end, nor spring from the rules of your Word.

My sin is to look on my faults and be discouraged, or to look on my good and be puffed up.

The best thing I love about occasionally praying using The Valley of Vision is that it trains me to pray in ways I never would do and in words I never would say on my own! In my sinful nature, I normally would not debase myself to admit I’m wrong. But I’m wrong more than once in any given day and I’m thankful for the opportunity to see and acknowledge this brutal truth in these Scriptural prayers by the Puritans.

By and large, people usually balk at the thought of being corrected. But the Word of God is a mirror, and when we look at it, we see ourselves for who we truly are, and thankfully, who we are to be too in Christ, by the grace of God.

With my wrongs, I really do get discouraged at times, and with my rights, I do get puffed up! Even in times I do something good, if I look inside my heart, they can still turn out to be with motives not really aligned with God’s Word. And that makes them nevertheless wrong.

But Scripture teaches me that your active will reveals a steadfast purpose on my behalf, this quiets my soul, and makes me love you.

Keep me always in the understanding that believers mourn for sin than other men, for when they see how great is your wrath against sin, and how Christ’s death alone pacifies that wrath, that makes them mourn the more.

Although we are on this earth, in the already-but-not-yet state, it is indeed not all briars and barrenness, I do indeed have bread from heaven and streams from the rock. I have light by day and fire by night.

Even in this pandemic, we have the delight of food and drink, warmth and comfort of home, God’s presence, and daily mercies by way of continuous relationship! That in itself more than suffices!

I am sometimes discouraged by the way, but though winding and trying it is safe and short.

Death dismays me, but my great high priest stands in its waters, and will open me a passage, and beyond is a better country.

While I live let my life be exemplary, when I die may my end be peace.

More than anything, a lifestyle of prayer characterizes a believer’s apparent need for the Lord. As Bishop Manny Carlos of Every Nation Philippines taught us regarding the benefits of a life of prayer: Self-reliance is at the core of man’s determination, to live on his own terms and in rebellion to God; however, conversion and Lordship lays an axe at the root of that tree of self-reliance left in us.

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1: 4-9

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