There are such depths for the hungry heart to enter into and enjoy with our Lord Jesus. He never ceases to amaze me; there is always more – so very much more!
To prepare ourselves for going deeper, these heart-searching prayers are an excellent starting point. Since I am housebound, and can hardly walk now, I am unable to go to church. I pray this prayer every morning, then I receive Holy Communion on my own. Jesus makes it a very precious, special time for me to enjoy with Him:
“My Precious Father, my Beloved Jesus and my Dear Comforter, I enter Your Court with a thankful heart for You have preserved me and given me all I need to serve You. Spirit of God, teach me to worship You continuously in spirit and in truth, and to see, hear and understand You clearly in every way You speak to me. Father, I forgive and bless from my heart, those who have hurt me. I pray for restoration, healing and conversion for them.”
“Holy Spirit, my Comforter, please reveal to me if I have hurt You, or opened doors to demonic oppression, or planted seeds of bitterness. Have I forgiven everyone? Have I judged, compared or secretly criticised, falsely accused, gossiped or cast a slur? Did I exaggerate, colour the truth, or lie? Did I spend money meant for other things or take something that belonged to another? Did I covet, lust, or entertain sinful thoughts? Was I disrespectful to anyone, to those in authority? Was I arrogant, proud or jealous?
“Have I failed to believe and act on Your promises, or been lazy, wasting time, disobeying, complaining and ungrateful? Have I taken Your love and forgiveness for granted? Lord, I repent, rend my heart and long to return and please You. You are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. I renounce these sins as well as pride, fear, doubt, unbelief, complacency, apathy, bitterness, resentment, and believing lies against Your character. Please forgive me and help me break this cycle of sin, and deliver me from evil.
“Jesus, please pull these up by the roots and remove the doors I have opened to the enemy. Grant me the grace to sin no more, and avoid every occasion of sin. Please heal anyone I have injured and keep me from being the cause of another man’s sin, but rather make me a blessing each day, leading them to You. I lay my life, and my will, in Your hands. Please lead me in purity as I receive Your gift to me in Holy Communion. In my heart, I kneel before You to receive with gratitude the Cross and Grace You have chosen for me today. Amen.” [Written by Clare du Bois, 2017]
Litany of Humility
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me:
from the desire of being esteemed, from the desire of being loved, from the desire of being extolled, from the desire of being honoured, from the desire of being praised, from the desire of being preferred to others, from the desire of being consulted,from the desire of being approved,
. . . deliver me, Jesus!
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me:
from the fear of being humiliated, from the fear of being despised, from the fear of suffering rebukes, from the fear of being calumniated, from the fear of being forgotten, from the fear of being ridiculed, from the fear of being wronged, from the fear of being suspected,
. . . deliver me, Jesus!
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire:
that others may be loved more than I, that others may be esteemed more than I, that in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, that others may be chosen, and I set aside, that others may be praised, and I unnoticed, that others may be preferred to me in everything, that others may become holier than I provided that I become as holy as I should . . .
. . . Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
[Written by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930)]
Author’s Note: I pray the Litany of Humility twice every day. Jesus looks at our longing to be like Him more than at our track record. He is altogether lovely.
Prayer of Sr Josefa Menendez
“Jesus, Your intercessors need Your help today! We ask You for help… but we need a miracle. We ask You for strength… but we need a miracle. We seek endurance… but we need a miracle. We hope and pray for graces… but we need a miracle. We ask for healings… but we need a miracle. We long for cures… but we need a miracle. We pray for restoration… but we need a miracle.”
Spirit of Burning, Come!
“On Your altar, precious Lord, I lay down all there is of me. Try me, O God, and know my heart. I gladly yield to the searchlight of Your Spirit. I surrender, Lord. At last I give in. Blessed Spirit of God, have Your way. I lay down my life a living sacriﬁce for You, Lord. How can I do less when You laid down Your life for me? Satisfy this yearning of my soul, this hunger which You have created.
“My God, all-consuming Fire, Lord God of Elijah who answers by ﬁre, come fall upon the altar and consume all my darkness. Let the ﬁre fall! Spirit of Burning, come! Purge and purify my soul. Penetrate the deepest recesses of my heart, dividing between soul and spirit. Sift me and separate all that is of self from that which is truly You, Lord. Shake me and shake me again until only that which cannot be shaken may remain. It is Your goodness, Lord, that has brought me to repentance, that has given me these tears.
“How I love Your deep dealings with me, for I can trust You whatever You may do. As I seek You with fasting, on my face before You, I yearn to be like You, Lord Jesus. I weep, I mourn over the sin which still so easily besets me; it has long grieved You, and now it grieves me too. So great is the intensity of my desire to be like You, Lord Jesus, that it hurts. Lord, hear the cry of my heart as I call out to You from the very depths of my being. I ask You for grace to yield to the mighty working in me of Your Spirit.
“Dear Lord Jesus, You baptise with the Holy Spirit and with ﬁre. Baptise me now into the ﬁre of Your Spirit, that He may burn all selfishness out of me. Conform everything in me to Your image, Lord. Set my heart free from self; burn up every trace of sin. Reﬁning Fire, go through and through my heart, purging out the dross until only the purest gold remains. Then shall I be able to offer unto You, Lord, an offering in righteousness with clean hands and a pure heart. Make holy and set me apart – a vessel unto honour, sanctiﬁed and meet for the Master’s use.
“O sacred Fire of God, kindle in me a ﬂame which burns with Your love for the lost. Touch my lips, Lord, with a coal from off Your altar. Cause me to speak only the words which You give, for they are Spirit and they are life. Break my self-centredness; melt the hardness of my heart. Anoint my eyes that Your love may shine through. I yield to You, dear Spirit of God. Mould me into someone useful in Your service. Set my heart afire with Your love. Come with that precious unction from above, anointing my life to be a sweet perfume for You, Lord. Set me apart for Your glory, utterly yielded, consecrated unto death. Baptise me with Heavenly energy. Nail to Your cross my will – forever. Empower, embolden me for Your calling on my life. Without You I have nothing and I am nothing. Cause me to listen; give grace to obey. Dear Spirit of Burning, Come!”
[A heart-cry written by Pam McCaskie in 1989]
I was raised Methodist, and am now Pentecostal. For me as I was growing up, the highlight of our Church year was the Annual Methodist Covenant Service in which we renewed our covenant of total surrender of our lives to God.
My Covenant With God
“I am no longer my own, but Yours. Put me to what You will, rank me with whom You will. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed for You, or laid aside for You, exalted for You, or brought low for You. Let me be full, let me be empty; let me have all things, let me have nothing: I freely and whole-heartily yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal. And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, You are mine, and I am Yours. So be it. And the Covenant now made on Earth, let it be ratified in Heaven.”
[This is the Covenant Prayer of the Methodist Church, renewed on the first Sunday of each New Year]
How ‘dead’ to yourself are you?
Author’s Note: I remember very well how this came to be written. I was lying prostrate on the floor in the middle of the night, having a lovely time with the Lord, while my husband and children were asleep. I had a notebook and pen beside me on the floor, ready to write whatever the Lord said. He began talking about being ‘dead to myself.’ I jotted down what He said and, as it meant so much to me to get it all down correctly, I asked Him to repeat it and He did. It still greatly challenges me. Jesus said:
“To be dead to self means to be on the Cross with Jesus, doing nothing to retaliate when people mock you, hurt you, criticise and judge you unfairly. It means to pray for them, bless them and show only love for them, thinking not at all of yourself and the hurts they may be causing you so undeservedly. It means not to want to be right, not to justify yourself, nor even to think about yourself and your situation. It means not to talk about yourself and not to seek attention. It means there is no more self – it is dead: buried with Christ in His death.
“How ‘dead’ are you?
“Do you still smart when others are unkind, and overlook you? Do you still long to be noticed, to be appreciated, to be thought well of? Jesus made Himself nothing for you; He made Himself of no reputation. He stooped far lower for you than you will ever be called to do, and in the midst of His agony His only thoughts were of love for His enemies.
“How ‘dead’ are you?
“Does it still matter to you to have your own way, to have things go well for you? Does it still matter to you to hear your name mentioned in praise? Can you joyfully let your will, even your deepest desires, be utterly crucified on His Cross? Can you say, and mean, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me?” Only through death comes life. Are you willing to be that grain of wheat which falls into the ground and dies? If it does not die it abides alone, but if it dies it brings forth much fruit.
“Are you willing? Are you willing to be made willing?”
[Written by Pam McCaskie, 1989]
God expects our full surrender:
Greatness that surpasses understanding
“There is a greatness that surpasses understanding. This greatness is only found by those who are seeking My Heart and Will in this life. It is a greatness that coexists with humility. It is a greatness that is only sustainable in a heart that is charitable. For this greatness is similar to what I carried with Me when I walked the Earth. It has the power to notice the needs of others. It is a greatness that keeps one’s eyes drawn on the Father. It is a greatness that is birthed out of the intimacy we share together. It is greatness that reaches deep down into the heart of man and calls him to serve in love and obedience.
“This greatness is not common and is very often pushed aside for spiritual gifting. Although if you carry this greatness, you carry all power granted to the Son by the Father. It is a treasure far beyond comprehension to you in your current state, but it is one that all My Chosen should strive for. It cannot be obtained by your efforts alone, it must be sought after with the purest of intentions. It is in serving, yet not in works, that one attains this gift. It is through self-sacrifice and love, the purest of love, that one attains it. It is found when one jumps in the trenches of another’s suffering and takes their hand.
“It is the simple acts that often go unnoticed that are bringing to life this greatness. It is when the Father looks at the heart of His Child and sees that their heart and desire is aligned with His, that he moves the mountains and sets in motion all that is necessary to carry the greatness out into the world.
“My People, My Brides will be known by this GREATNESS. It is what I was sent here to bring. Through My Spirit, you see with My eyes, you hear with My heart, and you reach out with My love. This is why I died, so that My Brides, My Chosen Brides, might receive this GREATNESS and be My hands and feet in a dark and dying world.
“So on this eve, set yourselves apart and pray. Pray for those who do not yet possess this greatness, pray for those who are bound and distracted from seeing the value of this greatness. For in your hearts, you are going to see how My love and Father’s Glory change this world for the good of all men.
“Psalm 27… this is the season for My Greatness to be seen upon the world once again.”
[Written by Marie Gomez, December 24, 2017]
John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace
John Newton was born in London in 1725. He started his career in the Royal Navy at a young age. Later he worked in the slave trade for several years and captained his own ship. God saved him from certain death: from drowning in a shipwreck. John was soundly converted and saw himself as ‘a wretch saved by grace.’ In time, John Newton was ordained into the ministry of the Church of England where he was a powerful preacher. He became a prominent supporter of abolitionism, living to see Britain’s abolition of the African slave trade in 1807.
John Newton’s epitaph:
Do you know the Amazing Grace of God? It is freely given to all who ask the Lord.
I asked the Lord that I might grow
John Newton also wrote this heart-cry prayer:
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and ev’ry grace
Might more of His salvation know
And seek more earnestly His face.
Twas He who taught me thus to pray
And He I trust has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favoured hour
At once He’d answer my request
And by His love’s constraining power
Subdue my sins and give me rest.
Instead of this He made me feel
The hidden evils of the heart
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in ev’ry part.
Yea more with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe
Crossed all the fair designs I’d schemed
Blasted my plans and laid me low.
“Lord why is this?” I trembling cried,
“Wilt Thou pursue Thy worm to death?”
” ‘Tis in this way” the Lord replied,
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.
“These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou may’st seek Thy all in Me.”