The other day while in our staff meeting, my senior pastor read a prayer by Henri Nouwen. It was deep and personal. It went places not many people dare pray out loud. Henri offered up his battle with conflicting desires. He spoke from an honest heart to an all-loving Father.
He prayed the same words I pray; he cried out for the same mercy I cry for.
May the Father, who saved us, continue to wash us with His all-encompassing mercy, boundless grace, and eternal loving-kindness.
O Lord, who else or what else can I desire but You? You are my Lord, Lord of my heart, mind, and soul. You know me through and through. In and through You everything that is finds its origin and goal. You embrace all that exists and care for it with divine love and compassion. Why, then, do I keep expecting happiness and satisfaction outside of You?
Why do I keep relating to You as one of my many relationships, instead of my only relationship, in which all other ones are grounded? Why do I keep looking for popularity, respect from others, success, acclaim, and sensual pleasures? Why, Lord, is it so hard for me to make You the only one? Why do I keep hesitating to surrender myself totally to You?
Help me, O Lord, to let my old self die, to let die the thousand big and small ways in which I am still building up my false self and trying to cling to my false desires. Let me be reborn in You and see through You the world in the right way, so that all my actions, words, and thought can become a hymn of praise to You.
I need Your loving grace to travel on the hard road that leads to the death of my old self and to a new life in and for You. I know and trust that this is the road to freedom.
Lord, dispel my mistrust and help be become a trusting friend.
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