Monday, May 30, 2016

A Prayer

Father,

You have said, ‘Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue’. You want us to do more than believe. You want us to strive for moral excellence. For many of us this is a startling thought. We were told be Christians and then get to church. And we did that. Later, we were told that we needed to be disciples and not just believers. And so, we saw that there were old habits that needed to go and new habits that needed to be developed. And so we worked at gaining those new habits as well as getting rid of those old ones. We were also told that we needed to tell people about Jesus so that they might become one of us.  And we did that, too. And as we continued on living as disciples there were other things that were told to do. And we worked at doing them also. But most of us of have never heard anyone tell us to strive for virtue, for moral excellence. Father, this seems like an awful lot. It is an awful lot. And yet, that is what You are saying. This is what You want us to add to our faith. And we want to obey You.

But, Father, developing this moral excellence is difficult. We have known so very few examples of this quality that we can imitate. So even knowing what moral excellence might look like is difficult. And as we look at the world around us, it isn’t just that moral excellence is ignored. It’s mocked.

And so, once again we find ourselves in over our heads. This will be hard, maybe even impossible. But You are the God who is full of powerful grace that changes people. You do the impossible. So, we appeal to You. Help us, Father. Teach us what it means to excel in this area, what it can look like. And then, change us so that it will be developed in us. We know that somehow the Spirit will show us the way and make the changes. And that is so encouraging.

Once again, Father, we look to the future with optimism. We are praying to be able to obey You, and that is a kind of prayer You love to hear. It’s the kind You love to grant. So we look forward to how You will grant this request so that, step-by-step, we will gain moral excellence as we pray this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
2 Peter 1.5

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