Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

A prayer for Ash Wednesday. HT: Scotty Smith.

     My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashesJob 42:5-6
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sinPsalm 51:1-2
He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healedIsa. 53:5
     Dear heavenly Father, on this Ash Wednesday, accepting my mortality, and acknowledging my need, has never been so easy, life-giving, and freeing For you resist the proud and give grace to the humble, and I relish all the grace you freely give us in Jesus.
I am so grateful that it was according to your “unfailing love” and “great compassion” that you completely blotted out my transgressions, for I had no other appeal or hope. I trust only, and fully, in the finished work of Jesus, for the “washing and cleansing” from all my sins, that I desperately needed and still need. I have peace with you, only because Jesus took the punishment I deserve.
Father, during the entire season of Lent, I pray you will intensify my awe of Jesus’ cross; that I might genuinely repent of the ways I continue to under-believe the gospel, run to broken cisterns, and love so poorly.
It’s only because of my standing in Christ, that I can fall on my face before you—deeply convicted of my sin, but without the burden of my guilt.
It’s only because you’ve declared me righteous in your sight, that I declare myself needful of your grace—to change me, heal me, and free me.
It’s only because I’m certain you’ll complete the work you began in us, that I gladly submit to the present work of your Spirit in me. O, for the Day when we’ll be as lovely and as loving as Jesus. Hasten that Day, Lord; hasten that Day. Until then, make me more humble, grateful, and generous. So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus’ trustworthy and worship-worthy name.