Tag Archives: intercession

Prayer For Limitation

(A three minute read)

This piece was originally published in January 2020, written right after I finished eight months of treatment for cancer. That had been a physically punishing and exhausting process, and yet it left me lighter than air.

How was that possible?

With my worldly needs so far from being met, only my spiritual needs remained. In the midst of all the lack and pain, I would always turn and find the Lord right there next to me. I could not miss Him.

Why did that happen?

Because I kept asking Him to be there.

And now, in the good times, I need to remember this same truth from Isaiah even more than I did in the bad times:

‘Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and He shall say ‘Here I am.’ 1

When times are good, like they are for me today, its easy to forget that times are only good due to the Lord’s favor. So here is a prayer for limitation. Mine, not His.

Heavenly Father, Too often I imagine You in my own image. Then I invite you along on my adventures, instead of asking You to take me on Yours. Please remove any limiting thoughts or ideas I have about You that keep me from better knowing Your ways.

Purge my heart of any idea that You are in any way like me, or that You could possibly be as limited and imperfect as I am. Show me Your perfection instead.

Teach me to always consider You first when making any decision. May I better learn how to call on You in prayer – listening prayer – and take Your guidance, Your direction, Your conviction, and Your correction.

I am Your child. Please teach this willful grown-up how to be childlike.

As I go about my day let me forget about my own ideas of how life has to be. Show me Yours.

I pray in Jesus’ name that His work on the cross will be shown in me today – the love He lived for, the sacrifice He died for, and the resurrection life He gave me as a believer.

Forgive me of any evil thoughts, and lift my sights higher so they can more fully rest on Your glory.

Limit me each day, so that I may show Your Limitlessness instead.

In Jesus’ name I pray.

Amen.

Line drawing of an archer

Prayer Quiver

Prayers are the arrows of the warrior,
Not aimed at the enemy’s heart,
But shot into the air.

Under attack from my enemy,
I fire arrows into God’s throne room,
Messages tied round the shafts.

They fall at His feet,
He picks them up and reads them,
He adds them to His collection.

Just as He saves our tears,
He saves our prayers,
They last for all time.

Stand against the enemy He says,
But don’t be mute like small-g gods,
Stand and pray in His image.

Fire round after round,
As many as it takes because,
He will never let your quiver go empty.

Drawing by Mark Zechin

Read more poetry here

Man kneeling with Cross over shoulder

Taking a Knee

(A three minute read)

I’m taking a knee. I’m taking a knee for you.

People take to their knees in prayer. When I kneel, I humble myself and say, ‘I’m willing to intentionally be less than you.’ It’s plain I’m to do this before God. But I also should do this for you, because Jesus told His disciples, ‘This I command you; that you love one another.’ Love is a sacrifice. Love is taking a knee.

I don’t kneel before you because of your greatness, but because I’m commanded to love you, sacrificially. I don’t kneel to glorify you, but to acknowledge my own flaws before God. I take a knee now to demonstrate that there’s something gravely wrong.

So, the knee is a tool – a tool for proclaiming my humility.

The knee has also been turned into a weapon – a weapon of oppression.

George Floyd didn’t ask to take a knee, but he took a knee to his death. It wasn’t his knee and it wasn’t his choice. He prayed aloud until he died, but no one listened.

I’m still on my knees, praying that it’s the final outrage; this is not what taking a knee is supposed to mean. I have had enough, and won’t stop praying now; I’m just getting started.

Taking a knee used to only be a football term. The quarterback would take the ball and kneel, ending the play.

Taking a knee no longer ends the play. It has begun the play, and the clock is running. With God’s help, we will see its hands spin forward into a day filled with hope and peace. Taking the knee is now a word about justice. But first and foremost it must be a word about humility.

In Isaiah 61 God promises beauty for ashes, and we have more than enough ashes right now. But I’m not talking about burned buildings, wrong though those are. I’m talking about generations of burned lives.

Who is promised this beauty from ashes? Those who mourn. So, let us mourn together as brothers and sisters, and receive this beauty for ourselves. Isaiah goes on to say that those of us who do mourn will repair the waste cities and the desolations of many generations.

Let’s proclaim – together – that these generations of desolation have finally come to an end.

Let’s proclaim – together – that the day of freedom and justice begins now!

Let’s proclaim – together – that we will first look inside ourselves for these.

Let’s proclaim – together – that we will no longer be silent in the face of evil.

And let’s proclaim all this on our knees.

If you liked this essay, you may also like this poem.

Photo from Erik Mclean via Pexels