Day 25: Contentment

soulcoffeegraphicI’ve already confessed to you my great love for Valley of Vision. Today I want to share one of the prayers that has meant the most to me over the past few years. I first read it when we were choosing an apartment in Turkey and I was struggling with selfishness and entitlement.

I love that this prayer reminds us that the way to conquer a lust we have for something other than God. We can’t just overcome our lust by sheer willpower alone. We must replace it with Jesus, letting him fill the space with such awesome glory that the former lust becomes unimportant, even despised. And we can be content in Christ.

Heavenly Father,

If I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty,
make my heart prize your love,
know it, be constrained by it,
though I be denied all blessings.
It is your mercy to afflict and try me with wants,
   for by these trials I see my sins,
   and desire to be rid of them.
Please help me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations,
if those things will help me feel sin as the greatest evil,
and be delivered from it with gratitude to you,
acknowledging this as the highest testimony of your love.
When your son, Jesus, came into my soul
he became more dear to me
than sin used to be;
his kindly rule replaced sin’s tyranny.
Teach me to believe that if I ever want to conquer any sin
   I must not only labor to overcome it,
   but must invite Christ to take its place,
   and he must become more valued to me
      than the vile lust had been;
that his sweetness, power, life may be there.
So I need to seek a grace from God that will oppose sin,
but I should not seek it as a thing on it’s own, apart from himself.
When I am afraid of evils to come,
please comfort me by showing me
that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch,
but in Christ I am reconciled and live;
that in myself I find insufficiency and restlessness,
but in Christ there is satisfaction and peace;
that in myself I am feeble and unable to do good,
but in Christ I can do all things.
Though now I have his graces in part,
I shall shortly have them perfectly
in that state where you will show yourself fully reconciled,
and alone sufficient, efficient,
loving me completely,
with sin abolished.
O Lord, may that day come quickly!

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