Over the years, I have found the ministry of Scotty Smith (pastor, professor and author) to be extremely helpful. You may know him from the short but insightful observations he tags as “a sign you’re growing in grace”. Many of them have pierced deep into my heart…sometimes with encouragement of how God has grown me and sometimes with conviction as I realize how absent that “sign” is in my life. We have shared various collections of those statements in this midweek communication over the years.
Another aspect of his ministry that I have found helpful is his ability to write biblical, soul penetrating prayers. He has written many of them. A publisher wisely collected them and published a book full of them. We have that book in our home and my wife uses it regularly in her time with God. I want to share one of those prayers with you right now. It doesn’t need extra commentary, but I would encourage you – during this beautiful but hectic fall season – to let these words marinate in your soul. Read them and pray them.
A Prayer for Resting in God’s Commitment to Keep & Change Us
By Scotty Smith
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess. 5:23
Dear heavenly Father, it’s a source of incredible comfort to know that you are resolutely committed to keeping and changing us—to make us more and more like Jesus. For you’ve promised to bring to completion the good work you began in your children (Phil. 1:6).
We’d despair if this wasn’t the case, for the disparity between Jesus’ beauty and our brokenness is overwhelming to us at times. The thoughts we think, the things we feel, and the choices we make often contradict the gospel we love. We could never be our own savior, and only a great Savior like Jesus is sufficient for people like us.
So here’s our peace and joy: As the “God of peace” you’re completely sanctifying us— transforming us through and through—spirit, soul, and body; and you’re not impatient in the process. You don’t roll your eyes, cross your arms, or furrow your brow when you think about us. You are completely at peace with us.
We will be wholly blameless and shameless, at Jesus’ second coming, only because he took our blame upon the cross, and despised its shame. Even now, our lives are hidden safely in Christ; and when he does return, we will appear with him in glory, for Jesus is our life—our righteousness, holiness, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:31; Col. 3:4).
Therefore, our boast is in Christ, for there’s nothing in us that’s boast-worthy. Our hope is built on nothing less, nothing more, and nothing other than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Hallelujah, many times over.
Father, as we lean into the rest of this beautiful Fall, we actively surrender to the very active ministry of the Holy Spirit—by whom we’re sealed, with whom we’re indwelt, and through whom we will be safely delivered into your presence. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ strong and loving name.