Mercy Road Daily Prayer & Bible Reading ~ Tuesday, January 31, 2012

~ Read Job 31-32 Text, Audio

Lord God,

Your commands call me to resist temptation, and your love compels me to obey. Help me, gracious God, to live for your glory and honor you today.

I do not allow my heart to be filled with lust, or tempted by the desire for passion, because I know you have chosen me for something greater. I know you have something in store for me that is better than anything this world can offer me. My inheritance is much more valuable than any earthly vice or pleasure.

Such wickedness only creates problems. It hurts those I love, undermines my relationships with them, and damages my relationship with you. For though I try, I cannot hide what is in my heart from your sight. I cannot keep you from seeing my lust, pride, envy, jealousy, hypocrisy, greed, anger, or what have you, because you know all and see all.

I know that I cannot lie to you or deceive you, Lord. You know exactly what lingers in the darkest corners of my heart. You see my deepest desires, and worst fears. You know the wounds and worries I carry around from my own sins, as well as those that have been committed against me. You know what keeps me up at night and causes me to weep because it fills me with such despair that I feel hopeless. You know the mistakes I’ve made in the past, as well as those I will make in the future. You know everything about me Lord, so there is nothing for me to do but throw myself upon your mercy and trust in your great justice?

Show me where I have strayed from your pathway, Lord, and correct my footsteps. Reveal the idols of my heart, and remove the sins they create, that keep me from fully experiencing your abundant grace. Replace them Lord, with your truth, so I can know you better. However, I have sinned against you, and caused other's pain; I pray your justice will be done. I pray you will hold me accountable for my sins, just as I desire others to be held accountable for theirs; yet, I pray for your mercy as well.

Though I know it would be fitting, as Job once expressed, if the things, I had done to others were done to me in return. However, I must confess Lord, that the idea sends chills up my spine, and I cannot bear the thought of how awful that might be. So while I pray for your justice, Lord, I also pray for your mercy, and not only for myself, but also for those who have sinned against me. For I realize Lord, that I cannot expect for myself what I would deny to others. I cannot ask you to hold them accountable and not me. I cannot expect you to show me mercy when I sin against others, if I don’t pray for your mercy when they sin against me. That would be unjust, and totally opposed to your nature.

Reveal all my sin and purify my heart, today, gracious God. Show me once more, the forgiveness and redemption that are mine through Jesus Christ. Teach me to be like him. Shape my thoughts, words, and deeds so that I can tell others about his truth and demonstrate his grace more successfully.

I pray all these things in Jesus’ name through the power of his Spirit, Amen