Mercy Road Daily Prayer & Bible Reading ~ Thursday, April 12, 2012

~ Read Leviticus 13-14

Lord God,

Make me clean, and wash away my guilt and the stain of my sin. Remove all the bitterness, apathy, envy, and pride that have control of my heart; and replace it with kindness, compassion, contentment, and humility. Make me more like Jesus.

Forgive me, Lord, when I look to others for validation. Forgive me when I live for the approval of people. Forgive me when I use big words to flaunt the things I know, to criticize others, or demonstrate how wise I am. Forgive me, when I look down on those with whom I disagree as if I'm better, more mature, and self-righteous; for that's really what it is. It's self-righteousness.

Deep down, I know that's what motivates me to look down on others. In my heart, I understand that, that is the reason I critical and opinionated. I'm trying to prove that I am worthy of your forgiveness. I'm trying to show that I somehow deserve your grace more than others. If I can demonstrate that "they've" got it wrong, I've got it right, then certainly, Lord, that's worth something. Isn't it? Surely, that proves I am deserving of salvation, at least as much as they are. Though I recognize how foolish that is to believe, and how arrogant it must sound to your ears, I confess that's what I think in the depths of my heart, and the actions I take only prove it.

Make me clean, and wash away my guilt and the stain of my sin, because I don't want to be this way, Lord. I really don't like that part of myself. I don't want to be arrogant, self-righteous, and critical. I don't want to be cynical and rude. I just want to be less so that Christ can become more, and I can live for his glory.

So, mold me, shape me, and make me anew. Prune away the patterns and practices in my life that do not honor you; and help me to grow in the knowledge and image Jesus. Remove my insecurities, my idols, and my ignorance of your will. Fill me with your Spirit and the wisdom of your word. Turn me away from everything else that distracts me from your glory, Lord, including myself, and keep me focused on you.

Make me clean, and wash away my guilt and the stain of my sin, by the blood of Christ, who died for me, and rose again that I might live.

In his holy and glorious name I pray, Amen!