Friday, May 28, 2010

Prayer for the lost believer

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now I see."

The perspective of this ancient hymn is often how we as believers assume our experience with God shall go.

'I once was lost' -- life was confusing and messy, things didn't make sense, we make bad choices, etc.

'But now am found' -- Then we accept Christ and strive to follow him. Life becomes orderly and religious, life makes sense, and we gain wisdom that helps us make great choices and have impeccable character.


'Was blind but now I see...' -- After years of following Christ with my whole heart, I've realized that life can be just as confusing and messy and I still have the capacity to make really bad choices. I'm a new creation, and yet I expect my new journey to be trouble-free and on a well marked path.

And what do you do with the fact that sometimes Jesus will INTENTIONALLY lead you where trouble awaits and where there is no path? What do you do when you're expecting to arrive at a promised land and where you end up is a crucifixion procession?

I guess you pray something like this:

"My Lord God
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do i really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that my desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear,
for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone."
-- Thomas Merton (1915-1968)


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