Worth Reading–October 21, 2011
A Prayer in Praise of Jesus the Liberator
Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! Ps. 142:7
Dear Jesus, great Lord and Liberator, when King David prayed for freedom from his prison, he wasn’t behind iron bars; he was hiding in a cave. It’s obvious he felt pursued, trapped, and alone. It’s also obvious he enjoyed great freedom to own his desperation and cry for mercy. Because of your great love for us, I choose the same path today.
By your Word, grace and Spirit, you’ve already set me free from many slavish imprisonments: The fear of dying, for you robbed the grave of its victory through your resurrection; The fear of judgment, for you were condemned in our place upon the cross; The tyranny of false gospels, for only your work and righteousness make us acceptable to God; The myth of autonomy, for you alone are the sovereign Lord and the King of kings. I am a mere man, beloved, but not in control of my world or my future. How I praise and adore you for these great freedoms.
But there are other imprisonments from which I long to be delivered as well. Jesus, continue to set me free from vain regrets—those haunting memories of what could have been and should have been. I want to learn from the past, not be enslaved to the past. Your name is Redeemer.
Set me free from the power of old wounds. I want my justification in you to define me much more than my victimization in life. We’ve all experienced loss, betrayal and great hurt; and some of these things will only be fully healed by your second coming. Let me be okay with that, even as I trust you to use my pain for the benefit of others. Your name is Healer.
Set me free to love all kinds of people; not just those of my own “tribe”, those who share my prejudices and those who simply make me feel good about me. Give me a greater love for the “least and the lost”—the people all around me who don’t care how much I know, they just need someone to care. Your name is Good Shepherd.
Set me free to love well in messy, broken relationships, with courage and kindness. Set me free to live as an ambassador of reconciliation; a Spirit-filled peacemaker; a conduit of your restorative grace. Your name is Prince of Peace.
Lord Jesus, continue to bring me out of all kinds of prisons that I may give thanks to your name. So very Amen I pray, with joy and hope.