Worth Reading–March 12, 2012
Here’s another great prayer from Scotty Smith.
A Prayer About Jesus’ Gentleness and Healing Words
By Scotty Smith
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. Prov. 15:1-2
Dear Lord Jesus, as with every other portion of the Scriptures, this passage, ultimately, makes me think of you. We take our calling to gentleness and stewardship of our words seriously, because of what we find in you. There’s no one more filled with kindness and gentle answers than you. There’s no wiser tongue than yours.
You never “gush folly,” you only speak words of grace and truth to us—the very words of life which are healing us and changing us. What a powerful and loving Savior you are, Jesus,—O Lord of all lords… Lion of Judah… Lamb of God… Lamp of the New City—the magnificent world for which we long and wait.
Even when we rush into your presence with demands dressed up like questions, arrogance pretending to be confusion, clenched fists rather than raised hands, you remain unnerved, non-defensive, and ever-so-welcoming. You’re not only gracious with “bruised reeds and smoldering wicks,” you’re also altogether grace-full to us when, like Jonah, we act out in petty and petulant ways. O to have a heart and mouth like yours…
You’re firm with us but never harsh; engaged, but never exasperated; unyielding, but never overbearing. You don’t have to be, because you never get irritated, you don’t have any insecurities, and you don’t fear losing an argument. Jesus, you’re not concerned with “saving face,” but saving grace and saving us—saving me.
When we ignore your wooings or act immature in response to your warnings, we simply reveal how little of the gospel we really “get”. For there’s nothing about you that warrants any other response from us but humility, gratitude, and submission.
Jesus, we’re so glad Lent is about repentance and faith in you, and not penance and work done by us. As we get closer and closer to Holy Week, let your cross get bigger and bigger in our gaze. For if we had to atone for all the ways we misuse our tongue or if we had to finance redemption to pay for our poor stewardship of words, we’d surely despair. If we thought we had to change and gentle our own hearts, we’d go to an even darken, more hopeless state than despair. Our hope is in you, plus nothing.
By the Holy Spirit, preach the gospel to our hearts all day long. As you spoke this world into existence, so speak new creation beauty and freedom deep into our souls. Liberate us for your glory, and our tongues for your praise and building others up. So very Amen we pray, in your ever-so-glorious name.