A Prayer about the Heart and Habits of the Gospel

I like the way Scotty can take a portion of scripture and make it into a prayer that impacts my life and prayer. 

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:76–79)

Dear Father, I often forget about the other special baby promised and delivered in the Advent story: John the Baptist, the forerunner, the way-maker, the friend of the bridegroom. His birth and life are such a testimony to the way, the gospel.

Oh, to become a man like John, whose joy was to decrease as Jesus increased. Oh, to be a parent like Zechariah, wanting only what you want for our children and grandchildren.

What more could a father, like Zechariah, desire for his son than for him to be a powerful and passionate witness to Jesus, the Messiah—the one in whom we experience your tender mercy and full forgiveness? There needed to be only one John the Baptist, and yet there is an ongoing need for many others to live and love as John did.

What better story could we write or what other story would we choose than for our kids to be a means by which the rising sun of grace would bring the light of the gospel to the dark places and the broken people of the world?

Father, we lift our children and grandchildren to you. For those who don’t know you, in light of your covenant promises, we ask you to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Rescue them from religion and nonreligion. For those who do know you, we pray that the gospel would go deeper and deeper into their hearts, assuring them of your tender mercies and sufficient grace, transforming them into the likeness of Jesus, and freeing them for a life of living, loving, and serving in your church and kingdom.

Our prayer for our children and grandchildren is the same one we offer for ourselves: Lord Jesus, guide us into the heart and habits of the gospel; guide our feet more surely onto the path of peace; lead us deeper into the ways of shalom, into your commitment

Smith, Scotty (2011-09-01). Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith (p. 359). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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