|A Prayer for Growth in Gentleness
Posted: 11 Jun 2014 04:34 AM PDT
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Phil. 4:5
Dear Lord Jesus, the first thing this Scripture makes me think about is you, for no one more gentle than you. No one is as welcoming of sinners, as kind to the broken, or as understanding of the struggling as you.
You’re like the perfect surgeon—the one I want working on me. You never get nervous, flustered, agitated, or hurried. You have a steady hand because of your steady heart, and I gladly surrender to both today, for I want to grow in gentleness.
Gentle me when I’m behind slow drivers who stay in the fast lane. Gentle me when I face both fair and unfair criticism. Gentle me when I think things that are obvious to me ought to be obvious to everybody else. Gentle me when loud people invade “my” space—as though I have some inalienable right to an uninterrupted life.
Gentle me when I’m too tired to engage but my wife really needs me to listen. Gentle me when I lose a 200 lb. Halibut (happened yesterday). Gentle me when someone gets the last piece of chocolate cake I was already planning on enjoying with a glass of milk.
Gentle me when the vacation gets cut short by crises. Gentle me when friends keep making the same mistakes and foolish choices. Gentle me when the restaurant sends me home with the wrong takeout order. Gentle me when Satan starts condemning me for things I actually did, but things for which you already paid my debt.
Gentle me when I start debating theology rather than loving the people who see things differently. Gentle me when I can’t “fix” the people you never gave me to fix. Gentle me when the care I just fixed needs fixing again.
Lord Jesus, you are so near to us in the gospel; in fact, you live in our hearts; and you’re also near in terms of returning to finish making all things new. May your nearness generate a much quicker repentance on my part, when my first reaction might be agitation, frustration or whining or worry. Make me a gentle man by the gospel and for your glory. So very Amen I pray, in your kind and loving name.