(Based on A.W. Tozer’s Prayer 1897-1963)
O Lord, I have heard your voice and the fear of God is before my eyes. You have called me to an awesome task in a grave and perilous hour. You are about to shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land, all nations and Israel, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain (Haggai 2:6, 21, Heb 12:26).
O Lord, our Lord, You have stooped to honor me to be Your servant. No man takes this honor upon himself except he who is called of God, just like Aaron was. You have ordained me to be Your messenger to them that are stubborn of heart and hard of hearing. They have rejected You the Master, and it is not expected that they will receive me, Your servant. My God, I shall not waste time deploring my weakness nor my inadequacy for the task. The responsibility is not mine, but Yours.
You said, “Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations (Jer 1:5, 1 Cor 1:30, 2 Cor 1:21).” You said, “I will put My words in your mouth, and you shall speak all that I command you (Deut 18:18) and again, “You shall go to all that I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak (Jer 1:7).” Who am I to argue with You? You chose me, I did not choose you. You appointed me that I should go and bear fruit, and that my fruit should remain (John 15:16). The decision is not mine, but Yours. Your will, not mine, be done.
It is time for You to work, for the enemy has entered Your pastures and the sheep are torn and scattered. False shepherds abound who deny the danger, and laugh at the perils that surround the flock. The sheep are deceived by these hirelings and follow them with touching loyalty, while the wolf closes in to kill and destroy. I beseech You, give me eyes to detect the presence of the enemy; give me understanding to distinguish the false friend from the true. Give me vision to see and courage to report what I see faithfully. Make my voice so like Your voice that even the sick sheep will recognize it and follow You.
Lord Jesus, I come to You for spiritual preparation. Lay Your hand on me. Anoint me with the oil of a New Testament prophet. Forbid that I should become a religious scribe and lose my dependence on the Holy Spirit. Save me from the curse that lies across the face of the modern clergy: the curse of compromise, of imitation, of professionalism. Save me from judging a church by its size, its popularity, or its offering. Help me to remember that I am a prophet and not a ministry promoter, a prophet and not a man-pleaser. Let me never become a slave to the crowds, or ministry demands or endless emails. Heal my soul of earthly ambitions, and deliver me from the itch of publicity or public attention. Save me from the bondage to things. Let me not waste time puttering around the house. Lay Your terror on me, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers, and the rulers of darkness of this age (Eph 6:12, 3:10). Deliver me from overeating or oversleeping. Teach me self-discipline that I may endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Tim 2:3).
I accept hard work and small rewards in this life. I ask for no easy place. I deny myself, take up my cross daily, and follow You (Luke 9:23). I shall try and be blind to the things that could make life easier. If others seek a smooth path, I will not judge them. I shall expect opposition and try to take it quietly when it comes, trusting in Your grace. And if I should have grateful gifts pressed upon me, stand by me then, and save me from the strings attached and undue obligations that so often follow. And if, in Your permissive will, honor should come to me from Your church, let me not forget in that hour that I am unworthy of the least of Your mercies, and if men knew me as intimately as I know myself, they would withhold their honors and bestow them on others more worthy to receive them.
And now, O Lord of Heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to You. Let them be many and not few (Psalm 91:16, Deut 6:20, Prov 3:2). Let me stand before kings and rulers as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles (Prov 22:29, Matt 10:18, Luke 211:12); and let me minister to the poor and lowly (Matt 25:40,45, Gal 2:10, James 2:1-4), that I may diffuse the fragrance of Christ in every place (2 Cor 2:15). I am Your servant to do Your will and that will is sweeter to me than position, riches or fame, and I chose it above all things in Heaven and earth. Though I am chosen by You and honored by a high and heavenly calling, let me never forget that I am a man with all the natural faults and passions that plague the race of men. I pray You therefore, my Lord and Redeemer, save me from myself, and from all the injuries that I may do myself while trying to be a blessing to others. Fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit, and I will go in Your strength and tell of Your righteousness, and Yours alone. I will spread abroad the story of redeeming love while my mortal powers endure.
Then, dear Lord, when I am old, have a place ready for me above, and make me to be numbered with Your saints in everlasting glory, in Jesus’ Name I pray.
Written by Steve Cioccolanti for the benefit of the Body of Christ.
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