Jesus used at least three prominent figures to describe the believing life as an on going work of God’s grace in our lives—the journey, the new birth, the vine and its branches.
Here are three prayers for people in process that express the longings of my heart. Perhaps of yours too.
Master, thank you for noticing me when you passed my way. Merely that—what a miracle! Then, for you to call me, pull me to my feet, welcome me in your following . . . wow!
I would not dare to request more, if you had not urged me to ask. So, keep me on the way with you, alert me to the potholes and the slippery slopes along the path. Soothe the soreness of muscles grown weary with following. Mend the brokenness when I’ve wandered from the way. Unmask wolves disguised as fellow travelers. Reveal deceptive road signs promising a short cut. Make my journey an encouragement to others, and others’ to me. Lift my eyes to see home growing on the horizon and to feel joy overflowing my heart.
My dear Father, thank you for calling me your child and birthing me to new life. I owe you everything!.
I sometimes feel like a spoiled child whose asking knows no end. But you’ve called my sincere requests a Father’s delight. So, because I can’t wait to grow up, help me to be patient, to learn my lessons, to eat what is good for me, to let the hurts of life make me strong within (and, please, forgive my whining), to love my brothers and sisters (especially when I think they embarrass me and you), to grow sweeter and more content as the years pass, and to enter the next stage of life with eagerness. And, when I grow up, I want to be just like you!
Lord God, thank you for plucking me up out of where I had been planted and splicing me into your vine. I know it’s not “natural” and, by rights, I don’t belong, but here I am!
I’ve never felt as alive as I am in you (before I constantly mistook the artificial for the real!). Please, keep the life flowing and help me to “go with the flow!” Let your fruit develop in beautiful and delicious ways. Make it clear to all who notice my branch that I’m yours. When you prune the branches, keep me winsome for you, even through my wincing.
Let me never imagine that the life surging through me is mine, and let no one else think that the fruit you produce reflects my ability or virtue. Instead, let everything bring you the joy and satisfaction of a grand and glorious harvest, repaying your patient, gracious and resourceful labors.