Lord, I lay my confessions before you. I am weak. Of heart. Of mind. Of soul. Remove this willful imagining of myself being the center of my world. Your world contains more than my thoughts, my needs, my ambitions. Make me a better person, not necessarily my circumstances.
Watch me, Lord, do not merely watch over me. Find me in my moments of temptation, my moments of doubt. See me when no one else is watching. Seek me when I turn and run from you to capture my own desires.
Forgive me when I ask for change but only desire the appearance of change. Let my spirituality not be a shroud I affix at my leisure, blurring my sight and obstructing what needs to be seen, but be rooted inside me, something alive and other, so people wonder how it got there, what it means, and that it clearly isn’t my doing.
Help me to realize the pain I remember others caused me never was as great as they intended or inflicted. That forgiveness is not forgetting, but a releasing. A chance to start something new instead of chaining myself to the familiar past. A past I allow to repeatedly wound me and infect everyone around me.
Keep me from complacence. My life is not my own, but my habits tend to deceive me. My heart becomes easily confused. Permit me to shed the contemporary notion of comfort for the traditional meaning. Not “ease of life,” which you never promised, but “with strength.” Someone walking beside another in the darkness, clasping hands in solidarity. The hand at the base of a back, the gentlest not-quite push, to encourage from inaction. Your promises, so prolific and profound, which will never fail. Let me embody these, build from these.
O Lord who does not merely rule in heaven but walks here on earth, I wish to imitate you. You are the Alpha and Omega, omnipotent, eternal. You are everywhere, in everything, and every lesson worth learning originated in you. Let me be wise enough to pause for wisdom and willing to pay its cost.
Give me your eyes, Lord. Let me see everyone as your child—not only the people who look like me, who believe like me, who support me. Help me to see you in even the most misguided human and befriend them. Show me how to reach them, to shower them with love, to treat them as yours. For I am no better than them in your eyes.
Give me your ears, Lord, ears which reach the far-flung places of the world. Take me to those places, Lord. Let me hear the cries of the oppressed, the unspoken suffering of the heart, the echoes of longing and regret outside of those I normally give my attention. May they too feel like they belong, that they matter, that someone cares.
Give me your mouth, Lord. Words not from you have a way of eluding understanding. My words tend to manipulate for my gain, hide my flaws, rip others to shreds. Instead, let me breathe life into people, find a way to make them smile, to forget their troubles, to give them hope. Let my words bring them closer to you, not make them recidivate and declare me another spiteful hypocrite.
Give me your hands, Lord. Too many times I enact what I think is right instead of doing what is most helpful. Let me get involved in something that matters, not that makes my life more convenient. Invest me into the lives of people wherever you want me, who need to see you in that moment. Especially when doing so proves difficult for me. When it is something I normally ignore. Create moments where I have nothing else to rely on but you.
Give me your sense of time, Lord. Let me trust that the future will unfold in its own way and does not need my grip to steer it. Kindle patience within when the spark of impulse bursts upon me. Your way is the better way. My judgment is clouded; mortality grants a finite picture. May the One who sees all ends lead me on, moment by moment, goodness by goodness. Through whatever uncertainty.
Give me your heart, Lord, so big it can hold all the little things while excluding all the negligible. Pettiness. Greed. Fear. A heart that acknowledges weakness, but does not cultivate it. Instinctively, you know what is right, what must be done, and move toward it. Not for some grand purpose, or moral superiority, or duty, but for others. To have your heart connect with another’s.
Give me your purpose, Lord. Left to my own devices, I waste my talents. I bury them, I flaunt them, I idolize them. And I believe I am right to do so because I mistake what a gift is. I believe I am deserving of things that I could do without. Let my desire for rightness never outweigh my propensity for kindness. Never let pride place me in a position I don’t deserve. Instill in me a willingness to take a lower position, to allow others to step into possibility. To combine my skill with theirs for a deeper result. To give up everything but the only One that matters.
Lord, these words I pray; let me actually mean them this time.
To the One who can do immeasurably more than we ask and desire,