Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). The principle of forgiveness is a response to the holiness and grace of God. Jesus placed the focus of the hearts of the disciples upon the holiness of God as He taught them to pray, “Hallowed be Your name.” It is the holiness of God that compels our hearts to cry out for the grace of God.
Holiness produces humility of heart. Grace is then applied to the heart of humility. The depth of our confession is only as great as the clarity of our view of the holiness of God. Too much confession is rooted in comparison to other people. We can always justify our attitudes and actions by thinking we are not as bad as some other Christians. Such comparison only produces pride in our hearts. However, when we focus on the holy God, we must cry out with Isaiah, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).
Isaiah had a vision of the glory of God. That vision produced a deep brokenness, confession, and repentance in his life. There were several characteristics of Isaiah’s prayer that are important for us to recognize. They are the ingredients that result from a clear view of the holiness and grace of God.
Holy God, I cry out as Isaiah did, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! For I am a person of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts”! In the face of such holiness, I cannot stand…and yet, You have redeemed me and brought me into the kingdom of Your glorious light! Empty my deceitful heart of pride and fill me with humility of heart. Transform me by the renewing of my mind. Restore my soul and lead me in paths of righteousness for Your Name’s sake and for Your glory alone!
Praise God for his constant presence with you every day. Thank him for always being near you even in times of extreme difficulty (Ps. 42:3). Confess those times when you’ve doubted God’s loving presence. Commit yourself to seeking his face every morning in prayer and meditation. Ask God to go with you throughout this day.
Pray for all the leaders in your congregation: your pastor, elders, deacons, ministry heads, and others who come to mind. Pray for God’s obvious presence in their lives..
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.
Resources for Prayer Leaders:
Prayerleader.com is a website devoted to growing prayer in the local church.
The Church Prayer Leaders Network is for anyone who desires to see his or her church make prayer foundational to its entire ministry. Click the link to find out the advantages to being a member of the CPLN!