a-Lenten-prayer-a-day, day 11, Monday, March 13, 2017

my-hands-2-27-17Note: As a personal, spiritual discipline, I write a prayer for each of the forty days of Lent; each petition focusing on a theme, truly, relating to a care or concern weighing on my mind and heart, at times, vexing my soul and spirit…

On following Jesus & repentance: O Jesus, as You called Your first disciples, so, throughout the ages, You continue to call, and, daily, hourly, moment by moment, You call unto me: “Follow me.” O Jesus, I relish these words of your summons; receiving them as confirmation that You love me and want me to be with You where You are.[1] Yet I must and do confess that I am not fond of that first word with which You inaugurated Your earthly ministry, that first word, which Your call, “Follow me,” alway follows, therefore, that first word, which You also daily, hourly, moment by moment speak unto me: “Repent.”[2] But You know, as You alway have known, that following You requires repentance, my repentance. For I am rarely innocent prey to my own devices and desires, as if my heart, somehow, imposes its ravening, separate will upon my unwavering God-fearing soul. No, I choose to follow my own path, thus, forsaking Your gracious leading and guiding.[3] O Jesus, then, I pray You, in Your Love and Desire for me, continue to call unto me, “Follow me”, and, aye, alway first saying, “Repent.” Amen.

Footnotes:

[1] My reference to John 14.1-3: (Jesus said) “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.”

[2] See Matthew 4.17 (From that time, Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near”) and Mark 1.14b, 15 (Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news”) (my emphases). Repentance, from the Greek metanoia, meaning “to think again”, is an act of regret for one’s way or path of life leading to a decision to turn around, in theological terms, toward God and away from the dictates of one’s self-will or in the language of the prayer, “the devices and desires of the heart” (from Confession of Sin, Evening Prayer: Rite I, The Book of Common Prayer, page 62).

[3] My reference to Doris Akers’ gospel song, Lead Me, Guide Me, especially the words of the refrain: “Lead me, guide me, along the way, for if You lead me I cannot stray…”

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2 thoughts on “a-Lenten-prayer-a-day, day 11, Monday, March 13, 2017

  1. Repentance and follow me!!!Thank you for those two words Paul!! This Lent I’ve been so focused on repentance, working hard to follow the lead of Jesus!! I’ve never been much of a follower, but nor do I consciously follow my own path as you do, it just kind of works out that way!! So I’ve really had to work hard and concentrate on following Jesus. I think I do good work but I know that’s not the same thing as following Jesus…. but I keep trying!!

    Much love & thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen, Loretta. Following Jesus, I have come to see and believe for myself, requires my surrender, which, stubborn-willed soul that I am, is difficult (oft impossible?). For this reason, I am grateful that Jesus doesn’t and hasn’t given up on me, for he, in blessed fact, has saved me. This gives me reason daily to labor at surrendering. Thank God for divine patience! Love

      Liked by 1 person

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