Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
I love this verse. It is an invitation to pray with confidence — confidence that we will be heard by a compassionate and loving God — whenever there is a need for mercy and grace.
It’s a wonderful promise, isn’t it? But I wonder something: am I selfishly taking advantage of this promise?
As of late, I have been deeply convicted of my selfish prayers. I have become aware that I come to the throne of grace to find help in my time of need and my time of need alone.
Sure, every now and then, I may whisper a prayer for someone else. But most of these prayers aren’t bold; they are weak and puny. They are said with little to no thought or effort. They aren’t spoken like I believe my God is actually listening.
Even when I do pray out of a deep concern for another’s situation my motives can still be selfish. For example, if I’m praying for a difficult child I’m hoping my life as a mom will be more peaceful. If I’m praying for my grumpy husband I’m hoping for an easier wife life. Or if praying for a rotten coworker, what I’m really hoping for is that my workplace is more enjoyable.
Do you see what I’m saying? Even when I’m praying for the right thing, I can be praying for selfish reasons. And a selfish reason is very seldom a right reason.
So that’s where I’m at this week — realizing that my prayer motives need some adjusting. I’m realizing that going to the throne of grace shouldn’t always be about my needs. I’m realizing that I can and should request mercy and grace on the behalf of others. I’m realizing that I need to pray as if my compassionate High Priest is listening. Because, well, He is.
Lord, here I am again asking for mercy and grace for myself. I have habitually approached your throne seeking personal benefit. Please forgive me and cleanse me of my selfish motives. Make me into a person who prayers boldly for others. Teach me to use the gift of prayer for others. Show those that need to be prayed for. Give me the words to speak. Let my requests match your will. I ask this in the name of your Son. Amen.
This post was written while reading Quietly Through the Bible. Have you recently written something inspired by your time in the Word? Please share in the link-up.
Only by grace,