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.
I need to pray as if my compassionate High Priest is listening. #quietlyreminded #quietlythrough Click To Tweet
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,
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You may enjoy these link ups as well: Chasing Community, Fresh Market Friday, Heart Encouragement, Monday @ Soul Survival, RaRaLinkUp, #Tea&Word, Warriors in the Word
Thank you for this convicting post.
I have to be honest- I have felt the same conviction seep into my soul. My prayers, too, have felt very self-centered and puny as of late. And yet, just this morning, I did it again.
“Lord, please help my kids to behave today” (for my pleasure). “Please remove the discomfort that my teething baby is feeling.” (for my comfort). “Please give me grace throughout my day and multiply my minutes. (for my own agenda). Yikes! Even when I know I’m doing it, I continue to do it.
What is it Paul says? “I do what I don’t want to do, and don’t do what I want.” (paraphrase)
Thank you for the convicting message today, and reminder of what my prayers SHOULD look like.
Rachel, it’s so easy to do, isn’t it!?! I’m so glad I’m not the only one. I’m even more glad that the Holy Spirit doesn’t let us get away with it! 😉
Food for thought, Kelli. I think it happens to us all from time to time. FYI the linkup is not showing up.
Eek! Let me see what’s wrong.
I see you point about making life easier for myself. But I think Jesus wanted that to when he died for us, not to be selfish or lazy, but to love us.
Hi Rebecca! I’m so glad you are here. I agree, Jesus did go to the cross because He loves us. But I don’t necessarily think that an easier life comes from His sacrifice. There are many passages of Scripture that promise that suffering comes with following Christ (John 16:33, Romans 8:17, 2 Corinthians 1:3-11, 4:8–9). After all, if Jesus learned obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8) I’m sure we will learn the same way. I believe Jesus died for something far greater than our earthly comfort. He died so we wouldn’t have to be separated from Him for all eternity. And the current condition of my prayer life shows that I am still more concerned with my earthly comfort than I am the eternal address of those around me.
He overcame so we could, I do believe He suffered many things so we would not have to. But I appreciate the comment. Have great evening.
Thanks for your heartfelt reminder. I’m certainly guilty of the same thing far too often, especially when it comes to being weak and puny. I love your passion for God’s Word and I’m always blessed when I come here. Thanks for speaking truth into those corners of our lives that we sometimes avoid!
Thanks, Donna. Your words have made me smile this morning. 🙂