Daily Prayer Guide: Saturday Dec 12

Bible Reading

Philippians 2:1-11

1If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.     3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form,  8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Meditation

Humility doesn’t come naturally. If anything it’s the opposite of natural. Pride is an undeniable part of the human condition. In many ways, it is the water we swim in every day. Pride is the sin from which all other sins flow. It is ground zero for humanity’s depravity. Exposing pride in our lives is perhaps the most countercultural thing we can do.

// Where do you see you pride emerge most often in your life?

C.S. Lewis once wrote that “If you want to find out how proud you are, the easiest way is to ask yourself, “How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronize, or show off?” The point is that each person’s pride is in competition with everyone else’s’ pride.”

The innate downward draw of pride makes the example of Christ all that much more compelling. If anyone ever had the right to be proud certainly it would have been Christ, who, “in very nature” was God incarnate. If we allow ourselves the time to reflect on Christ’s example it speaks powerfully and deeply. His example has the affect of changing everything we think is possible. Imagine, the God of the universe becoming human, humbly born in poverty. What then is possible for us?

Reflection and Prayer

// Here is a prayer of confession that you might find helpful as you ponder pride in your own life, and the example of Christ….

Gracious and gentle and condescending God, God of peace, condescending Father of mercy, God of all comfort, I grieve before you over the evil of my heart. I acknowledge that I am too prone to anger, jealousy, and revenge, to ambition and pride, which often give rise to conflict and bitter feelings between me and others. Too often in this way I have offended and grieved you, my longsuffering Father, as well as my neighbors. Forgive me this sin, and allow me to share in the blessing which you have promised to the peacemakers, who shall be called children of God.

-Johann Arndt (1555-1621) German Lutheran Theologian

Written by Paul LeFeber

Click here to download Week 2 Prayer Guide: Sun Dec 6-Sat Dec 12

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