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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Search me, Oh God and know my heart.

Test me and know my anxious thoughts. 

See if there be any offensive way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.

~King David, Psalm 139

Something was smelly in our fridge the past week, and try as I may, I couldn’t find it. Hiding on a shelf in the door was a rotten hard-boiled egg in a plastic bag. Keeping on top of rotting leftovers is a job you just have to stay on top of. The same is true of our souls. Thoughts, feelings, actions, and words that aren’t blessed and don’t align with God’s love can fester and rot, and soon people around us can almost smell it. Taking out the trash we hold in our hearts can be a daily habit. We have a receptacle outside of ourselves:  it’s the cross. The cross is, as Mark calls it, “the toxic waste dump of the universe.”

It’s there I take my bad attitudes, my eyeball rolling, my critical tongue, my angry words, my inner whining child, my unforgiving inner brat, my silent cursing, and untamed imaginations. I acknowledge my sin, take it to Jesus, and leave it with Him. I depart that God-forsaken place forgiven and cleansed. Jesus gives me His love to replace the sin I forsook. He keeps it real simple for us:  Love God and Love Others. I’m reminded to replace my bad attitudes, critical spirit, anger, complaining, and unforgiveness with His unending love which manifests in real, sincere kindness. He can make me a kind person! I can change through the powerful force of His love.

My Father,

“Search me, Oh God and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any offensive way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”

[Quiet yourself before your loving God and see if He brings to mind a need for change. Then take a load of trash to the dump, acknowledging your sin and asking forgiveness. Replace that sin with a new habit: gratitude to God.]

The way I’ve chosen isn’t everlasting; it feels like death. So I die to death today and live for life! I receive Your great love, forgiveness, joy, and all the Fruit of the Holy Spirit.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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