Livin’ On a Prayer

We’ve been talking about being grace wholesalers, which is something we must be if we’re going to reach truly lost people. We’ve looked at some of the things that hold us back from being grace wholesalers. I want to take a few posts to offer some practical suggestions for how to become a grace wholesaler.

First, a prayer. There’s a prayer I’ve been trying to practice praying. I think I may have first encountered it in my friend Brian Jones’ book, “Second Guessing God.” So here it is: Every time you interact with someone pray, “Jesus, give me your heart for this person.”

I love the way John Burke talks about this. He says: If you saw a Rembrant painting covered in mud, you wouldn’t focus on the mud or treat it like mud. Your primary concern would not be the mud at all – though the mud would need to be removed. You’d just be ecstatic to have something so valuable in your care! But if you tried to clean it up by yourself you might damage it. So you would carefully bring this work of art to a master who could guide you and help you restore it to the condition originally intended.

We need to pray for Jesus’ heart because it allows us to see the masterpiece behind the mud. It is so difficult to not let people’s crap to annoy us and to be patient with them and love them despite their imperfections. But that’s exactly what God does with me. And I thank Him for that everyday. So if that’s what we hope for from God, should we give other people any less?

The problem is that we’re not capable of such grace, but God is. And thus the prayer: Jesus, give me your heart for this person.

How about you do a little holy experiment? For the next 48 hours, every time you interact with anyone, you go into it praying this prayer. Then let me know what happens …

Until then, oh crap, I could have had a V8.

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