posted on January 19, 2010 11:21
A Prayer About a Holy Spirit Garden
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-25
Dear heavenly Father, I had a flashback this morning as I began reading this passage. I remembered the old “Holy Spirit wars” I lived through back in the 70’s, when Christians were engaged in heated arguments about the baptism and gifts of the Spirit, especially over the gift of tongues. Churches were divided, marriages stressed, lines were drawn and “haves and have-nots” got labeled.
When those theological rugby matches receded, we entered a new battleground and intra-kingdom conflict called the “worship wars.” Choruses versus hymns, drums or no drums, electric versus acoustic, and, “God save the choir!”… became intense, temper-flaring issues… Oh, Lord, the patience, kindness and forbearance you show us, your people! We who are called to reveal the beauty, unity, joy and love within the Trinity, often do just the opposite.
As the culture around us increasingly sees Christians and Christianity as either irrelevant, a nuisance or a threat, God grant us repentance and humility. Father, we’re not to be co-dependent on what the world thinks about us. But the gospel is offensive enough without our adding the offence of our own conceit, and our “provoking and envying each other.” (Gal. 5:25)
My prayer today? Make us a garden of the Holy Spirit. Fill us with the fruit and beauty of the life of Jesus as the Spirit does his work in our hearts and in our midst. Father, you’ve baptized us by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ… you’ve sealed us with the Spirit… you’ve placed the Spirit in our hearts as a permanent resident and pledge of the final harvest of redemption.
Therefore… we who have the Spirit, because of the righteousness of Jesus, cry for his fruit-bearing presence in our midst. Father, grow GIGANTIC crops of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And may this bumper-crop of gospel-wonder propel us outwardly into the community and into the nations…to live and to love missionally until Jesus returns to finish making all things new. So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus’ fruit-bearing name.
Pastor for Preaching, Teaching and Worship
Christ Community Church
1215 Hillsboro Rd.
Franklin, TN 37069
It's good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace Hebrews 13:9