Monday Matines: The Prayers of Scotty Smith
If most of us are honest, prayer is difficult. We always feel like we aren’t doing it right. Like we should have more to say and that the things we say probably aren’t even asking for the right things. I know that I often get paralyzed by these things.
One source that I have found great encouragement in is the prayers of Pastor Scotty Smith. Scotty’s blog, which is composed mostly of prayers is a great resource. Additionally, thanks to Baker Books, you can now purchase a hard copy of 365 of his prayers arranged for devotional use.
This collection is excellent in doing two things that all of us need. First is models gospel oriented prayers. Pastor Smith’s uncanny ability to relate everything to the gospel in his prayers is encouraging to me. It is a challenge to come back to the cross and not give God a “todo” list. Second, Scotty prays about everything. Anything and everything. Some of the topics include: Friendship, the Old Testament Law, Shame, Restlessness, and the passing away of loved ones.
To give you a taste of this, I want to share Scotty’s prayer for those in need of healing, which is the March 28th reading from Everyday Prayers and can be found on his blog.
Most merciful and mighty Jesus, I begin this day with two strong images and one deeplonging. The first image… oh my, how thankful I am that I get to see what John saw—a vision of the Day and City in which perfect health will permeate all things. You have taken up all our infirmities and by your wounds we are being healed. Because of the tree of Calvary, the tree of life will stand tall in the New Jerusalem… bearing the fruit of yourconsummate glory and the leaves of our complete healing. Oh to live, play and praise in the shade of that tree, in which every expression of disease, disintegration and distress will be gone forever…
The second image which preoccupies my heart this morning is that of my precious grandson—weary, worn out, and weepy from, what seems to be, never-ending ear infections. I know his struggle is not that on the scale of the whole nation of Haiti… or the horrors in the Sudan… or the struggles of AIDS wracked-countries, but he is my grandson. And as much as I love him, I know your love trumps mine a thousand-fold. I bring him before your throne of grace right now…
Even as I pray for marriages of friends to be healed… the minds of those suffering with mental illness to be healed… the fabric of our racially torn community to be healed… the emotions of the demonized to be healed… friends with stories of abuse, cancer and heart disease to be healed… indeed, for the nations to be healed…
Jesus, I don’t understand, and I don’t have to understand the already-and-not-yet of your healing ministry between your two comings. Why, how and when you choose to bring a foretaste of perfect health in the present-state of our brokenness, is up to you. You are the King who does all things well. You don’t need our permission to do anything.
But holding my little grandson before you re-intensifies my commitment to avoid two extremes: Keep me free from faith-formulas that treat healing like an on-demand right, and keep me free from a theology that has no expectation of your kingdom breaking in with power and healing.
More so than ever, I intensely and deeply long for the Day perfect health. Until that Day, help me and our church family, anticipate and extend various dimensions of your healing ministry, to one another, our community and the nations. So very Amen, I pray, in your holy and healing name.
I hope you are as encouraged and instructed by Scotty’s prayers as I am,