Father, it amazes me that I can call you that—my Father. For I have done nothing worthy of being adopted into your family. But Father, thank you for your infinite love, grace, and mercy toward me in the Lord Jesus Christ. You who are wholly holy, infinitely righteous and just, in eternity past planned the way for a sinner like me to be reconciled to you. Thank you for the atoning work of your Son on the cross in my place, for judging Him for my sin so that I may be free indeed. I come to you in Jesus’s name, recognizing I have no righteousness of my own to present to you, but only clinging to that which is a gift of your grace—the gift of righteousness in Jesus.
Lord, I confess that I am utterly rebellious and wayward at the very core of my being. That I do not need to be reformed, but made completely new, which is what your grace has provided for me. The gospel has delivered me out of darkness and placed me into the marvelous light of Jesus Christ. In Him, I am a new creature. My old life has passed away and all things are continually being made new by the transforming work of the Holy Spirit within me as I discipline myself for godliness and submit to His mind in written form—the Bible.
Who am I, Lord? Who am I to give counsel to another sinner when I am still so very sinful myself? When the battle between sin and righteousness is so strong within me? Ah, yes (thank you for reminding me), I must choose to remember anew that I am what I am not by works of righteousness which I have done, but by your grace and mercy. It is your grace and mercy that makes me useful in the work of counseling one another, helping others grow in Christ as I myself do the same.
Thank you for your written Word, which is actively alive and able not merely to correct behavior, but is able to do the deepest, most difficult work of discerning intentions of the human heart and performing your healing surgery by renewing the mind. Thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit who strengthens me, gives discernment, leads me to what parts of your Sword are most effective at being employed for that healing heart surgery.
Like you did for Solomon, please give me a sensitive heart and the wisdom to know how to discern what others need as I seek to help them find the joy of walking with Jesus and trusting His precious promises. This week, as I take part in divinely-ordained encounters with others, give me a listening ear and heart. Make me slow to speak and gentle when I do. Give me courage to speak hard truth that has the power to set people free from a lifetime of self-deception. Give me patience. O, give me the patience that is not a part of my nature. That I may rebuke the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and be patient with all—as you have been so patient (and continue to be) with me.
May all of my personal one-another ministry, which is often called counseling, be to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ who is my all in all!