I was restless and discouraged, so I turned to some words by Ray Ortlund Sr., the father of my spiritual renewal in Christ. These reflections became a prayer of consecration to Jesus Christ that blessed my soul! I believe they’ll give your spirit a lift too. But first, let me explain why we need this prayer of devotion to Jesus.
The Troubles of the Day
“Do not worry…” Jesus said. “Seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness… Do not worry about tomorrow… For each day has enough trouble of it’s own” (Matthew 6:31-34).
Every day has much of the mundane it. If we’re not careful, the chores and maintenance of life can suck us into a void of meaninglessness.
Every day also brings forth desires for things that would make us feel good, and worries about what might make us feel bad. If we’re not careful, our emotions lead us into unhealthy and unholy behaviors.
And every day presents more to do than time to do it. If we’re not careful, our to-do list makes us hurried and harried.
If we’re not careful, we lose focus on what we say matters most to us: serving Christ.
If we’re not careful. Read this as: If we’re not care-full. If we’re not full of God’s care, then we lose heart, the worries and troubles of life crowd and God and we slide into becoming cynical — perhaps secretly so — about experiencing the reality of the risen Christ today.
We talk with many spiritual cynics who have lost heart. It’s a common condition for pastors, ministry leaders, and other committed Christ-followers. We “know” more about God and life with him then we’re living. We can explain for others the Christian life, even some of its mysteries, but we’re not experiencing intimacy with Jesus or becoming more like him. We have fallen into the “sanctification gap.”
Christian cynics give up on the possibility that their life could actually look like what’s found in the pages of the New Testament. They reduce Christianity to a set of doctrines or to ministering to other people. Or, they just give up and go through the motions. In any case, they don’t believe that God has a life of intimacy, adventure, and joy for them.
Sometimes we all lose heart. All our biblical heroes and the masters of devotion to Christ throughout history experienced this. Ray Ortlund went through periods of spiritual dryness and being cold-hearted to God and he told me about it and how he dealt with it.
To re-kindle a fire in his heart for loving and serving God, Ray would get close to someone else’s heart that was hot for God. David in the Psalms. Paul in the New Testament. Augustine from the early church. Thomas Kelly, Frank Laubach, or another spiritual writer from the past. Or, he’d get together with a fellow disciple of Christ for conversation and prayer. He even took heart from me!
More often, I took heart from Ray Ortlund Sr. He passed into glory in 2007, but I still thank God for him. In fact, this morning I was missing Ray and wishing I could talk to him one more time so I spent a couple of hours recalling his example and words, thanking God for him. Ray’s words stirred my soul and became my prayer of consecration to the Lord. It’s a prayer of renewal to return to again and again!
A Consecration Prayer: Lord, Make My Life a Miracle Today!
Lord Jesus Christ, make my life a miracle today! Make my life supernatural! You’re the original miracle and I live and move and have my being in you. In my own strength, I can’t do what needs to be done or love those who need to be loved. So, I look to you acting within me in grace and I seek to do all that I do today as your apprentice in your kingdom.
Lord, you are the completely balanced Person: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, whole and sufficient in yourself. Holy and happy. Glorious and gracious. Abba, I adore you. Jesus, I embrace you. Holy Spirit, I rely on you.
Thank you, Lord God, that you are a rewarder of those who seek you. You are my reward — knowing you and serving you is the blessing of my life. No matter what troubles may come upon me, I have fullness of life in you and your kingdom. Truly, you are my joy and my delight. I love you! I want to live in your presence always.
Jesus, take me safely to the Silence which is the source of sound. In the battles, temptations, and trials of this day you are my refuge and my fortress. Heal my hurts. Calm down my worry and slow down my hurry. Lift up my head to your heavens all around me. Impress your thoughts on my mind and heart and guide my steps in your easy yoke. It’s your Word that gives me life so I’m listening now and throughout this day for your still, small voice…
Today as I do all that I do, Jesus be the Center of my soul. Deliver me from dark powers so that I am free to be who you made me to be. Integrate all my fragmented parts so that my identity is in being the disciple you love. Focus all my distracted intentions on you in my midst, so that I can appreciate my opportunity to be with you and to rely on you in all that I do. I want my life with you to be the center of my life.
O Spirit of God, you raised Christ from the dead and you live in me, you breathe in me, you cry out from within me: “Abba Father! Jesus is Lord!” Empower me now. Shine your light and your love in and through me so that in all I do today for me and those I meet the name of Jesus is sweet and the Father is honored. Yes, I want to serve you with enthusiasm, to be a blessing to you and the people around me.
Jesus, I want to be all and only for you today and for eternity!
The Inspiration Behind My Consecration Prayer
My consecration prayer is inspired by Ray Ortlund Sr.’s ministry to me and his book, Lord, Make My Life a Miracle! My article, “Live from the Center,” explains the connection between the title of Ray’s book and a line in Thomas Kelly’s classic, A Testament of Devotion.
Over the years I enjoyed many lunches and prayer times with Ray. “Be Devoted to Christ like Ray Ortlund Sr.” will help you to pull up a chair and join the conversation.
Soul Shepherding helps secret cynics learn to enjoy intimacy with Jesus and share his love with genuine enthusiasm. You can support a pastor receiving Soul Shepherding with your tax-deductible donation.