Saturday, April 4, 2009

Prayers of My Youth

Prayers of My Youth

In my youth I prayed
“Lord, break me,
Melt me,
Mold me,
And shape me;
Make me into all you want me to be.
I am the least of your kingdom,
But surely you can use me.
Search me and know me.
Cleanse me.
Purify my soul.
Burn out the dross.
Purge me with hyssop.
Somehow make me an instrument
Of Your glory and honor.
Make me fit for your kingdom,
If only worthy of the shadow of Your passing.
Help me serve you.
That’s all I ask.”

Little did I know
The path I would walk;
How excited prayers for perfection
Could morph into pleas for survival.
I had assumed it all quick and simple.
Death, new life, direction and certainty,
Infused in but a moment.
Sincerity in surrender
Was all He would require.
Instead, I found my Father
More patient than I,
More willing to suffer with me
Than I with Him.
I could not know the cost of my quest,
The anvils of my breaking,
The furnaces of my undoing,
The presses of my forming.
Neither could I know
Brokenness would not expose
The purity I had imagined.
In the crevices of my soul
Grew leaven unknown.
Stains thought to be
Under the blood
Surfaced in the light
Of His Word.

How could I know
Melting is slow;
Dross lingers long;
Dreams of valor vanish;
Hope for survival would seem enough.
Bold prayers of surrender
Become petitions for help,
Then desperate screams for a deliverer.
“Jesus of Nazareth,
Thou Son of David,
Have mercy on me.
Help me! Help me!
Help me, if you can.”

I did not know his hammer and His anvil
Would be persons whom I knew,
Disappointments, betrayal;
His smelting pot
The altar of service,
Ministry in His Name.
If I knew then
What I know now,
Would I pray the same?
Would I plead the glory of His Name?
Would I offer
“All that I am,
All that I have,
All I hope to be.
They are Yours Oh Lord.
Not my will
But Thine be done.”

Yes, moving now from the summer
To the autumn of my life,
Considering all that has gone before,
I cannot but pray
“Jesus use me
Oh Lord don’t refuse me.
Whatever it takes
Make me into all
You desire me to be.
Help me serve you.
That’s all that I ask.”

April 3, 2009

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