I prayed a prayer God has already answered

Hand of Christ reaching down from heaven to grab the hand of man

This morning I prayed a prayer that God has already answered. This sounds a bit daft so let me explain, here is the prayer:

Produce in me self-despair that will

make Jesus precious to me,

delightful in all his offices,

pleasurable in all his ways,

and may I love his commands

as well as his promises

(The Valley of Vision, p333)

This is part of a longer prayer which I was reading when the words produce in me self-despair” arrested me — I know self-despair well, why would anyone ask God for it?

The rest of the line explains: to make Jesus precious to me.

I have been praying the same in reverse — I have self-despair, please give me hope in Christ.

Reading what some Puritan wrote hundreds of years ago opened my eyes to meaning within my depression. I have given up hope in myself, in the most desperate times all that remains is a plea to God. Jesus says, ask and I will give you eternal life (see John 4:10 & 14).

While I hate depression and do what I can to avoid the despair, this prayer gives me a glimpse of what may be God’s perspective on it. Despairing of hope from within, I seek Christ to be all for me.

Gifts I have noticed recently:

  1. The love of my children.

  2. Fear and uncertainty holding me back from stupid choices.

  3. My family who loves and needs me as I am.

  4. The desire to write, even if I don’t know what.

  5. Happy memories to cling to.

  6. Encouragement from friends.

  7. A few days off.

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