Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11:43-44
Dear Lord Jesus, as surely as you spoke and Lazarus walked out of his tomb fully alive, so when you spoke the gospel to my heart, I too was raised from the dead and was made fully alive in you! I contributed no more to my second birth than I did to my first birth. I needed you to enable me to breath in grace just as much as I needed you to enable me to breath in oxygen.
With all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, I have passed from death to life; from condemnation to full acceptance; from slavery to sin, to sonship to Abba Father. For the sovereign grace and the resurrection power of the gospel, I praise you today. Indeed, salvation is of the Lord. Hallelujah, many times over!
Yet as surely as Lazarus needed to be freed from his grave-clothes, so do I. The smell and signs of death still haunt me and stalk me. There are many areas of my life for which I long for greater freedom.
Lord Jesus, I want greater freedom from the influence of what people do, or don’t, think of me. I long for the “approval suck” in me to die under the weight of grace. I want freedom to respond to trying situations and people with grace and wisdom, rather than reacting with irritation and fear. I want freedom to value and see in others what you value and see in them. I want freedom to pray quicker and fret less.
I want indifference to be replaced with good listening. I want passivity to be replaced with passion. I want to be free from the toxic shame that often paralyzes my heart. I want to know what stuff from my past still needs to be dealt with and what stuff simply needs to be left till the day of final resurrection. I want to be much bolder in sharing the gospel and much slower to repeat gossip.
I want to be able to sit still longer and laugh louder. I want to age grace-fully, not regret-fully. I want to stay more fully alive to the only love that will never let me go—your love, Lord Jesus, the only love that is better than life. You’ve made me alive in you, Jesus; make me much, much freer, all for your glory. So very I pray, in your peerless and priceless name.