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A Prayer About Shame
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Genesis 2:25
Dear Father, it’s nearly impossible to imagine the day when there was no need for the emotion of shame. In their innocence, our first parents were absolutely free of any need to turn away from your gaze, or that of one another. There was no need to fear, cover up, hide, pose, pretend, get defensive, feel guilty, make excuses, blame the other, want to disappear, do penance, numb out, medicate… or try any other broken attempt to deal with the disintegrating effects of shame.
It is only in you Jesus, that we now find hope to deal with both our guilt and our shame. For in light of the joy set before you by the Father, you endured the agony of the cross for us, scorning its shame-the shame of being made sin for us, that in you we might become the righteousness of God! (Heb. 12:2; 2 Cor. 5:21). Indeed Jesus, those who trust in you will never be put to shame, for you took our shame and made it yours (1 Pet. 2:6), that we might know the present and eternal favor of God. How can we EVER praise you enough for such love?
Therefore, Jesus, we cry out for freedom today-freedom in our ongoing struggles with shame-the shame we feel and the shame we give. Though our guilt has been completely taken care of by your work on the cross, Jesus, we still feel varying degrees of shame, and we act out in a variety of destructive ways. We vacillate between self-contempt and other-centered contempt, and both of these contradict and sabotage the very love by which, and for which, we were saved. Indeed, we need the freedom you alone can provide, Jesus. Bring the grace and truth of the gospel to bear in profoundly healing and liberating ways, Lord Jesus. All for your glory, we ask it… Amen!
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