A Prayer for Greater Freedom from the Past in the Present

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Gal. 5:1)

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free. (Luke 4:18) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (Jn. 8:36)

     Dear heavenly Father, what a joy it is to begin this day, calling out to you “Abba, Father!” That’s a cry of great peace, needful surrender and firm hope. I have great peace (huge understatement), in knowing you’ve adopted me as your beloved child. Nothing can separate me from your love; and nothing can add to it or take away from it. You love me because you love me, period. Hallelujah, many times over!

And it’s because of your steadfast love that I start this day, (and will continue it), in the posture of surrender. Recently, Father, certain settings and particular people, have triggered some old lingering hurts in me, and I realize I’m not as free as I want to be; more importantly, I’m not as free as you intend me to be. I bristle and avoid; my heart beats faster and my words get fewer. I relive old stories and fantasize different endings. I go from appropriate lament to unhelpful blame-assigning. My thoughts race to unhealthy places, and then my feet race, just to get away. But I don’t really leave the pain, just the premises.

Heart hurts, like legalism, create an unyielding yoke of slavery, that must be acknowledged, honored and dealt with. Time alone heals nothing; but time + your grace can heal most things. I’ve got time, but I need new and more grace, Father. In this very moment, I surrender to your Spirit’s work in my life—I collapse on Christ and avail myself of the power of the gospel. You must heal and change me, for all I can do is “treat and bandage my wounds lightly”. (Jer. 8:11)

I choose not to nurse grudges, but to drink living water. I choose neither to deny my feelings, nor justify my bad attitude. I choose not to gossip, but to gossip the gospel. I choose to run to Jesus, and not just run…

And that’s where hope comes in, Father. It is for freedom that Jesus has set us free. You are at work in my heart. One day, (hopefully soon) I won’t be as easily triggered. One Day, (and forever) I will be as lovely and as loving as Jesus (1 Jn. 3:1-3). In light of that Day, I will seek to live in this day to your glory. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.