Note: As a personal, spiritual discipline, reviving my practice in the Lenten season of 2017, I revise the prayers I wrote then for each of the forty days of this Lent; each petition focusing on a theme, a concern weighing on my mind and heart or a care of my soul and spirit.
On the human problem with following Jesus and the assurance of salvation (being a meditation on Psalm 51.1-2 and Psalm 19.12)…
O Jesus, You call me to follow You. In my life’s walk, setting the metaphorical feet of my mind and heart, soul and spirit only where You trod.
O Jesus, You know how impossible this is for me!
Because as You are You and I am me, there is an unfathomably boundless distance between Your Being and mine.
And because of the necessity of repentance, my repentance in order to follow You (aye, the repentance that is following You!), daily, hourly, moment by moment turning away from my way toward You. This is impossible enough for me concerning my conscious thoughts and feelings, intentions and actions; still more, regarding my unconscious self!
O Jesus, knowing that I cannot do this, I pray with the psalmist, “Have mercy on me, O God, cleanse me from my sin” and “cleanse me from my secret faults.”
And whilst I pray, by Your Spirit, deepen my faith, my trust in You and Your salvation that I may know that I follow You not beseeching You to save me, but rather because You already have.
Illustration: The Calling of St. Andrew and St. John (detail, Jesus), James Tissot (1836-1902