Pray for Spiritual Reformation

Many people assume that I’m a prolific reader. Not so. I would guess that I read less than ten books a year. I spend considerable time in the best-selling book of all time, and after that, much of what’s out there seems like a bunch of fluff. When I do read other books, I’m drawn to deep theological works by scholars gifted in expounding the Scriptures. OK, I admit it, I’m a Bible nerd. But you already knew that.

I considered giving you a book review on one such book, but instead, I’m going to give you a few paragraphs to whet your appetite. First, the book title and author:

A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers by D. A. Carson.

Although I haven’t read all of his books, I recommend anything written by D. A. Carson, professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois.

The excerpt I’ve chosen to share with you is actually the Afterward to the book. It’s the author’s prayer for the reader. I copied this prayer years ago when I first read the book, and have prayed it many times for myself. I invite you to do the same.

“And now, Lord God, I ask your blessing on all who read this book, for without it there will be no real benefit. We may have education, but not compassion; we may have forms of praying, but no fruitful adoration and intercession; we may have oratory, but be lacking in unction; we may thrill your people, but not transform them; we may expand their minds, but display too little wisdom and understanding; we may amuse many, but find few who are solidly regenerated by your blessed Holy Spirit.

So we ask you for your blessing, for the power of the Spirit, that we may know you better and grow in our grasp of your incalculable love for us. Bless us, Lord God, not with ease or endless triumph, but with faithfulness. Bless us with the right number of tears, and with minds and hearts that hunger both to know and to do your Word. Bless us with a profound hunger and thirst for righteousness, a zeal for truth, a love for people. Bless us with the perspective that weighs all things from the vantage point of eternity. Bless us with a transparent love of holiness. Grant to us strength in weakness, joy in sorrow, calmness in conflict, patience when opposed or attacked, trustworthiness under temptation, love when we are hated, firmness and farsightedness when the climate prefers faddishness and drift.

We beg of you, holy and merciful God, that we may be used by you to extend your kingdom widely, to bring many to know and love you truly.

Grant above all, that our lives will increasingly bring glory to your dear Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

‘May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’”

As I read through this prayer once more, I acknowledge my own need for faith to even pray such a prayer with a believing heart. I’d love to hear your reaction to this substantive prayer.

6 comments to Pray for Spiritual Reformation

  • Bill

    Like the term fluff used in relation to Christian books, of which are many, and will much or all fluff. It is rare to find one written that adds spiritual value to the maturing believer. One I recently read is titled “On the Level” by brother Gregory who recently went to be with our Lord and his only book written.

    Do you have a FB page I can join, instead of emails?

  • sheila payne

    That is a beautiful prayer. You are a very cerebral person. I admire people like that. Ravi Zacharius says he was a poor learner until he became a Christian and began studying the Bible. Now he is considered brilliant. I guess it is just one of those amazing blessings given by God.

  • Mickey Waite

    Thanks Janet for this prayer I like the line. Grant above all that our lives will increasingly bring glory to your dear son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Something I fear I so often fall short in doing.

  • Shari B

    This BLESSED me this morning! Oh, for a single-minded heart of devotion to the Lord! I want to print this out–think on it, be blessed by it, incorporate it in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing with us what has blessed you, Janet.

  • Holly Steadman

    The Holy Spirit has great Power and supreme capability to quicken the mind of the believer–if we will set our hearts and minds and lives apart through the vast benefits of His Word. Not so much reading books that others have written, even as they might have been so quickened. The Word of God is sharp and precisely double-edged. IT always rightly divides. Thank you for this great post! Another one to print. 🙂 Especially–that prayer.
    And just exactly where I’m at with present choices and commitments.