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"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise" (Ps 51:17)
I have often thought that if I had only one prayer to pray it would simply be "Lord, break me." Here's why...
A friend recently told me that he was praying that God would bless my life with more of His presence. I welcomed his prayer. Who wouldn't? Most of us desire more of God in our lives. The truth is every one of us has as much of God as we want. But many of us lack a strong desire to do what it takes to make more room for Him.
Here's the deal: for us to have more of God means there needs to be less of you and me. John the Baptist couldn't have made it clearer. "He must increase, I must decrease." Sounds simple enough but we cannot do this on our own. A battle is being waged for control of our lives. "For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other." (Gal 5:17 NIV) In this battle there must be only one outcome - our unconditional surrender to God.
But the flesh does not easily surrender to God and give up its control, nor does it want to. We need the Holy Spirit to break our attachment to the world, to enable us to relinquish control of our life and to bring death to our old nature so as to establish the rule of the new. In bringing many sons to glory, God wants Jesus to be seen in His people. He is glorified when His Son looks good in us.
This is why "Lord, break me!" is such a vital prayer.
God wants us to be broken vessels. He needs to break us of all that obscures His Son-our defensiveness, our standing on our rights, our envying and lusts, our anger when our will is crossed. Examples of the self-life are endless and none are pretty. God will not patch over our old nature. He has to bring our self-life to the death.
The more we die to self, the more of Jesus will be unconsciously displayed in us. His beauty instead of my wretched self is certainly worth the cost of praying, "Lord, break me!"
Global Prayer Coordinator