Birthday prayer for the middle-aged Christian
Many of my birthdays come and go without too much reflection or emotion, but some hit me hard. This was one of those years.
Quite frankly, I didn’t like that number this year. Sure, I am happy to be alive and grateful to be healthy at the time of this writing, but I have a sense of urgency rising up within me. My life is over half over (not likely to see 112 birthday candles) and my past has been riddled with mistakes. Some of my early dreams will never come true because I can’t go back and re-do my past, and I don’t have enough time ahead of me to pull them off.
Put simply, I have aged out of much of what I could have done.
About two weeks before my big day this year, I started praying a sentence prayer in moments of near panic, “Lord, don’t waste me!” By these words, I was pleading with God to make sure my life counts…in a big way.
The moment my eyes opened on this year’s summer birthday, the onslaught of pleading feelings greeted me. Soon after my feet hitting the floor I tweeted, “Thanks for choosing to create me, Lord. I am so grateful. Please show up and make my life worthy of Your Name. Only way it will happen.”
I had asked my family to take me to breakfast (my favorite meal) but I simply couldn’t leave the house until I wrote my Lord a prayer. I share it here today in case I am not the only middle-aged Christ follower on the globe fighting this sense of urgency as the reality of our pasts linger and the brevity of our future becomes more evident. Following the prayer below, a near exact copy of what I wrote, I share some footnotes of what was going on in my head as certain sentences flowed from my pen.
Feel free to say the same prayer. This aging thing is happening to all of us!
Dear Lord, Thank you for creating me. Don’t waste my life. Please come down with heaven on earth (1) and do something magnificent for Yourself with me. (2) The world doesn’t need to know what you end up doing with Yourself through me. (3) I don’t even need to know. But I plead with you to enter into the frailness and brevity of my life and slaughter every one of the enemy’s efforts to steal, kill and destroy (4) anything about my life’s influence for Jesus. You are my Victor. My name even means Victorious (5). I surrender my life to You and invite you to show up in every fragment of it. It’s all I can do because I can’t do anything of significance here from this tiny blue dot unless you breathe into this dust of a life (6). You are my ONLY power, hope and purpose. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen
(1) The Lord’s prayer begins with, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come. They will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
(2) Because God is magnificent, all He does is magnificent. It is okay to expect magnificence and invite a magnificent outcome.
(3) I may never be famous in the world. My fame is God in me (as is your claim to fame). When we get to heaven, there will be a lot of pointing and asking, “Who’s that?” because the most brilliant lights in the world may not be the same ones the world selected. Only God knows the truth of our hearts.
(4) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)
(5) Think laurel wreath, as in Olympics and Greece.
(6) I do not share any of the world’s messages that I am powerful and can do anything I set my mind to. Take a look at the poster to the left that I featured in a prior post. I am dust. But God reached through the expanse from His throne in heaven and sent His Son Jesus to die for my sins (and yours) so you and I can gain full access to the power of God through the presence of the Holy Spirit living inside of us. What an absolute miracle we are living.
Picture Explanation: A special day, as are all birthdays, because it’s the day God launched me into His-Story. I didn’t arrive one minute too early or too late. God’s timing is perfect. I am trusting Him to do something magnificent.
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