A short prayer to help you walk in the Spirit

RMlogo A simple, short prayer on how to walk in the Spirit

This is the primary prayer that teaches me how to walk in the Spirit. I pray this daily, several times throughout my day. The LORD has used this prayer more than any other to keep me focused and directed. I hope it encourages you.

Dear LORD,
Help me to see what I cannot see (Hebrews 11:27). To know what I do not understand (1 Corinthians 2:14). To sense what I need to perceive in order to keep in step with your Spirit (Galatians 5:25). Help me to not become hard hearted (Hebrews 3:7). I do not want a desensitized conscience (Romans 2:14-15).

I need the Spirit to illuminate my mind (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Bring conviction to those areas that are dull to me (Hebrews 5:12-14). Keep me back from violating my conscience (Hebrews 4:7-8). Send merciful encouragements that motivate me (Romans 2:4) to turn from any evil way (Jeremiah 25:5), no matter how small they may appear to me.

Keep me from justifying actions that grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). I don’t want to fall into the rationalization trap (Isaiah 5:21). All blaming must be removed from my thought life (Genesis 3:13; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6). I am not a helpless victim (John 16:33). Fallen, but not helpless (Romans 5:12). Attacked, but not without hope (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

I am asking you to do what you promised to those who seek you (Philippians 1:6; James 4:6; 1Corinthians 1:8-9). I’m appealing to you (Philippians 4:6). I need you right now and every future moment of my life (Philippians 4:19).

I trust you and your judgments (Psalm 119:66). I know you’ll deal judicially with me (1 John 1:9). I also know that I cannot be trusted without you (Jeremiah 17:9). You are my heart treasure and comforting guide (Matthew 6:21; John 17:17, 16:13). I don’t want to quench that relationship.

Keeping in step with your Spirit will give me direction (Proverbs 3:5-6). You are my only lifeline (Colossians 3:3). There are no other options (Deuteronomy 30:19). Your Word will keep me from those things that interfere with the Christlike life you offer (Psalm 119:11, 105; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Teach me to say no to sin (Titus 2:12). This can happen if you give me your illuminating Comforter to shine His light on what is right and wrong (Romans 8:26-27; Galatians 5:18).

May the voice of the Spirit and my inner voice be in harmony (Romans 5:1). I don’t want a weak, soft, or hard conscience (1 Corinthians 8:7; 1 Timothy 4:2). I want a biblically-informed one that is affirmed moment by moment by the illuminating voice of the Spirit (John 16:13).

Being tuned to any other thing will defame you, bring harm to me, while separating me from my brothers and sisters (Isaiah 59:2; Ephesians 2:14). It will take courage to hear what you say and respond in biblical ways (Mark 5:36; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Corinthians 16:13). And that is the crux (cross) of the matter (John 3:14, 3:30, 12:32).

Keep back your servant from these sins; do not let them have dominion over me (Psalm 19:13).

I don’t want to be a hearer of your Words, but not a doer of them (James 1:22). I need your unmerited favor (Ephesians 2:8) to convince and empower me to respond to what I know to be true from you. Don’t give up on me (Psalm 121:7). Give me persevering grace (Romans 5:4).

Help me to move forward with the knowledge you give me (2 Timothy 3:7; 2 Peter 1:3-4), working it out (Philippians 2:12-13) in practical ways that continues to transform me (Romans 12:1-2) and my relationships (1 Corinthians 12:25; 1 Peter 3:8).

Your servant forever (Mark 10:45),


1 Timothy 1:15-16


My first day in the crucible of suffering – 04.08.88

RMlogo This is the 28th anniversary of the worst day of my life

Knowing God and experiencing God can be two radically different things. This autobiographical short story briefly walks through the worst day of my life. The day I met God in the crucible of suffering.

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. – 1 Peter 2:21 (ESV)

It was 5:05 PM when I walked into our smallish double-wide mobile home and saw the piano was missing. We were having marriage problems, but it never occurred to me that it was at that level. I immediately knew my wife and children were gone.

I ran through the house looking for them. If you can momentarily lose your mind, then I lost mine–to the point that I was looking in the closets and kitchen drawers for my family.

Beyond tears

Finally, after exhausting every inch of our home I fell in the hallway, heaving. It was beyond tears. I could not cry, and could hardly breathe.

At 9:30 that evening I fell over on the floor beside my large King James Bible, just have reading the first line of Psalm 51: “God have mercy on me.”

That was the last thing I remember from that day.

The next morning I went to work, where there was a floor scale for weighing things. I stepped on it–a habit I developed just ’cause–and saw that I had lost ten pounds in fifteen hours.

That was day one. The beginning of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3; Ephesians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 11:1).

Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live. – Jonah 4:3 (ESV)

I eventually asked the LORD to take my life.
I eventually admitted how angry I was at Him for what He allowed.

But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does. For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind. – Job 23:13-14 (ESV)

He eventually completed what He had in His mind for me.
He crushed me (Isaiah 53:10).

Of course He is not safe

Then I repented.

It was four years later.

Afterward, He reassured me–though it was totally and mysteriously vague–that there was a purpose in His crushing. I believed Him, though it was five more years before I saw even the faintest glimpse of what I thought He was reassuring me of.

I went to Bible college for four years to learn about God.

And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

I went in the wilderness for nine years to experience Him.

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him. – Mark 1:11-12 (ESV)

After meeting Him in the wilderness I began to see with new eyes. He was creating, working in, and bringing shape to a “theology of suffering world view” in me (Philippians 2:12-13). How could I walk well in His world without that?

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes. – Job 42:5-6 (ESV)

The LORD took away everything that was dear to me. I was single, fatherless, penniless, and homeless with no future hope of restoration on any front, or even a future that would be any different from that present darkness.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” – Exodus 10:21 (ESV)

There is darkness of the soul, and then there is a darkness of the soul that can be felt. That darkness cannot be articulated, only felt. It’s deeper than deep (Psalm 42:7), from which there is only one cure. You must die (Matthew 16:24).

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. – John 12:24 (ESV)

But if it dies

What I could not see, what I was afraid to see, and what I refused to see was the LORD. I did not want to look at Him. To look at God in the crucible of suffering was to stare into my death (Luke 22:42). That is when it first dawned on me. Here is my epiphany.

He had a Son, “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief.” (Isaiah 53:10) Now I’m one of His sons.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. – 1 John 3:1 (ESV)

Why should I consider it a strange thing (1 Peter 4:12) for my Father to make me walk in the steps of His beloved Son (1 Peter 2:21). I prayed for His forgiveness of my stubborn, self-righteous anger that was demanding He see things my way.

He forgave me.

Nothing changed.

Except I seemed to perceive a sprinkle of hope coming like a small cloud forming in the sky about the size of a man’s hand.

And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” – 1 Kings 18:43-44 (ESV)

Eventually the rain came.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

This blog post is my clearest explanation of my intensity, passion, urgency, directness, desires for clarity, singular focus, and family and vocational work ethic.