A church planter friend whose church is in the Denver, Colorado, area posted a prayer of an 85 years young congregation member. It is a seasoned prayer. The words from the mind and heart of this long Christ follower offer glimpses of gospel wisdom. I hope you’ll be encouraged in the reading of the prayer. Perhaps you can even borrow his words and make them your own prayer. In the words of my friend, “One of our members turned 85 yesterday. Here is his prayer to God. I only hope to a have an inch of this honesty and depth at this juncture. This is more lasting than a Super Bowl Comeback, richer than a Gaga Performance. Worth a Read.”
And here’s the prayer:
“To my Beloved Father, my Friend Jesus and my Comforter Holy Spirit.
Today I’m 85. I am shocked that I am still here. My days have been long; many filled with joy and others full of pain, mostly of my own making. While others have forgiven me seventy times seven and more, thank you Jesus that on the cross, you forgave me once and for all. Thank you that your love reaches beyond romantic love and beyond unconditional love to Calvary Love. Abba, thank you that you are the Good Father who never tired of welcoming me back when, like the Prodigal Son, I returned from playing the fool or when, like the Elder Brother, I smugly wrapped myself in illusions of moral superiority.
The days before me are fewer than the days behind me. Thank you for your promise that someday I shall be free of sickness and pain, that someday I will be whole and complete, that my eyes will see you and my hands will touch you and these ears will hear you say, “Welcome _______. Enter into my rest.” In that Great Morning, we will cast our crowns before you and sing, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.”
You promised that you were going to make a place for me. Could you make it with wide windows that look out on Shasta Daisies and mountains that look like the Canadian Rockies? Thank you for your assurance that Heaven will not be a tedious, endless vacation. I’m glad that you have told us we will be co-rulers with you. I’m glad we will all have work we will love.
I won’t have great triumphs to lay at your feet. But what I will have to offer are the tears I’ve wiped away, the broken hearts I’ve comforted, the wounds I’ve bound up and the blind eyes I’ve helped to see. Yes, and a son and daughters and grandchildren who love You.
Jesus, I confess that some days a pesky Doubter whispers questions about You, Heaven and Your goodness – it whispers that it is all just a myth as quaint as the ancient idea that the world rests on the back of a turtle. But then your love always welcomes me back.
I admit that in my heart I’m in no hurry to step through that door. Whatever my remaining days, I pledge to let you love me better. Then I know I will be able to love you better, my family better, my neighbor better and myself better. Since where you are is home, and you have made my heart your home, I’m already home. Like the poet, I have miles to go before I sleep, amen, more tears to dry, amen and more broken-hearts to help you heal, amen.”