Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Preparing for Lent: Dearest Jesus, Draw Thou Near Me

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

As I think about the Lenten season which is now upon us, I again have the desire to draw nearer. To be close to the Lord in a new and stronger way, through both reading His word and prayer. I want to focus my heart during these weeks on knowing God more and asking Him to make me into the image of His Son.

I find myself relating to Paul in his writing to the Philippians:

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:8-11

I want to know Him. Each day when I read God's word, I pray for the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to His truth, and to open my ears to what He is speaking to me. Too often the distractions of this world lead my thoughts astray during the most important part of my day!

I want to obey Him. As this hymnwriter says, I want the Lord to take away each thought that tempts me to disobey Him. I pray that He will root each evil thought out, and bring all my thoughts, actions and behaviors into obedience.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. II Corinthians 10:5

I want to be ready. I want Him to prepare me for the day He chooses to take me home. I want His word to assure and uphold me until that day. I want to draw near.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8

Join me here every day of this Lenten season for daily prayers as we meditate on and contemplate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This "exercise" was so meaningful to me last year and I couldn't not do it again.

Dearest Jesus, Draw Thou Near Me
Words by Thomas Kingo

Dearest Jesus, draw Thou near me,
Let Thy Spirit dwell with mine;
Open now my ear to hear Thee,
Take my heart and seal it Thine;
Keep me, lead me on my way,
Thee to follow and obey,
E’er to do Thy will and fear Thee,
And rejoice to know and hear Thee.

Underneath Thy wings abiding,
In Thy Church, O Savior dear,
Let me dwell, in Thee confiding,
Hold me in Thy faith and fear;
Take away from me each thought
That with wickedness is fraught,
Tempting me to disobey Thee,
Root it out, O Lord, I pray Thee.

Thou, earth’s greatest joy and gladness,
And salvation, full and free,
Let Thy presence cheer my sadness,
And prepare my soul for Thee!
In the hour when I depart,
Touch my spirit, lips and heart,
With Thy Word assure, uphold me
Till the heav’nly gates enfold me.

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