A Prayer for a Lukewarm Heart
O Infinitely Passionate Father,
You have created me with the capacity for deep affections — to love, to loathe, to desire, to delight, to excite, to grieve, to laugh, to enjoy, to fear, to be depressed, to be thankful. And you made me this way that I may glorify you by finding you my Supreme Satisfaction and the Fountain of everything delightful.
But I confess that my affections for you are often grievously tepid while my selfish interests steam.
- I am bold to defend my own honor and reputation and often timid to defend yours.
- I am quick to satisfy my bodily appetites and often slow to feed my soul with the Bread of Life.
- I squander moments devoted to communing with you while carefully protecting moments devoted to banal entertainment.
- I am distracted from speaking with you by books that need straightening, email that needs answering, and a bald spot in the yard that needs seeding.
I am easily and foolishly concerned with worldly success and prosperity while languid and unmoved about the greater things of another world!
And I know that my errant affections are most offensive to you when I hear of the infinite height, depth, and length, and breadth of your love for me in Christ Jesus,
- Of your giving your infinitely dear Son to be offered up a sacrifice for my sins,
- Of the unparalleled love of the innocent, holy, and tender Lamb of God, manifested in his dying agonies, bloody sweat, loud and bitter cries, and bleeding heart,
- And all this to redeem an enemy like me from deserved, eternal burnings, and give to me unspeakable and everlasting joy and glory,
- And my response is cool, lethargic, and indifferent.
O gracious Father, thank you that your Son’s great sacrifice is so great and so sufficient that it pays even for such sins of erroneous affections!
But, my affectionate Father, I am humbled to the dust that I am not more affected at what affects you! I repent of being “slothful in zeal”! No more, Father! Make me boil in spirit as I serve you (Romans 12:11)! To be moved by your glorious gospel and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4) is why you gave me affections! Nothing in earth or heaven is greater or more important.
Today, I take to heart your Son’s warning: “Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm… I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15–16). Merciful Father, make me hot! Whatever it takes, whatever it costs me, give me the Spirit-salve for my heart-eyes (Revelation 3:18) so that I may see what is Real, believe what is True, treasure what is Valuable, and forsake what is worthless.
In the name of Jesus, your glorious Son, the Pearl of Great Price, amen.
This prayer was inspired by and adapted from a portion of Jonathan Edwards’s book, Religious Affections (the last three paragraphs of Part 1).