Prayers for Christ’s Increase and Our Decrease 2 Part Article
Taken from an article by John Bloom (John serves as author, board chair, and co-founder of Desiring God. He is author of three books, Not by Sight, Things Not Seen, and Don’t Follow Your Heart. He and his wife live in the Twin Cities with their five children.)
Part I: 14 Prayers for Christ’s Increase (7 prayers in Part 1)
John Bloom writes….At the risk of appearing more impressive than I really am, I’ll share with you the list I’ve compiled over the years of things that I regularly ask God for so that Christ will increase and I will decrease. Perhaps you will find it helpful, or it will encourage you to compile your own list.
All the requests begin with “D” to help me remember. And I’ve ordered them not so much in sequence of priority but to roughly move from heart to action. And since there are fourteen, I’ve grouped them so that I can pray for two similar or related requests per day each day of the week.
Please know that these are prayers of aspiration, not achievement. I am very far from having arrived.
But I can say that I have seen God answering these prayers over twenty plus years, some more than others. And I can also say that I have never once regretted praying “whatever it takes,” even though many answers have come through pain or adversity. Increased joy and hope in Christ’s increase, whether in us or around us, is worth far more than whatever it costs.
Delight: Whatever it takes, Lord, increase my delight in you as the greatest treasure of my heart.
Desires: Whatever it takes, Lord, increasingly align the desires of my heart with yours.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9–10)
“I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” (John 5:30)
“Not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Dependence: Whatever it takes, Lord, increase my awareness of my dependence on you in everything so that I will live continually by faith.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Desperation: Whatever it takes, Lord, decrease my proneness to wander from you by keeping me desperate for you.
“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.” (Psalm 119:67)
Discipline: Whatever it takes, Lord, discipline me for my good that I may increasingly share your holiness and bear the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
“He disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:10–11)
Discernment: Whatever it takes, Lord, increase my ability to discern good from evil through the rigorous exercise of constant practice.
“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:14)
Diligence: Whatever it takes, Lord, increase my resolve to do your will with all diligence.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15–16)
(con’t tomorrow 😊)