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Worthless and Precious

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. ... Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who...made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Philippians 2:3-7 NIV
Two days ago I wrote about finding my worth in being “the best” and have been giving a lot of thought to and prayer about that. This morning my study took me to the passage above. Unknowingly, I have been living much of my life out of selfish ambition. What else would you call not feeling worthy unless I’m the best? My ambition has been to feel worthy, acknowledged and valued—very selfish and self-focused.

Jesus, on the other hand, is eminently worthy of all praise and adoration and yet he gave up that right and emptied himself of all apparent worth to come and live among us. He did the very opposite of what I have been doing: I have been grasping for worthiness and he gave his up. It’s a sobering thought.

Father, in the security of knowing who he was and his value to all creation, Jesus had no need to prove himself of worth either to himself or to others. He simply lived his life confidently out of that knowledge and let people accept or reject him as they chose. Why can’t I do the same? Why do I have this strong compulsion to demonstrate my worth and value? Why do I seem unable to live in confidence that I have worth and value simply because you made me.

You knit me together in my mother’s womb. Even though my conception and birth were not wanted,
you wanted me. You created me and all your works of creation are wonderful. You saw my unformed body and took pleasure in my being. You planned who I would be and you formed and fashioned all my days—the days I enjoy and the ones I wish never existed. I am precious to you! You wrap your arms around me and you hold me. You whisper your love into my ear and promise to never let me go. It doesn’t matter if others value me because your thoughts about me matter more than the adulation of all I encounter. You are incredible, and I love you. So be it.


[My prayer borrows heavily from Psalm 139.]

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In My Prayer Room

Oh God
You surround me with your love,
with memories
of who you are
of what you've done
of promises you've made
of who I want to be
of who I am because of you.

You give me hope and joy,
peace and gratitude.
You convict me
and teach me
encourage me
and remind me
of what it means to follow you.












You listen to my prayers
and grant my requests
in your time.
You give me insight
and knowledge
and words to write
to share your presence
your goodness
your love
your admonition
with others.























You expand my love
to pray for friend and foe
near and far
family and stranger
people as pins on maps
clustered and scattered
who know you and reject you
for those in need
and those too full to need.


















You draw me close
and then release me
to bring you close to others
to serve
and love
and give
all I have received.

You fill my heart with joy
that warms
and glows
and bursts
into laughter,
song
and even dance.

You wrap me in your arms
and tell me
"You are mine"
with intensity that burns
and smoul…