Monday, January 26, 2015

"you first!"--a prayer

Yesterday in gathered worship I had the privilege of offering a prayer. The gist of it is that we often live a “Me first” life when God calls us to a “You first” kind of life. As I wrote it, I strove to make it a prayer of unvarnished confession and repentance.

 I think the most telling part of the prayer was when a boy who is only two years old chimed in “Me!” right at the beginning of the prayer and a few times throughout. Meanwhile, the other children standing by chuckled in recognition. It’s a funny sort of way to pray, but I think we could all chuckle because we all know it’s true.  Even the children could relate to it—and that made me happy.

At any rate, a friend asked if I would post the prayer to my blog, so here it is. I hope it is helpful to others and honoring to God.

Grace and peace,


“Me first!”
That is how we live, Lord—
even if we don’t use those words.

“Me first!”
We want what we want out of life:
food and friends to suit our tastes and timetable,
work that is neither too hard nor too easy—
and I’ll pitch a fit if church doesn’t come packaged how I like it, too.
“I want this but not that.
I don’t want this, so give me more of that.”

Even when we give an offering,
we somehow feel that gives us the right
to make demands and leverage conditions
on “how my church should be run.”
We give with our hands
but politic in our hearts.
It’s sickening.

“Me first!”
That is how we live, Lord—
even if we don’t use those words.

Forgive us.
Forgive us.
Forgive us.
We are selfish and foolish.

Right now, we offer what we can as an act of repentance.
It is our way of saying “No” to a “Me first” mentality.
It is our way of saying “You first!”

“You first, Lord,
because you alone are the Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the end.”

“You first, Lord,
because without you nothing was made,
without you we have no breath,
without you we are lost and alone.”

“You first, Lord,
because you gave your one and only Son to die.

"You first,
because you alone hold the keys of death and Hades.”

You first, Lord.
You first.

In Jesus’ Name,

“You first!”
a prayer by troy cady

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