I’ve been fascinated by the fruit of the spirit lately and with my constant need for God. At the start of this year, when I was goal setting and making resolutions, I remember making a long list, but then, I heard a quiet thought in the back of my mind saying, “I just want more of God and more of the fruit of His spirit.” Because honestly, whatever goal I set, no matter how big or small, if I am not intentionally asking for more of the spirit it will be a futile effort to accomplish on my own.
So my one plan was to ask for more of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit every day, and with that, I composed a prayer I wanted to share. We are far too quick to ask for the end goals and all too forgetful the means to any end concerning our growth is more of the Holy Spirit.
So, before my feet hit the floor, I want these words to preface any other desire:
Before my feet hit the floor, give me more of you today God
Pour out your Holy Spirit into the corners and crevices of my heart and mind, Renewing my thoughts and purifying my desires
That I would thrive in the life-giving fruit of the Spirit and die to the rotting fruit of my flesh Release me from all of the bondage that keeps you at a distance.
Set my eyes upon what is lovely, on what is high and the brokenness in my peripherals Fix my thoughts on your words, that my mind would seek truth.
Help me to choose what is holy above what feels good.
LOVE: giving to others not for what I will receive in return,
but out of an overflow of my identity and wholeness in you.
Make me aware of areas of broken attempts at love that look like insecurity and manipulation
Help me to love myself with the same love to receive your forgiveness for myself as I give it to others, a love that will not count wrongs towards myself or others
and that stems from the overflowing, never-ending, affection of Christ
JOY: to delight at all times in the constancy of the one true God,
in the unwavering character of God, rather than mood swings
that waiver with my circumstances or what is or isn’t going as I want it to.
Remind me of the sheer beauty and worth of who Jesus is and what He has done in moments of hopelessness.
PEACE: that stills my heart and rests in the sovereignty and strength of God instead of apathy or anxiety towards the things uncontrollable and unpredictable
PATIENCE: to suffer and wait joyfully and perseveringly with graciousness
and without cynicism, complaint and resentment towards God, timing and people
KINDNESS: practically and vulnerably to celebrate others from the most seen to unseen people to create hospitable environments rather than envy unable to rejoice in other people’s joy.
Keep my actions from good deeds laced in impure motives that are seeking selfish elevation and from showing kindness only those who I deem useful to me.
GOODNESS: that carries integrity, honesty, and transparency to be consistent in who I am no matter who I am with, rather than hypocrisy and facades, but let my truth be deep rather than shallow and willing to say the hard things in love
FAITHFULNESS: to be loyal and courageous in my commitments;
that I would be faithful to my word and my promises so that others would trust in a reliable friend rather than someone who flakes in accordance with my feelings
GENTLENESS: (humility) that I would see myself accurately and count others above myself and that I would see that humility is not thinking less of myself, but thinking of myself less.
May my words and actions be rooted in consideration of the other but out of a place of worth
so that I am not consumed with myself, rather that is in self-absorption or self-consciousness.
SELF CONTROL: the ability to choose the important thing over the urgent because of Jesus‘ power at work within me rather than willpower of my pride or more functional idols.
Through your spirit, I know that you are changing me to look more and more like you each day because through your living and breathing spirit all things have their being and all things are being restored.
By the power of the Holy Spirit within me, I have authority over my thoughts and actions,
to speak, work, rest, and live like Jesus, and when I fail, there is grace and an endless supply of strength.
*Definitions of each of the fruit were curated from Tim Keller’s explanation of each word