Monday 18 April: Lent 2011

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You are encouraged to pray the prayer, pause, read the scripture, pause, read the reflection, and then pray the prayer again.

The Breastplate Prayer

May the yoke of the Law of God be upon this shoulder,
The coming of the Holy Spirit be on this head,
The sign of Christ be on this forehead,
The hearing of the Holy Spirit be in these ears,
The smelling of the Holy Spirit in this nose.
The vision that the people of heaven have be in these eyes,
The speech of the people of heaven in this mouth,
The work of the Church of God in these hands
The good of God and of neighbour in these feet.
May God dwell in this heart,
And this person belong entirely to God the Father.

‘May the Holy Spirit dwell in my heart’

Ephesians 3

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

The heart is the seat of our emotions. At least we think of it that way. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will be a counsellor, convicting me of sin and guilt, reminding me of the words of Christ and guiding me into all truth. The Holy Spirit will work in me to do and to desire the things that God desires. He will alter my desires to match what is good, pure, praiseworthy, noble and worthy.

As the Spirit of God works this change in me, I am often find myself with choices:

• to being served or to serve;

• to giving in to annoyance or to walking the extra mile;

• to vengeance or to turning the other cheek;

• to cursing or to blessing;

• to disputing or to peace-making;

• to anger or to forbearance;

• to bearing a grudge or to forgiving;

• to silence or to declaring my faith in Christ.

Between my will and every wrong desire, the Holy Spirit comes to remind me of those words of life spoken by the Jesus. In each moment of decision I am both commanded and aided by the power of the Holy Spirit to make the right choice. Even as I write these words, I can hear a conversation causing my earthly nature rise up with an emotional reaction and yet, relying on the Spirit, I can still choose soberly a more righteous response!

The choices I make demonstrate the work of the Spirit in my life. Since everyone is tempted, and tempted daily, I daily need this convicting and guiding Spirit to be at work within me. Daily, then, I will pray that Holy Spirit dwell in this heart.