Father, Let Our Hearts Be Broken
Father, when we sin against you, let our hearts be broken and help us to see the shame that we bring upon the name of Jesus and the harm that we do to the reputation of His church. Be with us so that we might never reach a point where we are too proud to confess our sins to You or where sin no longer grieves us. For if this were to happen, neither repentance nor forgiveness would be possible (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9). Father, help us to be like Peter who, after denying Jesus, went out and wept bitterly.
Father, let our hearts be broken when our brethren sin. Please, please, please, help us not to allow anger or feelings of betrayal to blind us to the terrible danger of sin! Help us to temper our boldness with gentleness and to consider how we would want to be treated if we were in the same situation (Galatians 6:1). Father, help us to have the attitude of Jesus and Stephen, who prayed for mercy for those who were killing them.
Father, many times we sing to You about all the wonderful things that we will do in service to You and we pray for opportunities to share Your word with those who need to hear it. Then, when an opportunity presents itself, we do not take advantage of it. Sadly, sometimes we do not even realize that we have missed an opportunity until after the fact. When this happens, Father, and when we realize it, let our hearts be broken.
Father, let our hearts be broken when our “heroes” fall. Help us to be grieved when a brother or a sister in Christ who has influenced us for good turns away from the truth. If they repent, help us to rejoice in their repentance as the father rejoiced over the return of his prodigal son. Help us to completely accept our brethren who repent and not to regard them with suspicion. But if they do not repent, help us not to follow in their steps. May we remember that when our “heroes” were influencing us for good, it was ultimately because they were imitating Christ (1Corinthians 11:1), so help us to keep our eyes on Him.
Father, let our hearts be broken when those who are closest to us lose their health or pass away. Give us compassion for those who are struggling with discouragement. Help us to be there to bear the burdens of those who are suffering and grieving, and comfort us when we face such times in our own lives. Let our hearts be broken because we will be left behind and we will deeply miss their friendship, their companionship, their spiritual encouragement, and our fellowship in Jesus Christ. But, Father, help us to take comfort in the hope that you have given us in Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Father, in all of these times in our lives, let our hearts be broken...but not our resolve. When we sin, let us be grieved, but let us also remember Your promise of forgiveness, and let us seek that forgiveness diligently and continue to serve you with all our hearts. When our brethren sin, let our hearts be broken and give us the courage and the wisdom to go to them and admonish them. But, Father, help us not to uphold them in their sin nor compromise truth in any way for the sake of maintaining what could only ever be false peace. May our conscience convict us when we realize that we have not been doing all that we could or that we have missed an opportunity to do good, but let us not mope about. Help us to be resolved to run, not slouch or saunter. Let us press toward the mark and strive to enter in where the faithful brethren that we love are waiting for us, and where You are waiting for us. Surely, Father, You are worthy of such devotion as this, and so much more.
All quotations from the New King James Version, copyright 1994, Thomas Nelson, Inc.