“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2, NIV).
Lately I’ve been praying a simple prayer that goes something like this: “Lord, please fill me with your __________ and crowd out my __________.” Depending on the day, or even the time of day, those two blanks can reveal different things. The first blank is always something positive and the second something negative. “Lord, please fill me with your Spirit and crowd out my fear.” “Lord, please fill me with your joy and crowd out my anxiety.” “Lord, please fill me with your peace and crowd out my anger.” Regardless of what I pray, I know that God hears me and accepts my prayer invitation.
This short prayer, and God’s response to it, has done some amazing things for me. It centers my attention and recalibrates my sense of direction. It helps me focus and calms my anxious thoughts, for I know that where God’s goodness is, there is no longer any room for the negative things of life. Satan cannot reside where God’s Spirit takes up residence. Fear and anger cannot exist within a culture of love. Darkness cannot prevail against the light of God’s peace.
So, entertain my request here. Please respond with the two words or phrases (one positive and one negative) to complete this prayer: “Lord, please fill me with your __________ and crowd out my __________.” And then, of course, pray it! You’ll be amazed at how God answers!