arts · faith

a prayer for a good kind of lust

No, this isn’t about sex or the question I ask my husband sometimes if it’s a sin for me to lust after him. We do tend to use the word lust with negative connotations reserved for conversations including wink, wink, nudge, nudge type of gestures. But recently, I was reconsidering a passage that uses it in quite a different way.

In 1 Peter 1, we are told that angels themselves “long to look” into things. Other translations say “desire to look” and many commentators say it is not too far a stretch to say lust after. And what are the things they are lusting for? OUR salvation. They long to see and understand and feel the great salvation, the provision for our souls that has been provided in Christ. The angels cannot experience salvation as we do. They watch it happen, they even are instruments in it, but they cannot experience the saving grace you and I have been so richly and freely given.

Oh, Lord, let me see my salvation in such a way. Let me desire nothing else, see nothing else as greater or with more longing than to understand the height, and depth, and width of Your love for me. Let me not lust after lesser things. Let me be done with lesser things. I pray especially in this season built and dependent on discontent, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life, this season filled with empty promises and glitter and fool’s gold, that my heart will be set first on seeking the knowledge of Jesus Christ and Your grace lavished on me. Let all the glimmer and shine of the season pale in comparison to this great salvation – the plan unfolded and brought to fruition in the Babe of Bethlehem, born for me. I pray that my heart will become unset on the more shallow joys of life, and reset on the fullness of joy found only in You. That my complete satisfaction will be met in You, that I will long for nothing more nor less than Your saving and sustaining grace, which I already have in full. Give me contentment this season and all my days, that my affections and all earthly good gifts will only serve to point me to the greatest of pleasures, that they will not be distractions from or replacements for things of true value, but will be reminders, a mere glimmer of what is of ultimate worth and beauty, and of the completion of all things restored and glorious in that day of our Lord. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

I pray these things because of what I have come to know of my salvation and what I long to know in the days ahead. May the mysteries and delights of the season ever point me to know You more.

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