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     There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” John 4:7-10
     Dear Lord Jesus, you spoke these inviting words of hope to a broken woman trying her very best to keep her distance from you. She’d been on a quest to find life in the arms of men—many men—and it obviously wasn’t working for her very well. The more she tried to evade your gaze, the more you simply applied your grace. She ran; you pursued. She danced around; you stopped the music. How I praise you that you came to seek and save the lost, not just broadcast an offer from the distance.
     Though the details of our stories are different from this nameless Samaritan woman, the same foolish strategy is there—playing games with you, like hide-and-seek, only we do all the hiding and you do all the seeking. This isn’t a “used-to-be-issue with us. We still default to this insanity more than we wish.
     Lord Jesus, deliver us from our grace allergies—living with an aversion to the gospel. Why we choose broken cisterns, dumb idols, and self-help, over your lavish love, is sheer madness. Grace is for sinners, not for pretenders, posers, and performers. You always intend to heal us, never harm us; to embrace us, not embarrass us; to succor us with compassion, not shame us with contempt. But we’re still afraid of being found, lest we be found out.
     So, Jesus, once again we bring real thirst to you today. We bring our penchant to avoid you. We bring our allergic reactions to the gospel. We bring our excuse making, our unbelief, our pride and the unrighteousness of our self-righteousness. We bring that part of us that would rather help others discover your grace than partake of it for ourselves.
     We ask you for a fresh imbibing of living water—sufficient for the needs of our hearts and the demands of this day. May this be a twenty-four-hour period in which we spontaneously join the chorus of many others who are singing, “Come see the man who told me everything I ever did, and he still loves me and is bent on my freedom. Certainly this is the Messiah, the Savior, the Lord. . . . He is Jesus!” You are so good, Jesus, so very good. So very Amen we pray, in your pursuing and all-satisfying name.

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2 thoughts on “A Prayer Acknowledging Our Grace Allergy”

  1. anonymous says:

    He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, Ps 113:7

  2. Mary says:

    “Come see the Man who told me everything I ever did, and He still loves me and is bent on my freedom. Certainly this is the Messiah, the Savior, the Lord. . . . He is Jesus!”


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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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