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If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Heavenly Father, I praise you for free and full access you’ve given us to come boldly to your throne of grace, any time at all. There we will always find your joyful welcome, and the mercy and grace we need for any given situation. Today, I come asking for wisdom; in particular, wisdom about who I am as a relational and emotional person. Relationships have never been the easiest thing for me to navigate, especially being an introvert with extroverted gifts, with a very peopled and public calling; and emotions… well, I’ve been pretty clumsy with those as well.

Father, continue to show me the difference between a healthy investment in people’s lives, versus an unhealthy entanglement and enmeshment. The calling to love others, as Jesus loves us, will always be costly, and will require more of me than I’ll readily give, but please show me what good relational boundaries look like. Grant me grace to offer people a non-anxious presence, and a genuine taste of your compassionate and tender heart.

Help me know the difference between validating the emotions of others, versus taking responsibility for their emotions. Unfortunately, my default mode is to try “fix” people who are emotionally “on edge”; but I acknowledge, yet again, that you’re not calling me to fix anybody, but to love everybody. Help me to listen from my heart, and to discern what’s really going on in the struggles and stories of others.

I also need wisdom, Father, about my own emotional world. The emotion of anger has always confused and threatened me, and I can still be sucker-punched by the emotions of fear and shame. Help me know what my emotions are telling me—what idols they reveal; what growth in grace they require; what healing in my story remains in front of me. Show me what taking care of myself looks like; versus, withdrawing into self-protection and unbelief.

Father, just praying this prayer stirs up so many other thoughts and feelings inside my heart. My joy is in knowing that we can keep this conversation going throughout the day, and well beyond. My great joy is in knowing that you will give me, as this passage declares, the wisdom I need, and you will do so generously.

Because the gospel is true, I’m certain I live in the state of your permanent favor and delight. That’s my peace and the immovable anchor for my soul. I so look forward to the Day of a glorified me, and a glorified everything! So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ bold and beautiful name.

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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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