For Day 28 of our 31 days of supernatural encounters (series index here), we are praying one of the most effective prayers I've ever prayed: “Lord, keep me on a short leash!”
Read: Psalm 118, especially verse 27
One of the most powerful prayers I have prayed since I gave my life to Jesus has also been one of the simplest prayers:
“Lord, keep me on a short leash!”
And I have needed this prayer. Boy, have I ever needed this prayer.
You may have heard me talk about my testimony a little bit before. If not, I’ll give you a brief lowdown.
Basically, as a young person, I had a heart filled with rage, anger, bitterness, and hatred. I was a very wounded individual, and I was used to acting out of my emotions. I lashed out at others. I had no self-control and was an emotional roller-coaster.
I was a mess.
But when I gave my life to Jesus, suddenly this thing called “conviction” came into my life.
Holy Spirit began convicting me about one little thing at a time. He was so gentle. He never overwhelmed me, accused me, or condemned me.
But slowly, gently, He began to show me how He wanted to change my heart.
And as He began to convict me, I began to change.
I began to even want to change. I didn’t want to be ugly on the inside anymore; I wanted to be beautiful on the inside. I wanted to become like Him.
And I hated the awful feeling that comes after sin and before repentance. I hated having something ugly between me and God, cutting me off from intimacy with Him.
So I began to pray:
“Lord, keep me on a short leash! Whenever I sin, convict me right away and help me to make things right with You and with people.”
I wanted the Lord to NEVER leave me alone. I wanted Him to convict me powerfully and immediately, every time I sinned. I wanted Him to break me of the sinning habit.
After all, it’s far easier not to sin than it is to make things right after sinning.
Why do we make things so hard for ourselves? Why not just live out the righteousness we are, instead of going down the much harder path of sin?
So the Lord began to answer my prayer.
As soon as I sinned—whether it was by something I said, or some attitude I had, or something I did, or some other act of disobedience—I began to immediately sense His conviction. Oh, He wrecked my heart with brokenness and sorrow for what I had done.
But then He helped me to make it right.
Remember that 1 John 1:9 tells us that, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We don’t have to beat ourselves up, do a pilgrimage on our knees, or flagellate ourselves ten times to get forgiven. We just have to confess our sins to Him, and receive.
So that’s what I did. Over and over and over and over. Confess, confess, confess.
But eventually, all that confessing and making things right taught me by experience that it’s better just not to sin. The Holy Spirit’s conviction changed my heart and put me out of the sin-enjoying business.
Because He convicted me so much, I began to grow spiritually.
This was new for me because I had been such a mess! But I began to choose to obey God the first time–instead of sinning first, then confessing and repenting, then making things right with people, then doing the right thing.
It is just easier to obey God the first time!
Of course, I wasn’t perfect at this and still am not. But, I still pray for Holy Spirit to keep me on a short leash.
As Psalm 118:27 says:
God is the Lord, and He has given us light; bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.”
Our lives are to be living sacrifices to the Lord.
And if we are to be living sacrifices, then it’s a good thing for God to bind us to the altar. It’s a good thing for Him to chase us and not let us go.
And it’s good for us to actually ask Him to do so—to tie us to the altar until He burns away everything that doesn’t look just like Jesus.
Do you want this? Are you willing for Holy Spirit to keep you on a short leash?
“Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name, I thank You for sending Holy Spirit to live inside me. Thank You that You are always convicting me and working in my heart.
Father, thank You that I have grown in You, even though I’m not where I want to be yet. You are working in me and You who began that good work in me will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Now Lord, I have heard Jamie’s testimony and I want the same thing. Lord, I invite You right now: Bind me to Your altar. Tie me to Your altar, Lord, and burn everything off of me that doesn’t look like Jesus.
Holy Spirit, please keep me on a short leash.
Whenever I sin, convict me right away. Show me what I’ve done and why it’s wrong. Show me what I should have done instead. Help me to immediately confess my sins to You and receive Your forgiveness.
Give me no peace in sin, Lord; but teach me to act like the slave of righteousness that I am. Teach me to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling, Lord. Keep me on Your narrow way, and help me to obey You at all times.
Thank You, Lord. Thank You for teaching me, correcting me, disciplining me, discipling me, and convicting me. Thank You for forgiving my sins as soon as I confess them to You. Thank You for Your blood, Jesus, which makes me clean.
Father, please help me to live for You, and I pray that You’d get all the glory in my life.
In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Listen to Rick Pino singing “Come Make War,” and invite the Lord to make war on every other lover in your life! Ask Him to hedge you in, tie you to the altar, and make you just like Jesus!
Does this word encourage your heart today? If so, please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!
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