Deliver me, Jesus
From the desire of being loved . . .
From the desire of being honored . . .
From the desire of being praised . . .
From the desire of being preferred to others . . .
From the desire of being consulted . . .
From the desire of being approved . . .
From the fear of being humiliated . . .
From the fear of being despised . . .
From the fear of suffering rebuke . . .
From the fear of being forgotten . . .
From the fear of being wrong . . .
From the fear of being suspected . . .
And Jesus, grant me the grace to desire
That others might be loved more that I . . .
That others might be esteemed more than I . . .
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase as I decrease . . .
That others may be chosen and I set aside . . .
That others may be praised and I unnoticed . . .
That others may be preferred to me in everything . . .
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should.
The words are so honest and cut right to my heart. I found that I felt I could pray and desire the first part in earnest, but when I got to the second half something within me started protesting. "Do I really have to desire that for others? Isn't the first part good enough and cover everything?" The answer is no. If I desire the first part with a pure and true heart then I desire the second, there is no difference. If I am truly free from the desire of being loved, praised, esteemed, then I should not protest when others are over me. The first part addresses pride (note: being self-conscious is a form of pride! Sneaky, eh?) and the second part is the application of Jesus' commandment in John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." Jesus clearly loved us more than he loved himself and we cannot love others with this selfless love unless we first pray the first half of this prayer and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, dispel our pride. With pride it is impossible to achieve the second half. It is impossible to be rid of pride without the help of God. We must choose to let go of our pride and this is not a one-and-done deal, we need to make this choice daily, if not more often. Can you imagine though if we kept Jesus' commandment and loved others as he loved us? We'd all be Mother Teresa! We would fulfill the verse following this commandment, John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Father God, help me to recognize my pride and cast it aside, teach me to truly love others, let your will be my will. Give me the daily strength to do this--may I not be tempted otherwise. Forgive me of the times when I go my own way and help me to forgive others who have gone their own way and hurt me. To you be the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory forever. Amen.