My pastor is a big fan of a simple prayer, “Less of me. More of you.” He’s talked about this particular prayer on a number of occasions at church. I’ve been inspired to repeat it here and there — especially when I feel lacking in self-control. If I’m being honest, sometimes I say it as almost a platitude…a way to convince myself that something I want is really God’s desire for me, so then maybe I can convince God that it’s also His will for me.
“Yes, God. Winning the lottery isn’t really about me and what I want. It’s really about my desire to have the money to do Your will. So I pray that I win the lottery because my desire to win the lottery is less about me and more about you.” Now, I know this is in no way what my pastor intended in this prayer. Thank God (pun intended) this isn’t how I use the prayer most of the time, but — since I’m being honest — sometimes I guilty of this. We humans can really twist things around. Sometimes I say less of me, more of You when I don’t really mean that at all.
In reality, when we pray this prayer we are praying for God to “create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me” as the psalmist stated. Today, I used this prayer earnestly. Was it the first time I had used it earnestly? I’m not sure — I hope not — but I know it was the first time I had used it in this type of situation.
You see, earlier today I had my feelings hurt by a friend. This friend never intended to hurt my feelings. In fact, as is often the case when we (that is to say, I) hurt others, it probably never crossed this friend’s mind that I may be hurt. He or she (identity hidden) was just doing something they thought was a good idea. I stewed for a bit. I grumbled for a bit. I was sad for a bit. And then … This prayer popped into my head.
(If you are my friend reading this wondering if you did or said something that is the making of this blog entry, you can stop now. Spoiler alert: I’m over it now so don’t let it worry you. Keep reading; you’ll see.)
I began praying it. I repeated it again and again throughout the day every time I thought about being hurt. It occurred to me; I love my friend. And I know he/she loves me. I’m sure at some point I have done something intentionally or unintentionally hurtful to this person and yet I still know I can call on this person anytime to help me out. And I will be that same kind of friend. Less of me, more of you …. today it means remembering what a friendship is supposed to be about…..what a true friend is, and remembering that our ego cannot be in the middle of that. It is remembering that although we are far from perfect, we are always there for each other when it matters. It means that I have to consider that my friend probably didn’t even realize I was hurt and therefore, I need to get over it. It is about remembering that God may have been using this friend’s actions to connect with others. It wasn’t about me at all. It could have been totally about Him.
Wow…. create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. I think He did just that.