This historical, guided prayer was written to help us as believers put away the falsehood found in our human strength and awaken to our true identity in union with Christ. The prayer is presented below in five parts.
Present and open your heart to the Lord, intending to learn from him.
The Prayer of Presenting: “Lord, I am here; I present myself to you. Open my heart to the truth of what is going on in my life.” (Romans 12:1-2)
Open to the truth that in Christ, and by means of Christ in you, you have already died to the inherited sinful nature that used to live apart from God. Confess before the Lord your limitations, struggles, weaknesses, and finite nature, all the while keeping in mind that God’s grace is perfected in your weakness (2 Cor 12:9) and that nothing can separate you from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). In this step, you can also confess before the Lord the roles and identities that you use to define you.
The Prayer of Detachment: “At the core of my spirit, I am no longer... an angry person, a fearful person, a worrier, arrogant, prideful, envious, distrustful, rebellious, impatient, unkind, jealous, unloving, etc. At the core, my identity is no longer... a sister, brother, pastor, manager, employee, missionary, friend, etc. I am not __________.” Confess any other sins of the heart that are brought to consciousness by the Spirit.
This could also take the form of confession: “My mind is weary, I am overcome by grief, I am physically sick, emotionally spent, my body is aging, my spirit is not willing, my flesh lusts for pleasure, etc…”
Affirm to your soul and the Lord your true identity in Christ. Own who you are in Christ as a new creation, a masterpiece of God created anew and afresh in Christ. In union with Christ, you are no longer condemned but accepted in him, your debt of sin being cancelled. This step is an invitation to open to your true self by the Spirit — that you have already put on compassion, kindness, humility, patience, trust, love, self-control, peace, goodness and all the fruits of the Spirit. Be open to the truth of this, whether this is truly what you experience or not, and talk with the Lord about it (Col 3:9-10).
The Prayer of Attachment: “I am now clothed with Christ's righteousness, with full pardon from guilt and full acceptance from God. I am precious in God's eyes. God calls me his beloved. And by the Spirit, at the core of my personality, I have put on his fruits of love, compassion, humility, kindness, forgiveness, gentleness, patience, self-control, peace and goodness. That is who I truly am.” Confess any unbelief.
This could also take the form of simple declaration: "I am forgiven by God. I am adopted by God. I am chosen by God. I belong to God. I am loved by God. I am liked by God."
Resolve in your heart and in prayer to obey the Lord — to put off the old and put on the new (the biblical imperatives) by setting your mind continually on Christ, who is your life. Resolve to yourself and to God that as the appropriate moments arise, you will let go of any sin or “old self” residue and live out who you are from the heart (Col 3:1-4, 8, 12).
The Prayer of Obedience: “Lord, may my mind and heart all day open to Christ, who is my life. And may I have the wisdom when the time is right to lay aside the old person and its ways and to simply put on Christ, to obey you in all things and to reaffirm who I really am in Christ. Lord, have mercy.”
Be still and soak in the truths you have just prayed. This step involves hearing the Word of God as a new creation and allowing it to seep into your heart.
- Colossians 3:14 “Beyond all these things, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”
- 1 John 4:16 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
- Psalm 103:11-12 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
- Ephesians 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.”
- Ephesians 1:4a “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world...”
- Galatians 2: 20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
- Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
This prayer is an adaptation of the prayer of recollection as written by St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, and Dr. John Coe, as well as the work of b nonprofit ministries.