"In the midst of my persistent, stubborn arrogance, your patient, compassionate love overwhelms me and brings me face to face with the sin in my life."
As we launch our blog and look forward to Father’s Day, I thought it appropriate to share from the heart of the Father of Wellspring Group – Larry Bolden. Larry is the father of one son and grandfather of five. The following prayer was written as part of the Battle for Your Marriage process that many of our alumni couples are going through right now. In my time with Wellspring Larry has re-parented me in so many ways, being an echo of my Abba Father’s heart and redeeming places long devastated. I was so moved by the humility of heart expressed here that I wanted to share it as an encouragement to all of you who long to love and be loved well through your beautiful brokenness.
- Dana Smith, Wellspring's Women's Coordinator
My wife Mary and I are currently going through the Battle for Your Marriage Track for the second time. During this process, we spend some weeks reflecting on David’s prayer of mourning and repentance in Psalm 51 as we examine our Marital Dance of Fear and Pride. We seek to come face to face with the pain of our sin and the beauty of God’s compassionate conviction and forgiveness. We then write our own prayer of repentance.
In 2013, during my first time through, I procrastinated all week in writing my prayer as I struggled to face the pain of my sin against Mary and my son. As I finally faced God, I was overwhelmed with grief. Then I experienced the grace of God’s mercy and the hope of creating in me a clean heart. This time I struggled as well, yet experienced God’s grace to once again place myself in the pain and hope of this Psalm.
- Larry Bolden
Psalm 51: A Personal Prayer Of Repentance
Righteous Father, thank you that out of your abundant mercy you have been gracious to me. You have not treated me as my sins deserve. In the midst of my persistent, stubborn arrogance, your patient, compassionate love overwhelms me and brings me face to face with the sin in my life.
I see and own the arrogance of my life - that I know best, my way is right, my values are best. I own my compulsion to speak, to adjust, to express what I believe is right/best, to give feedback, to correct and judge. I repent of my lack of self-control, my lack of seeing the person and their heart before I yield to my compulsion to express what I believe. I see that my arrogance is offensive to you for you “oppose the proud and give grace to the humble.” Oh God, please give me grace to fully repent of the arrogance that has been a core sin my whole life. I see how this sin has significantly affected Mary’s sense of security and confidence in knowing and owning the beauty of who she is. I see that my sin has negatively affected my family and those I love throughout my life. My arrogance has sabotaged my desire to love well.
Oh God, thank you that you are merciful, loving and compassionate toward me an arrogant man. In the midst of your gracious mercy, you long for me to face the ugliness of my sin against you, to face the truth of how far I am from expressing your love and grace to those I love, and to mourn. Oh God, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus to die for my sin. Thank you that he has taken the punishment for my sin, rebellion and arrogance. Thank you that his blood thoroughly cleanses me. Oh God, let that cleansing, transforming blood pour into every crevice of my being creating within me a “clean and steadfast heart” to humble myself before you.
Gracious Father, renew in me the joy of your salvation. Teach me wisdom in my inner being that brings light to what compels me so that I may bear the fruit of the spirit which is self-control. In the moment, convict me of my arrogance that I may repent and humbly love, particularly Mary but all those around me. Teach me the difference between boldly living out of my glory and arrogantly living out of my distortion. Reveal through me your love, acceptance and joy in Mary.
Then I will share with others your abundant, life changing compassionate lovingkindness.
Thank you that you accept my sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart that longs to change and bring glory to your name. In your good pleasure, through your loving, redemptive grace, may you build up the walls of protection in my family and domain!