This Prayer was written by Scotty Smith, Founder of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN. I’ll be leading our church through the 10 commandments this summer, preaching on how Christ has fulfilled the law in our place that we might live the aim of the law – to love our God and neighbor with everything we have.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the statutes of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much pure gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Ps. 19:7-10
“Holy and gracious Father, apart from the gospel, there’s no way I would be able to join King David in singing this robust praise song about your law. Indeed, if Jesus hadn’t offered his law-keeping as my own, and if he hadn’t taken my law-breaking as his own, I wouldn’t be singing; I would be despairing.
For apart from the gospel, the law didn’t revive me; it condemned me. Apart from the gospel, it didn’t give joy to my heart; it brought terror to my soul. Apart from the gospel, the law wasn’t the sunshine lighting my way; it was a searchlight exposing my sin.
The law didn’t lead me to fear you with an affectionate reverence, but to be afraid of you with a guilty conscience. Apart from the gospel, I didn’t value the law like precious gold; I avoided it like a deadly plague. It wasn’t sweeter than honey from the comb, but more bitter than zest from a lemon.
But Father, when the law drove me to Jesus—when you gave me faith to trust Jesus as my forgiveness and my righteousness—everything began to change. I’m now learning to love your law as fatherly instruction to your beloved children; as a revelation of the good, the true, and the beautiful; not as a formula for merit, acceptance, and favor. What a difference—what a life-giving, liberty-fueling difference the finished work of Jesus makes!
May the gospel continue to free me from “cheap grace” which ignores your law and from graceless legalism which ignores your Son. I want to continue growing in the obedience of faith and love until the Day when Jesus, who has perfectly fulfilled the law for me, perfectly fulfills the law in me. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus holy and loving name.”