A Prayer for the Gift of Humility
By Emily Rose Massey
“But he gives more grace. Therefore, it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6, ESV).
After my freshman year of college, I transferred schools, ditched my plans to become an English teacher, and switched my major to theatre performance instead. My love for theater and acting became my means of escaping the reality that I loathed who I had become, so as an actress, I could just be someone else. The spotlight made me feel so good! My pride caused me to become the center of my own universe. I would attempt to prove that I was worthy of love by my talents and good looks, trying to fill the emptiness inside even more, but it only made it worse. I reached a point where I stopped trying to “do better” and “be better.” Instead, I chose to live in my pit of sin and pride and made plans to run away to Los Angeles to become an actress to pursue my “calling and purpose” and prove to the world my worth, talent, beauty, and charm.
But even in my pit of sin, God was still pursuing me and calling my name. With arms wide open, He was waiting and ready for me to come to my senses, to the end of myself and come home. In God’s perfect providence and timing, the Holy Spirit raised this dead one to life. I was so extremely prideful and self-centered, but one day, my eyes were opened to my sinful rebelliousness, and I was granted the gift of humility to truly repent of my sins, take up my cross, and follow Christ. Humility brought His grace into my life- something I could never work to earn.
Humility is truly a gift from the Father. As humans, just like the fruit of the Spirit, it is difficult to walk continually in this godly trait. We need God’s help, His grace. To be granted His heavenly grace gifts, we must become humble before the throne of God.
James tells us in chapter 4:
“But [God] gives more grace. Therefore, it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6, ESV).
When we think we can control our life better than God, we will eventually fail. Pride comes before a fall, after all (Proverbs 16:18). We must acknowledge our prideful, self-reliant ways if we want to experience the sustaining and empowering grace of God. For me, in that providential moment almost 15 years ago that changed my life, I began to experience this deep conviction that I was living a reckless and sinful life that offended God, who is altogether holy, and that I had been running away from the Father. It truly was my prodigal son moment— I came to my senses and the end of myself (Luke 15) and no longer wanted to live in the filth of my sinful life. Immediately, I knew I needed to repent of my sin and start running toward the Father. Right there, with hands lifted in worship, and tears streaming down my face, I repented of my pride and rebellion; I told God that I didn’t want to live this life on my own anymore and that I wanted to surrender to His plan, stop living for myself, and live for Him instead. As I loosened my grip on the plans for my life (one finger at a time, of course), I began to discover my purpose and identity in Christ and His great love for me. I laid down my prideful desires to become an actress in LA, picked up my cross, and committed to truly following Jesus, no matter the cost, for the first time in my life. I am so incredibly grateful for that moment of humbling and destruction of my pride. Now, I am still a recipient of that grace- I am given the opportunity to come humbly and boldly to the throne of grace every single moment of every single day to receive His strength and mercy. What a gift!
I repent for my self-reliance. I realize that I cannot walk through life without Your help. I ask for Your beautiful gift of humility to penetrate my heart. I lay down my pride and selfishness, and by Your grace, clothe myself in humility that comes from You. Jesus did not consider equality with You a thing to be grasped and emptied Himself of all privileges, He humbled Himself even to the point of dying on the cross for my sins. I want to reflect selflessness to the world, but for me to do that, I know that I need to walk in humility and put my trust in You alone. Thank You for the gift of Your grace to be humble and prefer others above myself.
May You be glorified in all that I say and do. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Yummy pic
Emily Massey began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20s, and published her first book in 2015. She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Believing she has been forgiven much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power, especially by sharing truth found in God’s written Word. If you would like to connect with Emily, you can visit www.emilyrosemassey.com
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Originally published Sunday, 26 March 2023.