Prayer of Kenosis: Downward Mobility in an Upwardly Mobile Culture


Last Sunday we worked through Phil 2:5-11 for our “Believing Well” series on the essentials of Christian belief. This week – the Incarnation – as we focused on the “emptying” Christ (Greek = kenosis / kenow) – who descended from heaven and became (hu)man. Being a little tired from recent travels I started off slow but gradually found something deep well up from inside me – and it culminated in this prayer:

God I know that I am holding onto something* that is beginning to kill my soul* and it bothers me; I don’t know why, but it really bothers me.* Whether it is my self-ambition,* or my self-respect,* or my self-identity,* or my self-protectiveness,* I can feel myself clinging to it, not wanting to let go.* And I need your help.* To wrest this thing from my grasp and the grip of my hardened, white knuckles.* Take it from me now.* Take the accompanying insecurity, so many insecurities* that I might begin the journey downward,* emptying myself of self-driven will, ego, advancement* so that I might rise up to  kiss the face of the humbled God* and enjoy greater union with You than ever before. Amen.

I was not alone in being stirred by these words.

It moved, disturbed, provoked, hurt, and healed our saints at Harvest back to their place of first Love. So I publish this prayer here for your use; may it continue to minister to you as you seek the better way of Jesus’ self-emptying.

Published by Wayne Park

Asian-American clergyman thinking about issues of faith, place, race and culture-making in the vast city of Houston, TX

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