Henri Nouwen, in speaking about the abundant, fruitful life in Christ, asserts that it is a life characterized by “vulnerability, gratitude and care.” It is vulnerable as we realize our weakness, our total dependence upon God and His grace. We have done nothing to earn God’s mercy and grace, and God is under no obligation to answer our prayers, or even listen to them. As we approach our God and bring our requests, we do so in complete dependence upon God’s grace. That sense of weakness and vulnerability leads us to gratitude, as pour God does hear our prayers, and responds with grace beyond our imagination. Once we truly understand how weak and vulnerable we are before God, gratitude for His blessing naturally follows: “From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another” (John 1:16). All of life, actually, should be seen as a gift, and received with gratitude. And what should our response to God’s bountiful grace be: love (Nouwen calls it ‘care’). For God, and also for others. “We love, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:17). My prayer for us all is that as we approach our God: we would do so in a spirit of vulnerability, which in turn leads us to gratitude. And may our prayers increase our care and love for others, as we look for new and creative ways to show His love in service to those around us.
Are your prayers today, is your life in general, characterized by “vulnerability, gratitude, and care? No doubt the closer we come to God, the more deeply we experience His abundant life, it will be!