What John Stott Did Every Morning
What is your morning routine? What are the first few things you do when you get out of bed in the morning? Maybe you get up early and retreat to a quiet spot to spend some time reading your Bible and in prayer. It might be that you have to jump straight into the day; get dressed, eat breakfast, make lunches, and so on. Maybe you’re at a different stage of life and you can go at a somewhat slower pace.
Apparently, John Stott (1921–2011), world-renowned church leader, author, and Bible teacher, would do the same thing each and every morning when he woke up; he would pray the following prayer:
Heavenly Father, I pray that I may live this day in your presence and please you more and more.
Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you.
Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, three persons in one God, have mercy upon me. Amen.
What a beautiful and profound prayer. And what a wonderful way to start the day. I came across this prayer as I began to read and study for our sermon series looking at the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. Notice that John Stott would pray specifically for the fruit of the Spirit to “ripen” in his life. I wonder if you have ever prayed and asked God to help you grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Imagine the impact on our lives, our families, our church, and more, if we were to collectively and consciously ask for God to deepen us and strengthen us in these areas.
It’s no surprise, perhaps, that many people who knew John Stott personally said he was the most Christ-like person they ever met. What an inspiring example. I trust that you, like me, want to grow in godliness and grace, and one way that we can do this is to pray this prayer or a version of this prayer daily. Can I encourage you (challenge you?) to join me in printing out this prayer or memorising it and praying it each day for the next 10 weeks or so. As we devote ourselves to studying the fruit of the Spirit, let’s also ask God to “ripen” the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, for our good and his glory.
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-25)