It is easy to say we want to be Christ-centered, but the way we think and behave betrays the fact that we are most often Christian-centered. Churches that are only church-centered will never be Christ-centered. The remedy, in part, is to reserve time, energy, and desire, dedicating them to contemplating and worshiping Jesus Christ every day. This prayer, “Praise to Christ the Lord” (text and audio below) uses the seven “I am” passages in John, and other New Testament texts. (From Prayers for Our Lives.)
Audio version, read by Alice Kinyua of Nairobi, Kenya –
Praise to Christ the Lord
Lord Jesus Christ, we adore you and praise you. Where would we be without you? We long to live in your glory and your goodness.
You identified yourself with God the Father when you said “I am.” You explained your life and purpose by saying…
“I am the bread of life”*—and so we know we live through you.
“I am the light of the world”—and so we no longer live in the darkness of evil and ignorance.
“I am the gate for the sheep”—and so we know we are protected from spiritual predators.
“I am the good shepherd”—and so we are well fed, and led, and protected.
“I am the resurrection and the life”—and so we can live above the fear of illness and death.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life”—and so we see a clear way forward toward abundant life.
“I am the true vine”—and so we know staying connected to you is the most important priority we must have.
Lord Jesus, you are “the author of life.”* You came so that we may have life, and have it to the full.†
We can stand before God the Father because of your great sacrifice. You made peace through the blood of your cross, in order to reconcile all things to yourself. ‡
We are overwhelmed. We are in awe. We are humbled. We wish to worship and follow you all the days of our lives. We want to know you—yes, to know the power of your resurrection and participation in your sufferings, becoming like you in your death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.§
*The 7 “I am” passages are John 6:35-51; 8:12; 10:9; 10:11-14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1-5.
* Acts 3:15
† John 10:10
‡ Colossians 1:20
§ Philippians 3:10-11