Lord, how dare I come before your presence, given my pride of heart, my pretension, my lusts, my anger, my impatiences, my shameful slanders, my vindictiveness? My wretched soul is not worth saving. I’m a rebel by nature, opposed to your perfect, good will. My heart readily receives falsehoods as the truth to fortify my sinful nature, and my heart readily spouts falsehoods to suit its own sinful ends. There is nothing good in me at all. Everything is twisted. The blood in my veins goes ice cold when indwelling sin might be exposed. There is no goodness in me at all. If I came before you clothed in such filthy sin, you would be utterly justified and glorified by discarding me quickly to the enteral fire of hell. No one would be able to find any fault in such a judgment, because you are perfect in all of your holy counsels. You have no need of any such person as myself. Nothing of your glory would be diminished even if I had never been created at all. Such is my nature. Such is my sin. I am a worm, and not a man. I deserve nothing good. I stand before you forfeit, by nature, of all hope.
And yet, in your mysterious counsel, you have elected to give me grace, a pure gift which in no way could have ever been earned by me. I can only stand before you, and before your people, by your unmerited free grace. Though I sin, you have clothed me in Christ’s righteousness. How can this be? Why would you do this? It must be from love, buy why me? Why grant your peace to me who has done all to throw it away? Pure grace flowing from your electing love, and the presence of your Holy Spirit in me, continually refines me into one resembling the Savior. The only thing I provide is my dead body and soul. And having been raised to life, the only thing I can do is offer my praise, thanksgiving, and obedience. These I imperfectly offer now, asking that they be received for the sake of your perfect Son.