Psalm 51:17: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
Okay, if you are still reading this then I assume you have a genuine desire to seek humility, or at least you’re curious about it. And the first step to this is seeing your need for it and desiring it, so you’re already on your way!
During this step, all you really need to do is pray. It doesn’t need to follow any specific words, just tell God of your desire to be humbled. (There’s a sample prayer at the end of this section.) He doesn’t need fancy words or long prayers, but He does need us to open our hearts to Him. He needs our invitation. He needs our willingness to change.
Fair warning: These are “dangerous” prayers. Because God will take any invitation you give Him and stretch you as far as He can. But you can trust Him. He will not hurt you. He will not abandon you. He wants the best for you, for your future/eternity, for His Kingdom. And He will be with you the whole way, guiding you in the right path, the best path for your good, even when it doesn’t feel like it. You may not have the strength to do what He ask you to do, but He has enough strength for both of you. Lean on Him. Rely on Him. If you stick with it, with Him, pushing past the pain and fear and any resistance you might have, you’ll be amazed at the results. Just start by letting Him know that you’re ready, and He’ll grab your hand and walk into that furnace with you.
While prayer is the focus of this step, I also think there are some challenges worth taking as you begin this journey. These are to help ground you in Him as you start. And here’s a verse that relates to this whole journey, to be diligent and conscientious in our attempt to seek after God, truth, and humility: Daniel 10:12: “Then he [an angelic messenger] continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”
Our lives will be impacted by our sincere desire to gain understanding and to humble ourselves before God. The spirit world will be impacted. God’s kingdom will be impacted. Our futures will be impacted. So set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before God, and then watch and see what God does with you and through you!
1. Pray for God to show you any Bible verses He wants you to pay closer attention to. Listen for the Spirit’s leading. Search the Word. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and so we may not know why He brings certain passages to mind. Just write them down and spend time exploring them. Maybe God is trying to reveal something you need to be convicted of. Maybe He wants to give you an advanced message to help you later. Maybe He’s giving you guidance for the next step in life. Maybe He wants you to choose a “life verse.” Maybe it’s something else. But whatever it is, take it to heart, write it down, and reflect on it often.
2. Reflect on your life so far and write down things you are thankful for, anything that God has done in your life that’s worth remembering, as long of a list as possible. Complaining and forgetting God’s goodness/power were two of the main things the Israelites got in trouble for while they travelled in the desert on their way to Canaan. And they paid for it by dying off in the desert instead of being allowed to enter the Promised Land. So be thankful and remember. And write it down. These will also help you when times get tough and God feels far away.
3. Explore the Bible for the promises of God that you may need to grab ahold of, to remember in the future. Write these down, too. And thank Him for these treasures. Sometimes, when all else is falling down around us, the only thing we can grab onto to keep us from drowning in despair are the promises we find in God’s Word. But it will be enough to keep us afloat. So get a list going of your favorite verses and why they mean so much to you.
4. Listen to some godly music. Sharing it with your partner, if you have one. (Maybe “Sweetly Broken” by Jeremy Riddle.) Godly music can reach past our walls, deep into our hearts, where nothing else can.
Questions for Reflection:
(Think deeply about these. Pray about them and listen to the Holy Spirit for the answers. Journal whatever He tells you. Talk about it with your partner.)
1. What does “being humble” mean to me?
2. Do I really desire to be humbled? Why or why not? How might it change my life? Is there anything I’m afraid of?
3. What are my current priorities or focuses, and how might they be affected if I let God humble me? What are my current fears or doubts, and how might they be affected?
4. How might being humbled affect my relationship with the Lord? With others? With myself?
5. What in my life or heart may get in the way of being humbled? (Confess these to God and ask Him to help you work through them.)
6. Does Satan have any strongholds in my life right now? How are these hurting me and my relationship with others, myself, and God? (Confess them. Pray about them. Ask God what He wants you to do about them.)
7. What are the things God wants me to do first as I start humbling myself before Him?
Find verses on humility or brokenness, compile them in your journal and jot down any insights, as the Spirit leads. Reflect on them often. What is God trying to tell you personally through these verses? Below are some examples of verses that contain references to humility.
Psalm 25:8-9: “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”
2 Chronicles 7:14: “… if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Isaiah 66:2: “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”
1 Peter 5:6-7: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Matthew 5:3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Look back over all you wrote and turn it into prayers to God: prayers of confession if need be, petitions, thanksgiving, requests for strength and wisdom, etc. Always put your thoughts into prayers. Our thoughts are for us, but our prayers are for God. Example prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for Your grace and mercy, for Jesus’ death on the cross for me. Thank You for being faithful, for loving me and wanting the best for me. I’m sorry for the times I’ve pushed You away in the past. And I’m tired of living the way I am. I want to be complete in You, to live a life built on Your truth and love. I want You to break me down in the ways I need to be broken down and to build me up again in You, stronger, healed, whole. And so I open up all areas of my heart and life to You right now, knowing that You alone can bring the healing and growth I need.
Help me learn to be “humble like a child.” I admit that I cannot do this on my own. I don’t know the depths of my heart like You do, and I fear the pain. And so I ask for Your wisdom and strength to do this. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Help me learn to hear Your voice above all others, above all the noise and distractions. Tell me what I need to do and change and learn. I’m ready to follow where You lead. Replace the lies in my life with Your Truth. Replace my fears and heartaches with Your love.
Please, Lord, help me learn to fully rely on You and to find my strength and hope in You alone, for I am so weak on my own. Thank You for calling me to dig deeper and to climb higher in my walk with You. And I thank You that You will be with me every step of the way!
In Jesus’ holy name, Amen
A Much Simpler Sample Prayer:
“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Psalm 25:4-5)
Lord, humble me, break me, and rebuild me in You. Amen
(Click here for Piece 2: Honesty with Yourself and with the Lord)