The second prayer God had me pray was to invite discipline. As you can imagine I didn’t want to pray this prayer any more than I wanted to ask for humility. My solace was that the scripture says in Hebrews that God disciplines everyone that He loves and it is part of how He treats us like a son. So I prayed the prayer out of obedience.
I’ve learned a few things since I began this prayer. First, discipline doesn’t necessarily mean punishment. I made that association in the beginning because that is what my Dad said was coming before he spanked me. And to be sure there are times when discipline feels like punishment. But more often than that discipline is training. We invite discipline so we can learn a skill set much like a gymnast trains with a coach for the Olympics. Just like you wouldn’t imagine that a gymnast could train on his/her own and still make it to the world class level you can guess that I need the discipline of the Holy Spirit to be like Jesus.
Another reason to pray for discipline is that it gives us the strength we need to make good choices. For example, I need the discipline to hold my tongue when I want to complain or judge. I need discipline to wait for God’s best instead of rushing into decisions I might make without His counsel. If I am to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit I definitely need discipline.
To be honest I didn’t look forward to praying this prayer but now I’ve come to welcome it. I interpret what God does to discipline me as both loving instruction and important correction. For all the difficult things it brings into my life the good it accomplishes is more than worth it.