Deliver Me From Myself…Litany of Humility

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HumilityHumility is one of the most difficult qualities for a worship leader to embrace and sustain. In the name of artistic excellence we are often unwilling to take a secondary and supportive role to those who are obviously less talented. Arrogance can suggest that what I lead and how I lead it holds more value than whom I lead. Former baseball player and manager, Yogi Berra is quoted as saying, “It’s not the heat that makes it so difficult, it’s the humility.”

Setting aside our ego and placing others first models a level of worship leadership that song selection and platform finesse will never achieve. Author, John Fischer calls it looking out for number 2. Investing in others above us…in people above presentation understands the difference between doing liturgy and being a liturgist. What will your congregants remember most about your worship leadership…how you led them while you were on the platform our how you placed them first on the way to and from the platform?

Instead of a desire to be recognized, revered or elevated, maybe our prayer for 2014 should be “Lord, deliver me from myself.” Jorge Luis Borges wrote, “Arrogance is when the image of the Lord has been replaced by a mirror.” Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), 
the Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius wrote the following Litany of Humility that can serve as a reminder when we assume our efforts are indispensable to God or that He can’t get it done if we don’t do it.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

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2 Responses to this post.

  1. Posted by David Young on 08.01.14 at 10:26 am

    This is powerful stuff. It is also something God has been working on me to produce. I believe He led me to memorize Matt. 23:1-12 and add it to the life verses that I pray over each morning.

    Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, (2)“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, (3) so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. (4) They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bare, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. (5) They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, (6) and they love the place of honor at the feasts and the best seats in the synagogue (7) and greetings in the market places and being called Rabbi by others. (8) But you are not to be called Rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. (9) And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father who is in heaven. (10) Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. (11) The greatest among you shall be your servant. (12) Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

    The secular leadership book, Good To Great, taps into this. Of course the author does not mention that you can never develop humble leadership without divine intervention. Father, I need you to work in my life. It is my ungodly tendency to love the praise of other people.

  2. Posted by Aletha Fassl on 08.01.14 at 10:26 am

    This is very well thought out and written, as well as being a reminder that God has no hands on earth but ours. Thank you!

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