Recently, as I prepared my day and planned how and when I would spend time in prayer, I caught myself thinking, “That doesn’t seem like enough time.” I had in my head all the great spiritual heroes of the faith that spent hours in prayer day. What I had in my heart was much more dangerous -the belief that the hours I spent in prayer some how made me more pleasing to God or more spiritually impressive. In a thoughtless blink I was creating a formula for the day with the appropriate variables to make me feel more godly. I stopped believing the gospel for a moment. I stopped believing that Jesus had made me perfectly pleasing to God through the cross. I started to think I could jockey my way into a better position with God with another hour of prayer. The image of others thinking highly of me if they knew -“You spent how many hours in prayer today?- gave a sense of meaning and value, joy even. I would be impressive. But Jesus graciously whispered me back to grace. I repented and began to believe the gospel. How quickly I begin to justify myself towards others and toward God trying to gain stature through my performance.