What's the Difference?
Over the next couple of months we're going to be experimenting with some changes to the prayer guide. For this sermon series "What's the Difference?" we're going to try connecting the prayer guide to the Sunday messages. If you didn't get a chance to participate in the service, you can view all of our messages on our website.
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
- 2 Peter 1:5-9
It's tempting to believe that accumulating more knowledge about God will translate into following Jesus more faithfully. But it never really seems to work out the way. The search for more knowledge is never ending, and eventually in order to follow Jesus you actually have to do something with all that knowledge!
And that's where self-control comes in.
Doing something with all that knowledge will often require you to move into uncharted, uncomfortable territory. And our self will resist that for all sort of reasons (some of them even good reasons!). This can be very difficult to overcome if you're trying to do it all on your own.
When Paul writes about self-control being a fruit of the Spirit's work in Galatians 5, he's saying that the Spirit will grow self-control in us as we yield to the Spirit's work in our lives. You don't need to do it alone!
Create some space to reflect on your life in God's presence.
Spend some time asking God to reveal some of your unhealthy reactive patterns in your life.
Ask Him to help you prioritize which one He might want you to focus on opening up to His transforming presence this week.
Ask God for insight into why that reactive pattern is the way it is.
Imagine what Jesus might want to say to that.
Prayers of Petition
God invites us to cast our cares on him because he cares for us. God is all-together good, already knows what we need, and is eager to give us good things. So we don’t need to pray out of anxiety or fear, but confident trust. Spend a few minutes making your requests known to God.
- For the church
- For others
- For myself
Heavenly Father, I pray that this day I may live in your presence and please you more and more.
Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you.
Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.