“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).
James Houston says, “We will find prayer a dangerous experience if we are unwilling to change. To pray is rather like joining an underground resistance movement in an enemy-occupied country. We fight back in prayer to overthrow the kingdom of darkness with the light of the gospel.
The problem is that the darkness is not simply all around us, but inside us too. So prayer becomes a weapon that can painfully turn in on us. Prayer opposes everything in us that is false, evil and sinful. Prayer attacks all the indifference and moral complacency, all the conceit and selfishness within us. Prayer assaults our spiritual apathy and dryness. Because of this, prayer is constantly the means we can use to reassess our values and objectives before God.
Through prayer, we receive Christ’s grace to question ourselves, to bring our lives up to the line of his teaching. Prayer changes us more than we would expect, or want. Accepting this is also the grace of Christ in us.
Grace-filled God, every day I struggle with temptations to say or do things that undermine Your kingdom and my testimony as a believer. Only with the help of the Holy Spirit can I stand firm against the attempts of the enemy to trip me up and to destroy Your work in me. Give me the desire to be completely yielded and willing to be transformed into the image of Jesus so that He might be completely glorified in and through my life.
–Adapted from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise the Father who has compassion on his children. Thank him for forgiving all your sins, healing all your diseases, redeeming your life from the pit, crowning you with love and compassion, and satisfying your desires with good things (Psalm 103). Confess those periods in your day when you are unaware of God’s faithful, watching, loving presence beside you and within you. Commit yourself to watching for signs of his love and tenderness toward you. Ask him to draw you closer to himself.
Pray for “those who are least in the kingdom of heaven”—the poor, sick, lonely, outcast, struggling, grieving—that they may find the Father’s love in a warm church fellowship.