“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control” (Proverbs 25:28).
Peter said that we must be self-controlled so that we can pray. Self-control is difficult at best! However, if we ask ourselves one simple question we can put this issue into God’s perspective: Who is controlling us? Is it God, our Father, who loves us and wants what is best for us … or Satan, our enemy, who would seek to destroy us? As a family, look at the activities you are engaged in, the habits you have, and the things that you hold tightly to. Are all of these things bringing honor and glory to God because they are lived out through you under His control? Or, are you trapped by the vise-like grip of the deceiver in things that do not please the Father? “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
If the enemy can dissuade us, distract us, or damage us in some way to keep us from praying – especially in our families – he will! A lack of self-control will allow us to be distracted by worldly things or ungodly pursuits. As a result, we will certainly not be prayer minded, watchful or aware. Walls that are broken down are defenseless and open to attack from the enemy. When we lack clear minded self-control, we open ourselves up for attack.
Father, I desire for my family to be awake and alert during as we approach Your return. Give us self-control by the power of Your Holy Spirit that we might not be trapped by the enemy. May we not be distracted or dissuaded, but wholly focused upon Your kingdom! Show us what activities or habits keep us from this holy pursuit and give us strength to live according to Your plans and purposes rather than our own.
–Adapted from the article Living for God in the Last Days (God’s Prayer Plan for the Family of God) by Kim Butts. Check out the book Vertical with Jesus, written by Kim and Dave Butts. It is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise your faithful God! Give thanks for God’s faithfulness to you even when you are unfaithful to him (2 Tim. 2:11-13). Spend a few minutes asking God to help you think through your life and confessing any unfaithfulness he brings to your attention. Commit yourself as God’s image-bearer to reflecting his faithfulness in your own.
Pray that Christians will be faithful to use individual and corporate outreach opportunities. Ask for the vision to see opportunities and the loving determination to follow through.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.