“Make every effort…to be holy” (Heb. 12:14). This is not a passive acceptance of something. This is not to be confused with your salvation. You accepted Christ’s gift of salvation by faith…but there is effort involved if you want to be holy. Paul would say, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Why with fear and trembling? Because we are doing so under the watchful eye of a Holy God. So, how do we live holy lives? We make the Word of God our foundation…we strive to do what it says…and we flee from all that it forbids.
God is waiting for His people to pray, but He longs for prayers that come from the lips of a holy people…a people set apart and dedicated to God:
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer…” (I Pet. 2:12)
“Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart…” (Ps. 24:3-4). If we will “take time to be holy,” God will be attentive to our prayers. Let’s not stop short of personal holiness: being holy “as He is holy.”
–Adapted from the article Personal Holiness: Unlocking the Door to Effective Prayer by Dave Butts. Click on the title to read the rest of the article.
Faithful Father, Your watchful eye is always upon me and You are always listening for my voice. I long to ascend Your holy hill, but often my hands are not clean and my heart is not pure. Cleanse me Lord, and draw my heart to live according to Your Word. May the holiness of Jesus invade my life by the power of Your Spirit actively at work in me!
Praise the saving God whose paths are beyond tracing out! (Rom. 11:33). Give thanks for his continual, personal care for you. Confess any failure to maintain a healthy relationship with the Lord. Commit yourself to disciplined, joyful Christian living, recognizing the tremendous blessing of belonging to Jesus Christ. Ask that you will be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Rom. 12:12).
Pray that any personal difficulties experienced by unsaved persons around you may be opportunities for them to come to know the grace that is found in Jesus Christ.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend (Click on title for more information about this resource).