“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:1-2).
Today many wonder why the Church struggles to spread the gospel and impact the culture and institutions around her for Christ. Some Christians simplistically blame the devil or corrupt world systems. While our struggle against satanic powers of darkness and corrupt authorities in high places is a real, ongoing battle, it is also important to recognize that the Body of Christ is not as empowered as it could be. Millions of Christians are living daily lives that are often unconsecrated and unsanctified. In a word: uncrucified.
Under the Old Covenant, what was not offered and consecrated (set apart to God) was not ignited. The New Covenant parallel and completion teaches that what is not presented and given over cannot be received and utilized in any practical, redemptive way. Unless surrendered, we cannot be sanctified, anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Unsanctified Christians might be busy with religious activity, but the Bible classifies this as spiritually empty: wood, hay and stubble. The Western Church today is piled high with spiritually impotent works, even while the quantity and volume of prayer and the number of prayer events is on the increase. Consecration precedes sanctification and empowerment.
Lord, I present my body, soul and spirit to You today—consecrate me—set me apart for Your use. Transform my mind as I renew it in Your word so that I can accomplish Your will.
–Taken from an article by Gary Bergel, incenseRising, Jan/Feb 2006.
Praise the One who sits upon his throne, supreme in power and authority. Give thanks that the Almighty is your Father in Jesus Christ. Confess your own hardness of heart and disobedience against God’s authority over you. Commit yourself to God so that you “do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires” (Rom. 6:12). Ask God to help you endure, so that you may reign with Christ (2 Tim. 2:12).
Pray that the relationships among your family and friends will be spiritually honest and productive. Pray that Jesus Christ will be a frequent and comfortable topic of conversation.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend