CONFESSION

DISCIPLESHIP

…ALL-WISE FATHER, I do not need to know how to disciple others. I only need to know how to be a disciple myself. My life lived out teaches others of what it is to be a disciple.

“Our Lord makes a disciple His own possession, He becomes responsible for him….The spirit that comes in is not that of doing anything for Jesus, but of being a perfect delight to Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Sept 4th).

“…the only men and women He will use…are those who love Him personally, passionately and devotedly beyond any of the closest ties on earth” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 7th).

FATHER, forgive me for not taking seriously enough Your constraint on me as CHRIST’s disciple. Let me put my energies toward exclusively becoming personally, passionately and devotedly yielded to CHRIST. May I desire not to rejoice in successful service, but rejoice that I’m rightly related to CHRIST (ref#7, Oct 27th).

JESUS said, “…’All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go…and make disciples…” (Matt 28:18-19 ESV). Do I believe that when I “go” JESUS does the work of making disciples? This is my challenge. If I believe “that people are difficult to get saved, that backsliders are difficult to reclaim,…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Oct 27th) it is because I have commissioned myself with my natural talents to make disciples.

Making a relationship with You, LORD, is my work. And, relationship-making is difficult work. Because I desire such a relationship, satan may no longer tempt me to simply do wrong things.

Instead, his temptations will be along the same line that he tempted JESUS. His temptations will be crafted toward separating You from me. He hopes to discourage me so I give up on all the grace You have put into me (ref#7, Sept 18th). Satan attempts to keep me from being obedient to You. He wants me to cease being Your disciple (ref#7, Sept 18th). Therefore, FATHER, enlarge my desire to muse on CHRIST and enjoy His presence above all.

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SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Pursuers

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians. It is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

THE BOASTINGS OF THE FALLEN NATURE

…FATHER, ____ has heard of You by attending church; (he/she) has read (his/her) Bible, maybe even committed verses to memory, nonetheless Your Word does not produce fruit in (him/her) (Mark 4:19). Even Your truth residing in (his/her) mind is unable to affect (him/her).

It seems ____ is in the business, FATHER, of becoming holy and more holy in (his/her) own strength. Seems (he/she) is working with such intenseness that (he/she) passes over the good news about CHRIST. I think that (his/her) work is so gratifying that (he/she) imagines (he/she) is doing well and getting better and better. But…

 “There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth” (Prov 30:12 ESV). “This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I have done no wrong’” (Prov 30:20 ESV).

“The majority of people have their morality well within their own grasp, they do not sense the need of the Gospel” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Dec 17th). FATHER, it seems ____ is pursuing You because (he/she) admires righteousness therefore (he/she) is trying hard to act righteously (ref#33, p110). (He/She) may not know that (his/her) natural flesh can perform good as well as produce sin (ref#33, p110). (He/She) may be confusing (his/her) natural fleshly work with Your HOLY SPIRIT’s work. And, the case is that (he/she) is then unable to be a Christian because it is impossible to receive anything unless it is given to (him/her) from heaven (James 1:17).

It is quite natural to fall into the pattern of searching the Scriptures for commands to keep (John 5:39). By keeping only the commands of (his/her) choosing (he/she) does not need a Savior; (he/she) is saving (himself/herself). FATHER, lead ____ to the understanding that whatever “does not issue from waiting upon God, from depending upon the HOLY SPIRIT, is unquestionably of the flesh”  Watchman Nee (ref #33, p 114).

It seems that ____ is set in (his/her) own ways of righteousness, but I know, FATHER, that You can and will work in due season to call Your sons and daughters according to Your purpose (ref#13, Vol 1, p31 [Mark 2:14]). Please, FATHER, I want You to call ____.

CONFESSION

OVERWHELMING CIRCUMSTANCES ARE OKAY

…FATHER, You have set me on a course of looking for people to minister to—and I HAVE FOUND THEM! My initial reaction is very much like the sluggard in Proverbs. He says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets” (Prov 22:13)! How can I minister successfully to all that clamor for my attention? “There are too many; I will exhaust myself.”

LORD, when You command, I must do it immediately. Questioning is not a prerogative. Oswald Chambers says, “When you know you should do a thing, and do it, immediately you know more” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 8th). FATHER, has not Your inspiration come in the past, and has it not come with such miraculous power in such a way that I am able to “arise from the dead and do the impossible thing” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Feb 16th)?

“Jesus is asking us to take one end of the yoke—‘My yoke is easy, get alongside Me and we will pull together’” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, April 14th).

Compel me, FATHER, to not be a sluggard. Continually remind me I am not responsible for Christian service (because You, Yourself do the work), but I am only responsible “to keep in living, constant, touch” with You (ref#7, April 23rd).

CHRIST says, “Follow me, run along behind Me! That is all” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p 58). Advise me to “see only him who goes before and no more the road which is too hard for” me (ref#10, p88).

Remind me that “bewilderment is the true comprehension. Not to know where you are going is the true knowledge” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p93).

Oh soul, do not run ahead or lag behind paralyzed in fear. FATHER, I desire to wait for You then run with You—for Your closeness is the place of rest. Strengthen my trust in You—weaken my trust in myself. Empower me to put all my hope in You for You are all steadfast love (Ps 33:22).

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

Prayer Facts:

“There is nothing more difficult than to ask. We will long and desire and crave and suffer, but not until we are at the extreme limit will we ask….” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 9th). “Prayer is weakness leaning on omnipotence” W. S. Bowden (ref#55, p129).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because all Your promises find their answer in CHRIST (2 Cor 1:20), I will wait for You.

Because Your Son is holy, blameless, unstained by sin, separated from sinners and exalted higher than the heavens (Heb 7:26), I will wait for You.

Because You sent Your Son into the world so that I might live through Him (1 John 4:9), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: Sept 30th – Oct 6th

Sept 30 Lam 3-5; 1 Pet 3

Oct 1   Dan 1-2; 1 Pet 4

Oct 2     Dan 3-4; 1 Pet 5

Oct 3     Ezek 33-35; 2 Pet 1

Oct 4   Ezek 36-37; Ps 63

Oct 5   Ezek 38-39; 2 Pet 2

Oct 6   Ezek 40-41; 2 Pet 3

PRELUDE TO PRAISE

Prayer Facts:

“It is not so true that ‘prayer changes things’ as that prayer changes me and I change things….Prayer is not a question of altering things externally, but of working wonders in a man’s disposition” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 28th).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You know everything and nothing is hidden from You (1 John 3:20), I will wait for You.

Because You produced and formed the world and all things in it (Acts 17:24), I will wait for You.

Because You bring to a standstill by severe weather the hand of every man (Job 37:7), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: Sept 23rd – 29th

Sept 23     Ezek 20-21; James 3

Sept 24     Ezek 22-24; James 4

Sept 25     Ezek 25-28; James 5

Sept 26     Ezek 29-32; Ps 61

Sept 27     2 Kings 25; 2 Chron 36; Jer 40-41; Ps 62

Sept 28    Jer 42-44; 1 Pet 1

Sept 29    Obadiah; Lam 1-2; 1 Pet 2

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

Prayer Facts:

“In intercession you bring the person, or the circumstance that impinges on you before God until you are moved by His attitude towards that person or circumstance…Try to put yourself in God’s place….” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Dec 13th).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You love the Son and have given everything into His hand (John 3:35), I will wait for You.

Because JESUS, Himself is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for my sins, and not for mine alone but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: Sept 16th – 22nd

Sept 16     Jer 52; Ps 143-144

Sept 17     Ezek 1-3; Heb 12

Sept 18     Ezek 4-7; Heb 13

Sept 19     Ezek 8-11; James 1

Sept 20    Ezek 12-14; Ps 53

Sept 21     Ezek 15-16; Ps 58

Sept 22    Ezek 17-19; James 2

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

Prayer Facts:

“The very powers of darkness are paralyzed by prayer. No wonder Satan tries to keep our minds fussy in active work till we cannot think to pray” Oswald Chambers (ref#23, p397).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You see my paths and count all my steps (Job 31:4), I will wait for You.

Because You know the way that I take, because You have concern for it, because You appreciate and pay attention to my way (Job 23:10), I will wait for You.

Because You hear my supplication and receive my prayer (Ps 6:9), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: Sept 9th – 15th

Sept 9      Jer 48-49; Ps 52

Sept 10    Jer 21,24,27; Heb 6

Sept 11     Jer 28-30; Heb 7

Sept 12     Jer 31-32; Heb 8

Sept 13     Jer 33-34; Heb 9

Sept 14     Jer 37-39; Heb 10

Sept 15     Jer 50-51; Heb 11

SUPPLICATION

CHRISTIAN

[Because we are Christians and live in the world we will always need prayer for our walk and for witnessing to others about CHRIST. Here’s an opportunity to pray for others or even ourselves. Fill their name or your name in the blanks.]

TALK OF CHRIST NOT PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

“Salvation is all God’s thought, not man’s; therefore it is an unfathomable abyss” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 5th).

It is a common activity to speak of spiritual ideas as just that, ideas—facts that the listener can add or not add to his personal morals. FATHER, enable, ____ to be true to JESUS CHRIST and not a doctrine of Christianity (ref#118, p82). Energize ____ to keep the awesome fear of GOD in (his/her) witness by speaking only about the Person, JESUS CHRIST.

Constrain ____ to not speak of how one can be saved from hell or made moral and pure. Such will come automatically with redemption. Impassion ____ to speak simply of the good news of JESUS CHRIST. If (his/her) words bring (his/her) hearers to judgment then (he/she) has done (his/her) part. The SPIRIT will do the rest.

CONFESSION

WHO IS DOING THE DOING?

“Not all deeds done for God are His deeds. Doing for Him is not enough; the question is, who is doing the doing? God will not recognize any labor as His if it simply reflects the believer’s activity and is carried out in his strength” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#101, p44).

When the Apostle Paul says I am to work out my own salvation (Phil 2:12-13), he is not saying to me to get busy and convince You, FATHER, that I love You. If I have any thought of impressing You it signals my activities are birthed from ruling myself. Working out my salvation is not choosing Christian activities that I want to do.

FATHER, instead of permitting my perverse nature to work out my salvation, bequeath me that I may, with concentration and care work out the nature You have put in me when You changed my nature (ref#7, June 6th). I want You to dominate more and more of my life (ref#7, June 7th); I want to be more and more acquainted with Your good work, not my own good work—Your rule, not my rule.

“The moment we begin to feel satisfied that we are making some progress along the road of sanctification, it is all the more necessary to repent and confess that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags….God alone knows our good works, all we know is his good work. We can do no more than…carry on and rely on his grace,…and—sin” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p297).

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Pursuers

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians. It is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

CHRIST’S MIMICS

FATHER, I pray for ____ who is sincere about (his/her) Christian faith. (He/She) is a pew-sitter eager to be a disciple of CHRIST but (he/she) falls short of (his/her) goal. (He/She) is all human-learning and human-doing. (He/She) is only a mimic of a true disciple.   A good mimic, however,—so good (he/she) never thinks (he/she) may be displeasing to You.

“There are many today who are sincere, but they are not real; they are not hypocrites, but perfectly honest and earnest and desirous of fulfilling what Jesus wants of them, but they really cannot do it because they have not received the Holy Spirit who will make them real” Oswald Chambers (ref#83, p85).

LORD, send Your SPIRIT so ____ may realize that (his/her) self-centeredness is sinning against You even in the matter of serving and pleasing You. Self-confident strengths oppose Your SPIRIT.

“Whatever does not issue from waiting upon God, from depending upon the Holy Spirit, is unquestionably of the flesh…Whenever a heart of utter trust is lacking, there is the labor of the flesh” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p114).

“The bedrock in Jesus Christ’s kingdom is not sincerity, not deciding for Christ, not a determination to serve Him, but complete and entire recognition that we cannot begin to do it” Oswald Chambers (ref#83, p86).

FATHER, awaken ____ to see (his/her) pathetic flesh so CHRIST can pour His disposition in (him/her). CHRIST must realize His will through (him/her) (ref#83, p86). By faith I know, FATHER, You will give ____ the ability not only to want to do His will but also the ability to do it (Phil 2:12-13).