CONFESSION

CHRISTLIKENESS IS NOT ME IMITATING BUT THE SPIRIT IMPLANTING

…FATHER, my previous understanding of the term “Christlikeness” has misled me. I thought I would become Christlike by doing more and more good deeds like CHRIST did. FATHER, it is my desire to walk by the SPIRIT, not imitate CHRIST by externally acting out my perception of His good works.

But, Christlikeness is not me imitating CHRIST. Instead, Christlikeness is the impartation of the holy qualities of CHRIST in me (ref#7, July 23rd). These “holy qualities” are Your qualities, FATHER, brought to me by the Person of the SPIRIT.

The HOLY SPIRIT transfigured the Son of Man, CHRIST, and He transfigures me. It is an internal change in me. Bit by bit—from one degree of glory to another—my life improves as You, FATHER, enter more and more into my life (2 Cor 3:18).

The length to which I’m willing to be molded into Your image is the length to which the SPIRIT will help me. As long as I keep calling out for His blessing and help, the SPIRIT has fully committed Himself to respond (ref#78, p38).

“Only when we are full of the Spirit do we feel the need for God everywhere we turn” Jim Cymbala (ref#78, p58).

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 GIFT OF SALVATION

“No part of us is untouched by sin, and no action of ours is as good as it should be. Consequently, nothing we do is ever meritorious in God’s eyes. We cannot earn God’s favor no matter what we do; unless grace saves us, we are lost” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p781, [Original Sin and Total Depravity]).

FATHER, since You are a great GOD who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number (Job 5:9), I defer to You with my request. I observe ____ depending on (his/her) own good accomplishments to please You. But, “obedience is a response to God’s favor, and not a means of gaining itThe Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1732, [Col 3:1] underlining mine).

Your Gospel that You provide as a gift, given freely by Your grace, causes both intense longing or intense resentment. I fear ____ is comfortable with (his/her) own moral achievements and resents any other way of pleasing You. I see (him/her) in the following quote:

“I will give my life to martyrdom, I will give myself in consecration, I will do anything, but do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do is to accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Nov 28th).

FATHER, I pray You cause ____ to come to the realization that (he/she) must receive salvation as a pure gift or do without it. As long as (he/she) is possessed of anything in the way of independence, You can do nothing for (him/her) (ref#7, Nov 28th).

You say, “the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands (Ps 9:16 ESV). So I pray for ____ that (he/she) turn and repent so (his/her) sins are blotted out (Acts 3:19). FATHER, please make ____ a person who has an intense longing for Your gift of salvation. Make (him/her) like one who was in the crowd listening to JESUS. “Now, all the tax collectors and those sinners stained with certain vices and crimes were continually crowding close to Him for the purpose of hearing Him” (ref#37, p176 [Luke 15:1]). These people reaped the benefit of JESUS’ presence by their lowly and contrite heart, I pray ____ does, too.

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.]

SHATTERING A PERSON’S HOPE OF SALVATION

FATHER, You have redeemed ____ and given (him/her) opportunities to speak to others the Gospel summary which is “‘The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’” (1 John 2:2) (ref#7, Oct 15th)! Help ____, FATHER, to first think and speak of CHRIST.

The hope of being accepted by You interests most everyone. Therefore there are diverse ways to convince one’s conscience that You will accept them. Below is a list of some false hopes that people put their trust in. Prompt ____ to use the mention of these hopes as a starting point to convey true scriptural hope:

“…going forward in a meeting, praying a suggested prayer, imitating the experience of others, joining a church, attending many Christian meetings, being baptized, studying the Bible regularly, helping others, feeling good in a religious service or having a strong conviction that they are right with God…” Will Metzger (ref#79, p80).

FATHER, I intercede for ____ that (he/she) be bold enough to speak against all ideas that are without scriptural grounds. Reasoning about situations like the above will do nothing.

Empower (him/her) to always guide the conversation to JESUS. Give (him/her) the incentive to give “a strong dose of teaching on justification by faith. Unmerited mercy softens cold hearts” Will Metzger (ref#79, p173). People must hear that nothing but comparing their life with the standards of JESUS and submitting to Him alone will please You (ref#7, May 6th).

CONFESSION

OBEDIENCE

 “His timing is perfect, His will is our hiding place. Lord Jesus keep me in Your will.  Don’t let me go mad by poking about outside it” Corrie TenBoom (ref#84, p218).

FATHER, being obedient to You sounds simple enough, but how do I know it is You giving the orders instead of my flesh desiring to be spiritual? Can I not hear the same words from both You and my flesh?

No prerequisite is required for fleshly desires to enter my head. They are stand-alone commands rising from my depraved nature. They masquerade as important spiritual ideas appealing to my sense of logic. They beg to be put into action.

“Carnal pleasure, worldly profit and honour, the things of sense and time, are the things of the flesh…The favour of God, the welfare of the soul, the concerns of eternity, are the things of the Spirit” Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (ref#18, [Rom 8:5]).

FATHER, draw me into submission. Make me wait on You to receive Your revelation in my intuition otherwise my flesh will assert itself (ref#101, p43). If I sense I’m being the boss over any spiritual project, I can be sure it is my flesh directing me. You FATHER, do not delegate authority over the control of Your work (ref#101, p42).

“Despite a great revival in Samaria, Philip was not responsible for the follow-up labor of strengthening. He must leave immediately for the desert in order that a “heathen” eunuch might be saved….All acts are in the hands of the Spirit; believers simply obey. Had it been left to human thoughts and wishes, many places which ought to be visited would not have been, and many others would have been visited which ought not to be. These experiences from Acts inescapably tell us that we too must follow the guidance of God’s Spirit in our intuition and not follow our thoughts, reasons or wishes” Watchman Nee (ref#101, p 42-43).

“Jesus takes us over for His enterprises, His building schemes entirely, and no soul has any right to claim where he shall be put” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 7th).

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL SICKNESS

[The majority of our prayers concern physical health. We all know someone who is dealing with the pain of sickness. Here is an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

DISCIPLINE NOT PUNISHMENT

“Punishment for sin will take place in the next world. God’s dealings with people in this world are of the nature of discipline….Trouble is no evidence whatever of the Diving displeasure” E. M. Bounds (ref#64, p50).

FATHER, whom in heaven does ____ have but You? (His/her) flesh and heart may be failing but You are the strength of (his/her) heart and (his/her) portion forever (Ps 73:25-26). Let nothing terrify (him/her); keep (him/her), please, from giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve (him/her) (1 Pet 3:6).

You warrant us to take our troubles to You in prayer, so assist ____ in doing that. Favor (him/her) so that she can calmly pray over (his/her) troubles and seek “to get the greatest spiritual benefits out of them” E.M. Bounds (ref#64, p58). By sickness and suffering, by silence and solitude You are giving ____ other than normal work to perform which shall not the less secure (his/her) usefulness and promote Your glory (ref#61, Aug 16th).

FATHER, how manifold are the ways ____ needs You. And in manifold ways You can be found (ref#27, p16).

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.]

DRAWING CONVERSATION BACK TO JESUS

“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.   For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.   And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (I Cor 2:1-5 ESV).

FATHER, I pray for ____ as (he/she) has opportunity to speak of Christianity. Restrain (him/her) from thinking and speaking in a worldly manner. There is no spiritual strength using words that put pressure on the will of the listener or to make an effort to engage emotions (#123, p116). “Paul does not threaten or merely exhort, nor does he lift up some shining example to emulate” Timothy Keller (ref# 123, p117). Prod ____ to make (his/her) message only be about “the limitless significance of Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins,…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Oct 15th).

FATHER, also keep ____ from toting a specific program of Christianity. This, too, is the world’s way to persuade, for it is easier to be part of a cause than to be an obedient CHRIST-follower. “It is easier to belong to a coterie which tells what Jesus Christ has done for me, easier to become a devotee to Divine healing, or to a special type of sanctification, or to the baptism of the Holy Ghost” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Oct 15th).

Again, prod ____ to proclaim the Gospel, testifying “to the matchless worth of the person and work of Christ” A. W. Pink (ref#152, p 167)—no sales pitch—no witnessing for CHRIST, but witnessing about CHRIST.

CONFESSION

NOT SUCCESS BUT FAITHFULNESS

…FATHER, keep me from the desire for success. In my base nature I want You to come and revive my church, my town, my country. I want everybody to witness Your power so I can be proud of Your accomplishments—so everyone can see how wise I am to follow You. I want You to prove Who You are and what You have done for me (ref#83, p118).

But JESUS did not turn the world upside down in a great show of power. When He was on earth after performing a miracle he would not let the news be spread (Matt 9:30). He didn’t succumb to the devil’s temptation to make Him a household word (Matt 4:6). He was not interested in being admired by men.

Move me FATHER, to settle on CHRIST as my example to follow: “The one dominate note in His life was to do His Father’s will. His way was not the way of wisdom or of success, but the way of faithfulness” Oswald Chambers (ref#83, p120).

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

 

Prayer Facts:

“It is a vital necessity for Christians to think along the lines on which they pray. The philosophy of prayer is that prayer is the work” Oswald Chambers (ref#157, June 14th).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because Your stability and faithfulness are great and abundant (Lam 3:23), I will wait for You.

Because You are very compassionate and merciful (James 5:11), I will wait for You.

Because You are always fair and just (Isa 30:18), I will wait for You.

Because You give freedom to the prisoners (Ps 146:7), I will wait for You.

Because You give Your underserved favor to the low and humble and the afflicted (Prov 3:34), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: May 6th – May 12th

May 6      2 Sam 13-14; Ps 28

May 7      2 Sam 15-16; Ps 32

May 8      2 Sam 17: Ps 71

May 9      2 Sam 18; Ps 56

May 10    2 Sam 19-20; Ps 55

May 11     2 Sam 21-23; 2 Cor 1

May 12    2 Sam 24; 1 Chron 21; Ps 30

CONFESSION

GROWING TO HATE MY FLESH

…FATHER, many times You confronted Moses with impossible situations. And many times he felt as if it was his job to make the situation possible. One of those times was when the people asked for meat to eat (Num 11:4-6).

“Where am I to get meat to give to all this people?…I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me” (Num 11:13-14 ESV).

FATHER, You have put before me such impossible situations. And, like Moses, I easily forget that You do not demand I find solutions to those situations.

You, LORD, actually allow me to be defeated and fruitless in order that You may destroy my natural life containing my self-wisdom and abilities (ref#101, p84). In defeat You show me more of the sin and frailty of my flesh in order that I may be aroused to an increased indignation toward myself (ref#33, p91,92). With these situations You corrupt my confidence in my natural virtues (ref#7, Dec. 30th).

My natural life must not rule, You must rule in me (ref#7, Dec 28th). What I call strengths, You call weakness. When I trust my strengths and depend on them I make it impossible for Your will to be accomplished.

FATHER, You will not grant me increased strength to meet impossible situations. Guide me, instead, toward maintaining an affirmative attitude toward You and a negative response toward my flesh (ref#33, p 106). For, if I trust in my wits instead of You, I produce consequences for which You will hold me responsible (ref#7, Dec. 28th).

CONFESSION

MY RESPONSIBILITY IN SANCTIFICATION

…FATHER, I praise You for giving to me the weapons that can triumph over satan—precisely Your Son and the SPIRIT. Though they overcome, it is necessary that I be responsible.

You, FATHER, make me “holy in the sense of innocence.” My responsibility is to participate in making my character into a holy character by a series of moral choices (ref#7, Sept 8th). I am inclined to cater to my undisciplined nature and many times attribute my failures to satan’s influence when the problem is my unwillingness to restrain myself.

I must strengthen myself to not submit to actions that stem from my physical condition. Prejudices and moods are two such things that I must destroy by neglect (ref#7, May 20th, Sept 8th).

“Many of us prefer to stay at the threshold of the Christian life instead of going on to construct a soul in accordance with the new life God has put within” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 20th).

FATHER, I want to be responsible. With my will and the SPIRIT’s power I desire to refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against Your true knowledge (2 Cor 10:5). For You know, FATHER, I’m in a fight all day long. Rouse me to reject comfort with its unwillingness to exercise the holy qualities You have placed in me.