Jesus, our objective is to be like You. We will need a lot of help not to return evil for evil. If people are critical of us, to take such criticism without angrily giving it back to them, doubly for some of us, requires Your Spirit in us.
Father, we thank You for Paul’s ministry. He taught us how to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, who he refers to as saints. We do pray for each other, perhaps not as fervently or constantly as we should, but we know that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. You hear the prayers of those that love You so we never speak in vain when we bring our needs and hopes to You.
Father, we know this earth is Satan’s domain but here You tell us that You are greater than Satan. We are impotent when it comes to waging war with Satan unless we are in Your hand, filled with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Being “sober-minded” is another admonition and we know that is different than intoxication from drink. You teach us that we should be orderly in our conduct, to not speak coarsely and to therefore have Your Spirit in us. You also tell us to be full of joy, so to be sober minded must not mean to be long faced and stern in our demeanor.
Father, we all have the same problem. We dwell in the flesh; we are subjected to temptation on all sides, every day. We know as we seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit, afresh, constantly, that we draw nearer and nearer to You. Yet, perfection awaits; sanctification is a process, not a done deal but a process, one that we seek but do not fully apprehend this side of heaven.
Father, You do know who has chosen to serve You. If we name Jesus as our Savior, You tell us to depart from iniquity, to stop sinning. Father, when we were young, youthful lusts pursued us but as we mature You tell us to pursue (chase after) righteousness, knowing that Satan will delight in our sins if we falter.
Jesus, You went to the Cross that we might be empowered and enlightened. We pray that You will direct us as servants, doing Your perfect will. We know Jesus that at some point in time every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. We pray that those we know will not wait until that action is accompanied by total fear.
Father, we feel weak and ineffective in our witness and in the circumstances of our lives, too often. We know that if we have needs that have not been declared to You or if we set out to do something in our own strength that we are leaving out the one variable that changes everything and that is You.
Father, we celebrate the birth of Jesus as a nation and in many parts of the world. We pray that the physical birth of Christ will lead to the Spiritual birth of our loved ones and a renewed vow by each of us to seek a relationship with You more and more, each day.