“A Lifestyle of Prayer”
This week’s prayer focus: Above All!
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (NIV)
This week’s prayer emphasis will be about some things the Bible says are, or should be, above all in the life of every believer. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, and to us, he wanted to pass along what he had received from Jesus and emphasize that which was of first importance — the message of the gospel. It is far too easy to get caught up in “lesser things” and miss that which is of “first importance”. Good intentions are not the same as good priorities — intentions are what we would like to do, priorities are what we actually do. When it comes to setting the priorities of what we will actually value above all else, God has given us His Son to both give the instruction and set the example. As you pray this week, ask God to help you examine just what it is that you tend to place above all in your life. Pray that you would spend time in God’s Word daily as you seek His help in moving from good intentions to excellent priorities. Pray that the things of God that you place above all else would be lived in such a way that people see Jesus in you. Pray each day for the individuals of your congregation and for the body of Christ as a whole.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
Please pray each day for God to help you understand the things which ought to be above all else.
Sunday: Pray for your church staff, the preaching and teaching that takes place, the church leadership, the volunteers that are helping in so many areas, the spiritual and financial health of the congregation, and the work of the missions ministry of the church. Pray for me (Tom Lemler) and the work of Impact Prayer Ministry.
Monday: Christ. Pray that you would recognize Christ as the One who is above all else. Pray that you would always look to the One from above as the source and authority for what should be above all in your life. Pray that above all, Christ would be the one you listen to. “The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.” John 3:31(NIV)
Tuesday: Exalt God. Pray that your view of God would compel you to exalt Him above all. Pray that God would help you live your life in such a way that He is exalted above all not just in your words, but in your life. Pray that above all, God would be the only god in your life. “For you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.” Psalm 97:9 (NIV)
Wednesday: Guard Your Heart. Pray for the wisdom and courage to guard your heart above all else. Pray that God’s Word and His constant presence would fill you with His love as a protection to your heart. Pray that above all, your life would flow from a guarded heart. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
Thursday: Mean What You Say. Pray that you would pay attention to the actions that accompany your words. Pray that above all the noise of the world, your words would reflect what you actually mean and what you actually do. Pray that above all, you would speak with integrity. “Above all, my brothers, do not swear — not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your ‘Yes’ be yes, and your ‘No,’ no, or you will be condemned.” James 5:12(NIV)
Friday: Love Deeply. Pray that you would know the power of an “above all” kind of love. Pray that your experience of this kind of love from Jesus would empower you to express this same love to others. Pray that above all, you would love deeply. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
Saturday: Understand the Source of Scripture. Pray that you would know the importance of God as the source of scripture. Pray that you would look to God as the authoritative source above all of mankind’s explanations and interpretations of scripture. Pray that above all, God would be heard through scripture. “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.” 2 Peter 1:20 (NIV)