“A Lifestyle of Prayer”
This week’s prayer focus: Be Perfect!
“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:46-48 (NIV)
This week’s prayer emphasis will be about God’s desire that we be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. I suspect many have heard the instruction of Jesus calling us to be perfect, but have we really considered the context in which it is given? For many, the pursuit of perfection seems to center around our self and/or our accomplishments. We aim and we fall short, causing us to doubt if this command of Jesus is even possible. In fact, we excuse it away with the statement that “no one is perfect except Jesus.” Yet rather than a focus on us, Jesus puts the emphasis on how we relate to others when it comes to the perfection He desires in us. As you pray this week, ask God to help you examine both how and who you love. Pray that your interactions with others, all others, would display a perfection that reflects the interaction God has with you. Pray for the courage to reach beyond, over, and through the walls you have created between you and others. 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 give you the wisdom, courage, and strength to be perfect in the things God would want us to excel in.
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: Perfect In Christ. Pray that you would know and teach Christ as the only way to be made perfect. Pray that the way you interact with all people would reflect a perfection that comes from Christ. “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” Colossians 1:28 (NIV)
Tuesday: Perfect In Weakness. Pray that you would learn to accept your weakness as a way for God’s power to be made perfect in you. Pray that you would live in a way that connects others to the strength that can be found in Christ. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
Wednesday: Perfect In Unity. Pray that you would pursue life with others in a way that is held together by godly love. Pray for an understanding of how God’s love in and through you can hold people together in perfect unity. “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:14 (NIV)
Thursday: Perfect In Faith. Pray for the courage to allow God to perfect your faith when you are filled with doubt. Pray that the knowledge of all Christ endured would fill you with confidence in His ability to perfect your faith. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
Friday: Perfect In Speech. Pray that God would place a guard upon your words so that you would not stumble nor cause others to stumble. Pray that your interactions with others would be marked by speech which is made perfect in Christ. “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” James 3:2 (NIV)
Saturday: Perfect In Love. Pray that you would know the freedom from fear that comes through perfect love. Pray that your interactions with all people would take place in an environment of perfect love that has come from God. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 (NIV)