“A Lifestyle of Prayer”
“See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.”
2 Corinthians 7:11 (NIV)
Our “Lifestyle of Prayer” emphasis this week will focus on some of the things produced in our life by godly sorrow. I suspect that most of us are much more aware of the sorrow we experience than the sorrow we cause. As I read scripture, it appears that both the sorrow we experience and the sorrow we cause can be either godly sorrow or worldly sorrow. One of the clearest ways to determine the true source of the sorrow is to examine just what the sorrow produces. As you pray this week, ask God to help you see how a godly sorrow produces in you a variety of necessary things. Pray that you would be a truthful messenger of God so that any sorrow you produce in others would be of the godly kind. Pray for a growing desire to endure whatever it takes to bring about a maturity in your thoughts and actions. Pray that God would use the sorrow you experience in order to help shape you more and more into the image of Christ. Pray that God would use you to make Jesus known to those who are filled with sorrow.
“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’s help in understanding and accepting the purpose of godly sorrow
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: Producing Earnestness. Pray that your godly sorrow would produce an earnestness in your communication with God. Pray for the humility to be earnest with those who have added to your sorrow and with those whose sorrow has been increased by you. “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:44 (NIV)
Tuesday: Producing Eagerness. Pray that your godly sorrow would create an eagerness in your life to know real truth. Pray that you would be eager to understand the accuracy of God’s Word. “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11 (NIV)
Wednesday: Producing Indignation. Pray that your godly sorrow would lead you to an indignation that challenges your incorrect attitudes. Pray for the courage to stand up for those who are being overlooked, neglected, or even rejected. “People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant.” Mark 10:13 (NIV)
Thursday: Producing Longing. Pray that your godly sorrow would cause an intense longing to be reconciled with others. Pray for a growing desire to connect with people that you may not have seen in person for some time. Pray that your longing for others would help them to know the longing God has for each of us. “When we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.” 1 Thessalonians 2:17 (NIV)
Friday: Producing Concern. Pray that your godly sorrow would produce in you a great concern for others. Pray that you would find ways to express your concern as you serve and care for people. Pray that your concern for others would bring them great joy. “He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.” 2 Corinthians 7:7 (NIV)
Saturday: Producing Readiness For Justice. Pray that your godly sorrow would prepare you to know true justice. Pray that you would grow in your understanding of how justice, mercy, and compassion work together. Pray about how God would have you share with others the good news of being made right with God through the work of Jesus Christ. “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.’” Zechariah 7:9 (NIV)