“A Lifestyle of Prayer”
This week’s prayer focus: New Testament Sacrifice!
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
Mention the word sacrifice today and people tend to get a little nervous. Not that they are often concerned with having to kill an animal and offer it to God, but because sacrifice has often become a church buzz-word for “give more money”. Because our mind goes to our wallet, the excuses pour out rather quickly. We quote the verses, “It is better to obey than sacrifice”, “Sacrifice I did not desire”, and even use the excuse that sacrifice is an Old Testament concept and we’re a New Testament people. I believe sacrifice is a very Biblical concept and this week our prayer focus will be on sacrifice from a New Testament perspective. We are called to imitate God in the same manner that Jesus did — who loved us enough to give of Himself sacrificially to meet a need we could never meet on our own. As you pray this week, pray that God would instruct you in the areas of sacrifice He is calling you to. Pray for a unity of spirit among believers in general and among your church family in particular.
“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 spend time each day praying about who Jesus is according to scripture and about who He is in your life. Thank you!
Sunday: Pray for your church, its staff and leadership, and for all of the preaching and teaching that takes place. Pray for me (Tom Lemler) and the work of Impact Prayer Ministry.
Monday: God’s Example of Sacrifice. Pray that the love of God, shown through the sacrifice of Jesus, would serve as an example for the way you love others. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:10-11 (NIV)
Tuesday: Living Sacrifice. Pray that you would consider yourself to be a living sacrifice offered to God. Pray that you would understand this sacrifice to be worship. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1
Wednesday: Acceptable Sacrifice. Pray that you would grow in the grace of giving to meet needs in a way that presents an acceptable sacrifice to God. “I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.” Philippians 4:18 (NIV)
Thursday: Sacrifice of Praise. Pray that the name of Jesus would always be on your lips in a way that praises God. Pray that your sacrifice of praise would help others to know Jesus. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that confess his name.” Hebrews 13:15 (NIV)
Friday: Pleasing Sacrifice. Pray that you would always remember the good you ought to do — then do it. Pray that you would make the most of opportunities around you to share with others in a way that pleases God. “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16 (NIV)
Saturday: Spiritual Sacrifice. Pray that you would always allow God to build you into the house that He desires for you to be — a house where spiritual sacrifices are offered. “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5 (NIV)