10 Powerful Prayers to Pray for the Church

The Bible is filled with reminders of how important it is to pray for one another. Jesus gave us the best example as He prayed for those who followed Him. Paul also left us prayers written for the churches he had visited over time. The truth that rings through all is this: “Keep on praying” (Matthew 7:7), “Pray at all times” (Ephesians 6:18), “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

It’s that important.

So, if we’re called to pray for the “church,” what is the church, exactly? The Bible reminds us that the church is more than just a building or a gathering place of people. And it’s much bigger than any single denomination, social status, or country. The church quite simply is the body of believers all around the world who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is referred to in the Bible as the Greek word “ekklesia” and is defined as “an assembly,” or the “called out ones.”

In a world that is often very dark, and in times that we know the end is drawing nearer, may we be found faithfully praying for one another until Christ’s return. Many believers are persecuted, even killed, daily all around our world. Many are being intimidated by others around them, or are ridiculed and attacked because of their beliefs. We can be sure of this – Satan is very aware of the power of our prayers. And he will do everything he can to render us ineffective and to silence our voices. May God help us to recognize those traps and do all we can to show His love and light in this world that so desperately needs Christ’s hope and healing.

Here are 10 powerful prayers for the church:

1. Pray for unity in the church.

“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3)

Dear God,

We are so incredibly in need of your power and your strength. We ask that you would fill us with your Spirit of love and unity among believers all around our world. We ask for your help to set aside our differences and look to the greater cause, the cause of Christ. Please help us to truly live out a life of love. We know that this is only possible through the power of your Spirit, so we ask that you would move across our land in miraculous ways, with fresh filling and awareness, turning your people back to you, drawing others to come to know you. We need your unity and your love to stir our hearts and give direction to our days. We need your wisdom to guide us, we need your Spirit to lead us, to live out godly lives that would bring honor first to you. We thank you that you are always with us; and give us great purpose and hope.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

2. Pray that God would be glorified in all things and that the name of Christ is exalted.

“To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)

Dear God,

We give you the glory and honor for all that you’re doing in our lives every day, even in the times we can’t see it or understand your ways. Shine your light in us, through us, over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory and purposes. Set your way before us. May all your plans succeed. We may reflect your peace and hope to a world that so desperately needs your presence and healing.

Thank you that:

  • Your ways and thoughts are far greater than ours
  • You had a plan to redeem and make all things new
  • Your face is towards the righteous
  • You hear our prayers and know our hearts
  • You reign supreme
  • We are more than conquerors through the gift of Christ
  • You are holy and just

Help us not to follow after the voice of the crowds, but to press in close to you to hear your whispers and seek after you alone. We will declare that your love stands firm forever. For your lovingkindness endures forever.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

3. Pray that God’s Spirit and power would fill the church.

“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)

Dear God,

Fill us with the power of your Holy Spirit this day. Fill us with your joy, your wisdom, and with constant reminders that Your Presence will go with us, and you will give us rest. Thank you that you came to give new life, peace, hope, and joy to your children. Thank you that your power is made perfect in our weakness. We know that you are with us, and you fight for your people. We believe that it’s not by might, nor by power, but by your Spirit that you make a difference in our world. We choose to trust you today and to recognize the authority of who you are in our lives.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

4. Pray that the body of Christ would faithfully show love to a hurting world in His Name.

“Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14)

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

Dear God,

Help us to keep our eyes on you, so that we can follow your promptings and respond to your call. Help us to see when another soul around us needs to be encouraged. Help us to be faithful to carry one another’s burdens, remembering that we’re all in this life together. 

Thank you:

  • For your reminder that both in seasons of celebration and in seasons of brokenness, you’re still with us
  • That your Word says you are close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit
  • Our comfort abounds through Christ
  • That our greatest source of help and strength comes from you
  • That though we face trouble and loss in this world, we can be assured you have overcome it all

We ask for:

  • Great miracles for this hurting world
  • The comfort of your Spirit to bring a covering of grace and healing to all those who have been broken.

Through our own struggle and pain, help us to be your vessels to offer comfort and strength to others who are hurting.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

5. Pray for God’s provision and that the church would be faithful to give generously.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)

Dear God,

You are Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. We thank you that you own it all and hold everything in your hands. We thank you that you know our needs before we even ask. You’re aware of all that concerns us, and you have a plan and provision. You alone can move mountains to make a way for your children. We ask for your answer, in your timing, for every need that weighs our hearts down.

Forgive us for doubting you, for worrying, and for trying to work everything out on our own. Help us to trust you more. We choose to recognize and to believe that you are able to accomplish far more than we even thought possible.

We thank you in advance for your miracles, for paving out pathways, for your provision for those who love you – the church. Thank you for the abundance of blessing and goodness you have already stored up. Thank you for teaching us to be content in all circumstances. We love you Lord; we’re leaning on you.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

6. Pray that the church would be faithful to go into all the world and share the gospel of Christ.

“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)

Dear God,

Thank you that sin and death have been conquered by Christ, and that your power is everlasting. He paid the price to offer us the gift of eternal life. Help us never to forget or take for granted this huge gift of love on our behalf. Help us not to hide this great truth or to keep it to ourselves out of fear of judgment. Forgive us for being too busy, or distracted by other things, for not fully recognizing what you freely given, what you have done for us. May we be found faithful to go into all the world – our communities, the nation, the whole world. May we share this light of hope that so burns within our hearts. Open doors that no one can shut, Lord. Protect your people as we carry the truth of Jesus into all the world.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

7. Pray for the leaders of every church, that their hearts and minds are directed towards Christ.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9)

Dear God,

We pray for every leader in our churches around the world – give them your wisdom and discernment as they lead. We pray that their hearts would be directed first to you, that they would recognize where their true help and strength come from. We ask that you would guard their coming and going, that you would be their refuge and their peace. We pray that you would surround each one with wise counsel, that they would be humble and kind, patient and loving through their actions and words. We pray that their faith in you would be unwavering.

We pray for their families – give them great strength, protection, and grace for the days ahead. We ask that you would continue to pave the way for strong, faithful men and women to serve your people. We ask you for the outpouring of your Spirit to raise up those you’ve chosen to lead.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

8. Pray for the church to have a love for God’s Word and to walk in His wisdom, humility, and strength.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Dear God,

Thank you that you have victoriously overcome sin, and death, and any evil that we may face today. And because of you, we are overcomers too. We too can have victory, and we can walk strong in your peace.

Thank you, Lord, that You are producing in us great endurance through the hard places. You are building spiritual muscle. We press in close to your presence today and ask that no matter what obstacles we’re facing as a church, we choose joy.

Keep your words of truth planted firmly within us, help us to keep focused on what is pure and right; give us the power to be obedient to your Word.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

9. Pray for God’s power and protection against the attacks of the enemy.

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

Dear God,

The battle feels intense some days. We get tired and weak, and t’s hard to keep going in the face of defeat. Help us to remember that you will never leave us – that you’re our Refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

We know that the enemy wouldn’t be fighting so hard against us if we weren’t making a difference for your Kingdom. He wouldn’t be trying so hard to stop us if he didn’t think you had so much good still in store. Remind us that this battle belongs to you Lord, and whatever we’re up against can be taken down in one fail swoop by your mighty hand. Help us to trust you more and to never waste time spinning our wheels fighting in our strength.

Thank you for your daily presence in our lives; that we can be assured your heart is towards us, your eyes are over us, and your ears are open to the prayers of your people. Thank you that you surround us with favor as with a shield, and we are safe in your care.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

10. Pray that God would wake up the church and stir us to action.

“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” (Ephesians 6:18)

Dear God,

We pray for your great healing on our land. Shine your face and your blessing over us. Give us courage to go into all the world and take the message of the Gospel of peace. We need you now, more than ever before. Our times are in your hands.

Thank you that you are:

  • Rich in mercy and full of grace
  • Forgiving and merciful
  • Strong and mighty.
  • For us and you fight for us still today

Wake us up Lord! Remind us to live aware, listen to your words, and be willing to make a difference in this land. Give us courage to speak out. Help us not to stay silent but to do all things through your wisdom and love. Bring honor to your name in these days Lord, for you alone are worthy.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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P** By Debbie McDaniel at ibelieve.com / Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Rawpixel

What is a True Christian or Believer?

A dictionary definition of a Christian would be something similar to “a person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ or in the religion based on the teachings of Jesus.” While this is a good starting point, like many dictionary definitions, it falls somewhat short of really communicating the biblical truth of what it means to be a Christian. The word “Christian” is used three times in the New Testament (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16). Followers of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26) because their behavior, activity, and speech were like Christ. The word “Christian” literally means, “belonging to the party of Christ” or a “follower of Christ.”

Unfortunately over time, the word “Christian” has lost a great deal of its significance and is often used of someone who is religious or has high moral values but who may or may not be a true follower of Jesus Christ. Many people who do not believe and trust in Jesus Christ consider themselves Christians simply because they go to church or they live in a “Christian” nation. But going to church, serving those less fortunate than you, or being a good person does not make you a Christian. Going to church does not make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. Being a member of a church, attending services regularly, and giving to the work of the church does not make you a Christian.

A Christian is not all about rituals, going to church, or doing certain things while refraining from other things. Becoming a Christian is all about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ, through repentance and faith, is what makes a person a Christian.

The Bible teaches that the good works we do cannot make us acceptable to God. Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” So, a Christian is someone who has been born again by God (John 3:3John 3:71 Peter 1:23) and has put faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that it is “…by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” 

A true Christian is a person who has put faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ, including His death on the cross as payment for sins and His resurrection on the third day. John 1:12 tells us, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” The mark of a true Christian is love for others and obedience to God’s Word (1 John 2:4, 10). A true Christian is indeed a child of God, a part of God’s true family, and one who has been given new life in Jesus Christ.

What Is a Believer?

In the New Testament, the word believer is used for a person who is convinced that Jesus is the Messiah and the author of salvation. The Greek word usually translated “believer” or “believing” carries the idea of faithfulness and loyalty (John 20:27; Acts 16:1; 2 Corinthians 6:15). A believer is one who faithfully trusts in Jesus Christ.

A believer is one who has received the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God into their hearts and repented of their sins, resulting in a new creation (John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17). A believer does more than hear Jesus’ words and accept what He said about God; a believer allows the information to change him (see John 2:23–24). Saving faith is more than mental acceptance of the facts regarding Christ; it involves repentance and unreserved commitment to Him. True believers are those who hear the Word of God, believe it in their hearts, and recognize the value of the message to the extent that they take up their crosses to follow Jesus (Luke 9:23; 14:26–33).

In the Bible, believers were also called disciples. A disciple is one who actively pursues becoming like the one he or she admires. The disciples of Jesus were so committed to becoming like Him that their detractors began calling them “little Christs,” or “Christians” (Acts 11:26). The unbelievers may have meant the term as an insult, but such a name is the highest compliment believers can receive. Our goal as believers is to be “little Christs” in our words, actions, and values (Romans 8:29).

Sadly, the term Christian has lost most of its meaning in our secular world. It has come to mean one’s religious preference, akin to Buddhist, Muslim, or atheist. Today, many people call themselves “Christians” or “believers,” but the label has more to do with culture or upbringing than true faith in Christ. Not so in the first century. Believers lived quite differently from their unbelieving peers. They may have come from any number of wicked pasts, but they had been redeemed and transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:9–11). There were no cultural benefits of being a believer. To believe in Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah often meant persecution, rejection, and even death (Acts 8:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:7; 2 Corinthians 4:8–10).

Believers “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Such faith often comes at a high cost relationally, socially, financially, and even physically. Jesus warned prospective believers to “count the cost” of following Him (Luke 14:25–33). Paul warned that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Believers across the world are right now suffering for their faith, just as Paul and the other apostles did. Even in nations once free, believers are facing increasing hostility toward the exercise of their faith.

A believer has many promises of God to comfort and encourage him and motivate him to greater service. A believer has experienced the new birth: “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 John 5:1). A believer has a relationship with God that sets him free from his old life of guilt, shame, and sin (John 8:36Romans 8:2). A believer experiences a love like no other and is empowered to love others (John 10:11Romans 5:81 John 4:11). A believer has access to God’s presence and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, who comforts, protects, leads, and guides (Ephesians 2:1318Hebrews 4:16John 14:16–18).

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13–14). Believers are those who have found the narrow road that leads to life and remain steadfastly on it no matter who or what opposes them (John 8:31; 2 John 1:9).

How Do I Know If I’m A Christian?

Jesus taught that the condition of a person’s heart will manifest itself in his or her behavior: “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart” (Luke 6:43–45; cf. Matthew 7:16). So, when considering whether or not you are a Christian, you can consider the kind of fruit that is produced in the life of a Christian:

1. Complete trust in Christ’s death and resurrection as sufficient payment for the debt we owe God. A Christian is one who trusts Christ exclusively. Doubts come when we fear we must add something to the work of Christ to ensure our salvation. Ephesians 2:8–9 makes it clear that we are not saved by our works, but by God’s grace alone. No matter how righteous we may appear, none of us come close to earning salvation (Romans 3:23; 5:12; 6:23). We can neither add anything nor take anything away from the Savior’s sacrifice. When Jesus cried, “It is finished!” He meant that He had paid in full the sin debt of all who trust in Him (John 19:30). A Christian rests in the gracious promises of God in Christ.

2. Obedience. A Christian is one who obeys the Lord. In our rush to magnify the wonderful grace of God, we often treat obedience to God as optional. But 1 John 3:6–9 says that a person’s attitude toward sin is how we tell who belongs to God and who belongs to the devil. Salvation transforms our hearts (James 1:22). Romans 6 gives a thorough explanation of why we turn from sin when we are saved: we have died to it and are now alive in Christ. The attitude of a true follower of Jesus is one of sorrow over sin. Proverbs 8:13says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil.” A Christian hates his own sin and has a strong desire to turn from it. A Christian loves the Lord and shows that love through obedience (John 14:21).

3. The witness of the Holy Spirit. A Christian is one who is led and encouraged by the Spirit. Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” When we surrender our lives to Jesus, His Holy Spirit comes to indwell us and changes the way we view the world, ourselves, and God. He brings an understanding of spiritual truths we could never before grasp (John 14:26). He helps us commune with the Father when we don’t know how to pray (Romans 8:26). He comforts us by bringing to mind the promises of God. He gives us a knowing that quiets our hearts when doubts arise. Romans 8:14 says that “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the children of God.” A Christian has confidence of his or her adoption into God’s family because of the testimony of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:15).

4. The love of God’s people. A Christian is one who shows a sincere love for the family of God. First John 3:14 says, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.” Although we should love and befriend everyone, Christians naturally gravitate toward other Christians. Second Corinthians 6:14–18 explains why. God’s instructions are for us to grow in love by serving our brothers and sisters and helping them bear their loads (Galatians 5:13–14; Ephesians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:22). A Christian is known for his love for other Christians (John 13:35).

5. Ongoing discipleship. A Christian is one who continues to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Jesus did not call us to be fans, but followers. He calls us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him (Luke 9:23). All Christians go through seasons of greater and lesser growth, but there is always an upward move toward God. It may at times be two steps forward and one step back, but there will be progress. If we continue in the same worldly mindset we had before conversion, chances are that we were never really converted at all. A disciple is one who looks to Christ for instructions. A disciple yearns to be more like Jesus and rids his or her life of distractions, temptations, and obstacles to that goal. When God adopts us as His children, He desires that we take on a family resemblance (Romans 8:29). A Christian will look more and more like the Savior.

It is good to “examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). If you question whether or not you are a Christian, then self-examination is in order. Doubts about our salvation can be troubling, but false assurances are worse. Thankfully, we have Scripture as our guide. There are specific things we can look for when determining the validity of our profession of faith: trust in Christ, obedience to His Word, the presence of the Holy Spirit, love for God’s people, and continued spiritual growth. We don’t need to live in doubt. When Jesus is Lord of our lives and we live to please and honor Him, we can know beyond a doubt that we are Christians (Matthew 6:33; Luke 6:46; John 14:15).

How To Become a Christian

Jesus Christ declared that He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). The question then arises – why did we need to be ransomed? The idea of a ransom is a payment that must be made in exchange for the release of a person. The idea of a ransom is most frequently used in instances of kidnapping, when someone is kidnapped and held prisoner until a ransom is paid for the person’s release.

Jesus paid our ransom to free us from bondage! Bondage from what? Bondage to sin and its consequences, physical death followed by eternal separation from God. Why did Jesus need to pay this ransom? Because we are all infected with sin (Romans 3:23), and are therefore worthy of judgment from God (Romans 6:23). How did Jesus pay our ransom? By dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:32 Corinthians 5:21). How could Jesus’ death sufficiently pay for all of our sins? Jesus was God in human form, God come to earth to become one of us so He could identify with us and die for our sins (John 1:1,14). As God, Jesus’ death was infinite in value, sufficient to pay for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2). Jesus’ resurrection after His death demonstrated that His death was the sufficient sacrifice, that He had truly conquered sin and death.

This is the best part. Because of His love for us, God has made it exceedingly simple to become a Christian. All you have to do is repent and turn from your sinful ways, and receive Jesus as your Savior, fully accepting His death as the sufficient sacrifice for your sins (John 3:16), fully trusting Him alone as your Savior (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). As mentioned, becoming a Christian is not all about rituals, going to church, or doing certain things while refraining from other things. Becoming a Christian is all about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ, through faith, is what makes a person a Christian.

Are you ready to become a Christian?

If you are ready to become a true Christian by receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior, all you have to do is believe. Do you understand and believe that you have sinned and are worthy of judgment from God? Do you understand and believe that Jesus took your punishment upon Himself, dying in your place? Do you understand and believe that His death was the sufficient sacrifice to pay for your sins? If your answers to these three questions are yes, then repent of your sins and place your trust in Jesus as your Savior. Receive Him, by faith, fully trusting in Him alone and making Him Lord of your life. That is all it takes to become a Christian!

**More on how to become a Christian? To be born-again or saved? HERE

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**By Got Questions revised / stock photo

5 Steps to Become a Prayer Warrior

The title “prayer warrior” describes a Christian who has a strong affinity for and gifting in this area. Though all believers are called to pray, certain people turn to God more quickly and confidently in response to the ups and the downs of life. And they are willing to ask for others as well as themselves.

I’ve been blessed to know several prayer warriors in churches I’ve attended over the years. Each of them made lifting up praises and concerns a priority and a habit that was as natural as breathing. They all ended up doing a unique kind of ministry in and beyond the church walls.

What Does it Mean to Be a Prayer Warrior?

The word “warrior” usually conjures up an image of someone in a military uniform of some type, whether armor or fatigues. We picture them carrying offensive and defensive weapons. And we assume the person has been trained in fighting and hopefully in strategic thinking as well.

It might not seem like this image could be associated with prayer. But the Apostle Paul dedicated a section of his letter to the Ephesians to this analogy. He wanted us as followers of Christ to understand that we are indeed engaged in a war.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:10-13).

Paul goes on to list the pieces of armor and the weapons we have in Christ to overcome the enemy’s attacks. Then he finishes with an appeal for us to use prayer as a way to gain victory in battle.

Characteristics of a Prayer Warrior

The prayer warriors that I have known share a few similar traits:

– They are worshipful, seeking to glorify the Lord.

– They are God-centered, focused on His greatness and mercy.

– They are empathetic, able to meet and accept people where they are.

– They are persevering, determined to repeatedly lift up requests.

– They are loving, wanting to help bring about God’s will for others.

I’ve also noticed a mindset that these warriors tend to have:

They are alert and ready, being sensitive to needs and acting quickly.

“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 Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18).

They trust in God’s goodness, lifting up requests knowing He always answers.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

They submit to God, calling on Him with a sense of awe and expectation.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

Prayer Warriors in the Bible

King David

“Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God” (Psalm 4:1).

King Jehoshaphat

“Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12).

Jeremiah

“You who are my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me. Listen to the cry of my people from a land far away: ‘Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King no longer there?’” (Jeremiah 8:18-19).

Jesus

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).

Paul

“…we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:11-12).

5 Ways to Become a Prayer Warrior

God may be calling you to become more of a prayer warrior in your church or family. Ask Him to confirm that in your heart. Let Him change your spirit and shift your attitudes to align with Him. Then, be obedient to do your part in the process:

1. Have More of a Hunger for God

“‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know’” (Jeremiah 33:3).

Warriors I’ve known absolutely love being in God’s Word and seek to be in His presence daily. They want to gain knowledge of Scripture to be able to speak it in their prayers. And they base their confidence partly on their own experiences with the Lord.

2. Have a Greater Desire to Be Used by God

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2).

I’ve seen people who were natural prayer warriors, and people who in time grew into the role. But all of them started with a love of prayer, and an eagerness to serve God. They didn’t have to know everything – they just had a stirring in their spirit to follow the Lord’s call.

3. Seek More of God’s Holy Spirit

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26).

Even the most seasoned Christians find themselves not knowing what or how to pray on occasion. Warriors rely on the Holy Spirit to lead them. Even when they do have something in mind to lift up, they have the wisdom to ask the Spirit to join with them.

4. Feel a Greater Sense of Concern for Others

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).

Prayers are impactful when they are motivated by love. True warriors approach every request with care and respect. And they see the value in lifting up needs, whether they know the person being prayed for or not.

5. Learn How to Rely More on God for Strength and Endurance

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

A former pastor used to call prayer one of the “front line ministries” of our church. Those who become warriors learn quickly that it is both satisfying and demanding. So, to avoid burnout, they acknowledge God as the source for their ability and energy to do the work, and lean on Him rather than themselves.

God calls us to see prayer as a powerful tool – a way to relate with our Heavenly Father, a way to express our need for Him, a way to show the Lord devotion and trust, and as a tangible way to support others.

In addition, prayer warriors learn how to use prayer as an effective weapon in spiritual warfare. They make a lifestyle of turning to God, lifting up requests, waiting in expectation.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

—————-

***By Heather Adams at Bible Study Tools. Her book, Bow Down: The Heart of a True Worshipper is a practical, 30-day devotional about worship based on the writings of King David. Heather’s blog, Worship Walk Ministries, offers weekly Scripture passages and insights to ponder. A native New Englander, Heather is settling into her home in the South, trying out local foods and watching for the alligators that live nearby! You can connect with her on her website: heatheradamsworshipwalk.com

Simple Truths To Remember

Biblical Truths to remind ourselves often

I AM ACCEPTED…
John 1:12 I am God’s child.
John 15:15 As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 I have been justified (declared righteous).
1 Corinthians 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1:3-8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
Colossians 1:13-14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:9-10 I am complete in Christ.
Hebrews 4:14-16 I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ

I AM SECURE…
Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31-39 I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be
separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
Colossians 3:1-4 I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

I AM SIGNIFICANT…
John 15:5 I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
1 Corinthians 3:16 I am God’s temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

By Neil T Anderson

The Father’s Love Letter

The Father’s Love Letter
An intimate message from God to YOU.

My Child,
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4
And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad. Almighty God

Father’s Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com


**How to be saved: The Path To Salvation, please click: HERE

The Spiritual Warfare Prayer

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:10-13 

Heavenly Father,

I bow in worship and praise before You. I cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as my protection during this time of prayer. I surrender myself completely and unreservedly in every area of my life to Yourself. I do take a stand against all the workings of Satan that would hinder me in this time of prayer, and I address myself only to the true and living God and refuse any involvement of Satan in my prayer.

Satan, I command you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to leave my presence with all your demons, and I bring the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ between us.

Heavenly Father, I worship You, and I give You praise. I recognize that You are worthy to receive all glory and honor and praise. I renew my allegiance to You and pray that the blessed Holy Spirit would enable me in this time of prayer.

I am thankful, heavenly Father, that You have loved me from past eternity, that You sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to die as my substitute that I would be redeemed. I am thankful that the Lord Jesus Christ came as my representative, and that through Him You have completely forgiven me; You have given me eternal life; You have given me the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ so I am now justified. I am thankful that in Him You have made me complete, and that You have offered Yourself to me to be my daily help and strength.

Heavenly Father, come and open my eyes that I might see how great You are and how complete Your provision is for this new day. I do, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, take my place with Christ in the heavenlies with all principalities and powers (powers of darkness and wicked spirits) under my feet.

I am thankful that the victory the Lord Jesus Christ won for me on the cross and in His resurrection has been given to me and that I am seated with the Lord Jesus Christ in the heavenlies; therefore, I declare that all principalities and powers and all wicked spirits are subject to me in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am thankful for the armor You have provided, and I put on the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of peace, the helmet of salvation. I lift up the shield of faith against all the fiery darts of the enemy, and take in my hand the sword of the spirit, the Word of God, and use Your Word against all the forces of evil in my life; and I put on this armor and live and pray in complete dependence upon You, blessed Holy Spirit.

I am grateful, heavenly Father, that the Lord Jesus Christ spoiled all principalities and powers and made a show of them openly and triumphed over them in Himself. I claim all that victory for my life today. I reject out of my life all the insinuations, the accusations, and the temptations of Satan.

I affirm that the Word of God is true, and I choose to live today in the light of God’s Word. I choose, heavenly Father, to live in obedience to You and in fellowship with Yourself. Open my eyes and show me the areas of my life that would not please You. Work in my life that there be no ground to give Satan a foothold against me.

Show me any area of weakness. Show me any area of my life that I must deal with so that I would please You. I do in every way today stand for You and the ministry of the Holy Spirit in my life.

By faith and in dependence upon You, I put off the old man and stand into all the victory of the crucifixion where the Lord Jesus Christ provided cleansing from the old nature. I put on the new man and stand into all the victory of the resurrection and the provision He has made for me there to live above sin.

Therefore, in this day, I put off the old nature with its selfishness, and I put on the new nature with its love. I put off the old nature with its fear and I put on the new nature with its courage. I put off the old nature with its weakness and I put on the new nature with its strength. I put off today the old nature with all its deceitful lusts and I put on the new nature with all its righteousness and purity.

I do in every way stand into the victory of the ascension and the glorification of the Son of God where all principalities and powers were made subject to Him, and I claim my place in Christ victorious with Him over all the enemies of my soul. Blessed Holy Spirit, I pray that You would fill me. Come into my life, break down every idol and cast out every foe.

I am thankful, heavenly Father, for the expression of Your will for my daily life as You have shown me in Your Word. I therefore claim all the will of God for today.

I am thankful that You have blessed me with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I am thankful that You have begotten me unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I am thankful that You have made a provision so that today I can live filled with the Spirit of God with love and joy and self-control in my life. And I recognize that this is Your will for me, and I therefore reject and resist all the endeavors of Satan and of his demons to rob me of the will of God.

I refuse in this day to believe my feelings, and I hold up the shield of faith against all the accusations and against all the insinuations that Satan would put in my mind. I claim the fullness of the will of God for today.

I do, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, completely surrender myself to You, heavenly Father, as a living sacrifice. I choose not to be conformed to this world. I choose to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, and I pray that You would show me Your will and enable me to walk in all the fullness of the will of God today.

I am thankful, heavenly Father, that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, to the casting down of imaginations and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and to bring every thought into obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore in my own life today I tear down the strongholds of Satan, and I smash the plans of Satan that have been formed against me. I tear down the strongholds of Satan against my mind, and I surrender my mind to You, blessed Holy Spirit.

I affirm, heavenly Father, that You have not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I break and smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my emotions today, and I give my emotions to You. I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my will today, and I give my will to You, and choose to make the right decisions of faith. I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my body today, and I give my body to You, recognizing that I am Your temple; and I rejoice in Your mercy and Your goodness.

Heavenly Father, I pray that now through this day You would quicken me; show me the way that Satan is hindering and tempting and lying and counterfeiting and distorting the truth in my life. Enable me to be the kind of person that would please You. Enable me to be aggressive in prayer. Enable me to be aggressive mentally and to think Your thoughts after You, and to give You Your rightful place in my life.

Again, I now cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and pray that You, blessed Holy Spirit, would bring all the work of the crucifixion, all the work of the resurrection, all the work of the glorification, and all the work of Pentecost into my life today. I surrender myself to You.

I refuse to be discouraged. You are the God of all hope. You have proven Your power by resurrecting Jesus Christ from the dead, and I claim in every way Your victory over all satanic forces active in my life, and I reject these forces; and I pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with thanksgiving.
Amen!

**Excerpt from “The Adversary”, Mark I. Bubeck Reprinted by permission Moody Press.

Dr. Mark I. Bubeck is the founder and president emeritus of ICBC, inc. A pastor for over 40 years, Dr. Bubeck is the author of The Adversary , Overcoming the Adversary, The Rise of Fallen Angels, and Raising Lambs Among Wolves .

**How to become a child of God

**Prayer

The A-Z of Pride

 

“PRIDE GOES BEFORE DESTRUCTION, AND A HAUGHTY SPIRIT BEFORE A FALL.” – PROVERBS 16:18

A – Pride loves ATTENTION and honour from men. It loves compliments and flattery. The humble fear this since they recognise the temptation to steal God’s glory. The humble follow the principle to “Serve God then run away”, such as Jesus did when people tried to make Him king (John 6:15). We may not be able to run away from these moments physically, but in our heart we should be running away from all temptations to indulge in proud thoughts and steal the glory of God.Pride does many good works while secretly hoping someone noticed, being happy at the thought that someone apart from God may be thinking well of us. 

B – Pride is a spirit of BLAME. When something goes wrong, it assumes some other person or situation is at fault (Matt 7:3).  The proud make excuses when it is their fault, and can easily find reason why their mistake is actually the fault of another. 

C – Pride is COMPARISON. It’s one piece of dust saying to another piece of dust “look at how great I am, because I’m a bit bigger than you.” (Psalm 103:14, 2 Cor 10:12) 

D – Pride is DISOBEDIENCE to God.The main characteristic of humility was shown in Jesus’ obedience even to the point of death (Php 2:8).  Pride is plain and simple disobedience to the Lord in anything. 

E – Pride is ENTITLEMENT, it’s feeling that we deserve something from anyone, because of who we are or what we’ve done. For example: it is unwilling to be frugal in money because it feels entitled to buy what it likes. Or it can be an unwillingness to eat simple food, or take a simple vacation rather than a more luxurious one. Humility is never entitled, but keeps an attitude of unworthiness / undeservedness (Luke 17:10, Luke 5:8). Humility recognises that all we have comes from God (1 Cor 4:7). 

F – Pride loves to FIGHT (it is contentious, very quick to argue).  It sets itself to quarrel as long as it takes, until it wins the argument.Humility is letting the other person win the argument, and then changing the conversation to something else you can agree on without fighting, like sports or the weather. 

G – Pride GLORIES in past good works it has done.Pride is revisiting the good works we’ve done in our mind and patting ourselves on the back, taking satisfaction in what we’ve done “with our own hands” instead of giving God the glory (Daniel 4:30-37).

 H – Pride is very HARSH with other people in words or actions, it’s lacking in a critical fruit of the Spirit: gentleness (Gal 5:23).  Humility is gentleness (careful not to harm another even in little ways, such as a careless hurtful word or joke about someone).But pride leads to uncontrolled anger that ends up lashing out in harsh ways at others.

 I – Pride is IMPATIENT. For example, a proud person gets quickly frustrated with a coworker who is slow to respond, with a slow driver on the road, or with a crying child because he feels he deserves much quiet time to himself. 

J – Pride JUSTIFIES itself (Luke 16:15), and JUDGES others, looking down on others in the heart (Matt 7:1). It often joins hands with the accuser (Rev 12:10), focusing on the sins of others, and excusing its own sins. 

K – Pride often gets puffed up with KNOWLEDGE (1 Corinthians 8:1).Pride is assuming that we see and understand things more clearly than others. 

L – Pride is having LOFTY thoughts of yourself (Romans 12:3).Pride assumes we are indispensable in the kingdom of God or at our occupation, for example. Both will get along fine without us after we are gone! I once heard a saying, “The graveyards are filled with indispensable people.” So many millions of “important” people in the past have lived and died, but the world kept on going. (1 Peter 1:24-25) 

M – Pride is MISERLY.  Not only with its money, but with its time.  It can often get offended when someone asks a favour of us, as if they have no right to.This is because it considers my plans and obligations as more important than somebody else’s; so it is unwilling to be inconvenienced. For example, pride is fixing lunch for myself if I’m hungry but leaving my kids without food until they get cranky and start asking. Or it’s consistently leaving messes for my wife to clean up, without considering her work. Jesus cleaned up even a small linen cloth after He was resurrected (John 20:7). Humility is very considerate of others (Philippians 2:4). Pride is being consistently too busy to help my spouse or child with little things. It’s is an unwillingness to be interrupted. 

N – Pride is being NOSY. It’s being a busybody in other people’s matters (2 Thessalonians 3:11) – pride assumes that we deserve to know what’s going on in another person’s life or that our opinion about it matters. 

O – Pride is very OPINIONATED about many matters outside of the things of God. Jesus was not very opinionated outside of the things of God. We should hold tightly to God’s word, but outside of that it’s possible to be very strongly opinionated as well, expressing our strong feelings about such and such matter which has nothing to do with us. Paul said, “I will not boast in anything except for in the cross of Christ” (Galatians 6:14).  I heard a saying once which blessed me; “The more we grow in Christ the less eager we are to share our own opinions.” 

P – Pride is PRESUMPTION: it’s the assumption that I know what’s going to happen in the future, or holding tightly to my own plans which I for sure will carry out (James 4:14-16) – we should only say “If the Lord wills it.”  Pride depends on self (and is quite confident in it!), rather than God. 

Q – Pride is QUICK to speak, and slow to listen, rather than the other way around (James 1:19). A proud person loves talking about himself a lot – pride assumes that my life is more interesting than that of another.  A proud person often dominates a conversation.The proud don’t listen very carefully to sermons or when reading Scripture since they feel they are pretty good people already, they may listen or read for knowledge which they can boast about later, but the humble have a keen eye and ear specifically for personal application they can take for themselves since they recognise their need and want to improve in the areas of their need/sin. The ear of need is what Jesus referred to as “ears to hear” (Matthew 11:15).Pride is being very eager to share with others what the Lord has showed us (because we feel clever and want to impress people), but not valuing the other truths that our brothers and sisters have to share. It’s being very interested to speak, but having little interest to listen. 

R – Pride is the ROOT of every sin.Grace is God’s power to keep me from sin (Romans 6:14, 2 Corinthians 12:9), and God gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).  That means: if I sinned, I didn’t get grace because there was pride in me somewhere.  At the root of every sin is pride. 

S – Pride refuses SERVING in ‘Low’ tasks (which we consider ‘below’ us), either in the home (like washing dishes or doing laundry), or in the workplace, such as some menial task which we consider someone else’s job. Humility is quietly willing to take the low, dirty responsibilities which nobody else wants (John 13:14). 

T – The proud are THANKLESS and ungrateful, since they feel they are quite deserving of the good that comes to them.The proud may sing praise songs on Sundays but know nothing of thanking the Lord from the depths of their heart in secret, praising Him with a hymn of thanks in their heart when no one else sees, because they do not really believe they are that sinful and needed the Lord’s mercy all that much (Luke 7:47). 

U – Pride is UNFORGIVING and UNAPOLOGETIC.  Pride stays cold against someone even after they’ve apologised for wrongs against us.  And it refuses to acknowledge or apologise for a wrong it has committed.Pride gets offended when rebuked or corrected (Prov 15:5).  In that case, pride defends itself or worse – criticises the one giving the rebuke. 

V – Pride is VENGEFUL. In subtle ways pride will hold a grudge, such as keeping a cold shoulder against someone for some time, even if on the outside they say with their mouth “I forgive you.” (Romans 12:19) 

W – Pride is WITHOUT SYMPATHY for the suffering of others, and it’s full of jealousy for the success of others.Since it is so self-centred, pride can easily rejoice in its own ease and comfort, even while a brother is deeply mourning. Its attitude is “I’m glad that didn’t happen to me.” Alternately, it is easily jealous and so it doesn’t rejoice when a brother or sister is rejoicing. (Romans 12:15) 

X – Pride is placing EXpectations on others.We are not God that we should command people what they should do and expect so many things from them.  But pride gets angry at others when they don’t do what we want – even toward the Lord Himself.Pride makes demands from God for selfish reasons that aren’t promised in His Word – James 4:2-3 

Y – Pride is very unYIELDING and stubborn. It will not consider or yield to the opinion or desire of another, it will not back down until it gets its way.Jesus granted the request of even a demon when it asked to be cast into pigs! (Mark 5:12-13)But the motto of pride is “MY will be done.” 

Z – Pride is ZEALOUS for one’s own honour (Matt 23:6), and self preservation.  Pride is thinking only about myself and my family, and unconcern for others outside of that circle.  It is void of genuine love and concern for others. 

**By Bobby McDonald © Copyright – Bobby McDonald. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at NCCF Church

List Of Sins That Christians Often Ignore

Some sins have become culturally acceptable. We do not call them out. We rarely even acknowledge them. And many don’t even recognize them as a sin. But this list of sins is something we should not ignore.

Now before you read this and go point your finger at others, take a look in the mirror. This isn’t a weapon to use against people, rather an opportunity to evaluate our own sin.

Here’s a list of sins that we often ignore.

Gluttony 

Gluttony is probably the most acceptable sin in the American church. Which is why it’s first on the list of sins we ignore. While the church is known for taken hard stances on other sins it almost glorifies the overindulgence of food, drink, and anything else we can shove in our mouth. We live in a culture of excess, but Christians should take a stance against this unhealthy behavior.

We made gluttony totally normal. But the Bible takes a different stance. It talks at length about self-control (1 Peter 1:5-7, Galatians 5:22, 2 Timothy 3:1-9). We are not to let anything control our lives. When it does control us it takes the place of God, in other words, it’s a sin. We should instead strive to practice self-control so that nothing gains control of us.

Now I’m not saying if you eat too much turkey on Thanksgiving that’s a sin. Gluttony is not an occasional indulgence rather a habitual practice. The Bible portrays occasional feasts as a good thing. But when we make a good thing an ultimate thing it ultimately becomes destructive. And for many food is a destructive force in their life. It’s become an idol.

Food is good. We should eat it and enjoy it. But we should also be careful to not let it control our lives.

Fear/Anxiety

Let me be clear, mental illness is not sinning. There are some that have an actual medical condition. I’m not proposing that those that suffer from mental illness are sinning.

What I’m talking about is the fear and anxiety that people bring on themselves by worrying about things out of their control. Whether it be politics or money or some disease you might contract. As Christians, we ought not to worry. If Jesus died and rose again, what does it matter?!” That’s what Jesus is getting at in Matthew 6:25-27.

We don’t need to worry about how much money we have. What happens to this country or what illness we might get in the future. At the end of the day, no one but Jesus has the power to make any impactful change on our lives. We literally have nothing to worry about or fear.

Idolatry

I know what you are thinking, I don’t have any golden statues in my house. But you still have idols. It might be that black box that hangs on your wall. It might be your social media accounts. That brick in your pocket that you stare at constantly. Your clothes, bank account, relationships, looks, and intellect can all be idols. An idol is anything that takes the place of God. We have plenty of those in our culture today.

There’s always something vying for God’s spot in our life. Money, time, social status, even technology are all trying to become the most important thing in your life.

How do you know if you have an idol? What’s the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing at night? Whatever that is it’s a good chance that is an idol in your life. Idolatry leads to all sorts of other sins, many that are on this list of sins.

CONSUMERISM 

This certainly could fall into the previous category as an idol. But this one stands out. We are the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. Yet we are buried in debt. We are terrible managers, or stewards, of our wealth. That is a sin.

In Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus talks just about that. Although his parable isn’t exclusive to our finances, it certainly does apply. God has entrusted us with time, money, resources, and opportunities. We are charged with caring for however much, or little, he has given us. When it comes to money, we are failing.

Let me make one thing clear, having money is not sin. But letting it run your life is. Using it all on yourself, and taking extra credit to spend even more is being a bad steward. God gave you what you have so you can provide for yourself, and yes, find enjoyment. But he also expects you to use it to grow his kingdom. But the American church is failing in this regard, and worse we rarely call it out or put it on any list of sins.

Nationalism 

It’s a sin to put anything before God. That includes America. Our ultimate allegiance is to God, not this country. Too many in the church place their American freedoms above God’s kingdom.

This means that sometimes what is best for this country is not always what is Biblically correct. I hear far too many Christians that are more concerned with the direction of the government and not concerned enough with their neighbor. Where is your allegiance? Is it to God or country? Are you more concerned with the direction of this country or advancing the Kingdom of God?

I know this is a touchy subject. God’s Kingdom has a different set of morals and governing principles that stand in opposition to every earthly government. We need to look and see where our allegiance lies.

IDLENESS 

One of the greatest temptations man faces is to be idle. It started in the Garden of Eden when Eve was tempted, Adam did nothing; he was idle. We today largely do the same. We largely don’t even protect our families. Sure we protect them from the “physical” dangers out there, but what about the spiritual dangers? Why aren’t we warning our Christian brothers and sisters when they wander off in the wrong direction? Why don’t we call out sin in our own family?

God did not call us to be idle and timid. He called us to be bold and courageous. It’s time for us to stop being idle and go get involved in others’ lives.

Comfort

Maybe this seems a little weird to be on a list of sins. But I think the greatest lie we have boughten into is that life is all about our personal comfort. It’s not. Jesus never said that his disciples would be surrounded by comfort and nice things. He actually said that in order to follow him they would have to pick up their cross in order to follow him.

Comfort isn’t bad. In fact, we are commanded to take time to rest and relax. But this is the same principle as gluttony. Too much of a good thing can become destructive. We should rest and find comfort, but that shouldn’t’ be the primary goal in our life.

What would Jesus’ life look like if he pursued comfort instead of us? It wouldn’t be a life that would change the world that’s for sure. We need to stop pursuing comfort and chase after the things after God’s heart. It will lead us to some pretty uncomfortable situations, but it will also lead to a life well-lived.

This list of sins isn’t intended to be used to show how bad “they” are. It’s not ammo to shoot people with. It’s a mirror to examine yourself. My guess is there are one or two things on this list that you struggle with. For me, it’s Comfort and Consumerism. We need to each take our sins to Jesus, even the sins that are socially acceptable. We won’t see any change until we each deal with our own sins.


By Jeffrey Curtis Poor at rethinknow.org / Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov from Pexels

8 Reasons Why Obedience to God Is Important

8 Reasons Why Obedience to God Is Important

1. Jesus Calls Us to Obedience: If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15, ESV)

2. Obedience Is an Act of Worship: And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (Romans 12:1, NLT)

3. God Rewards Obedience: Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” (Luke 11:28, NLT) But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. (James 1:22–25, NLT)

4. Obedience to God Proves Our Love: By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. (1 John 5:2–3, ESV)Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning. (2 John 6, NLT)

5. Obedience to God Demonstrates Our Faith: And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. (1 John 2:3–6, NLT)

6. Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice: But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshipping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” (1 Samuel 15:22–23, NLT)

7. Disobedience Leads to Sin and Death: For as by the one man’s [Adam’s] disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s [Christ’s] obedience the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19, ESV)For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22, ESV)

8. Through Obedience, We Experience the Blessings of Holy Living: Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me! (Psalm 119:1–8, NLT)This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea. Your descendants would have been like the sands along the seashore—too many to count! There would have been no need for your destruction, or for cutting off your family name.” (Isaiah 48:17–19, NLT)

Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God. (2 Corinthians 7:1, NLT)


**By Fairchild, Mary. “Why Is Obedience to God Important?” Learn Religions, Aug. 28, 2020, learnreligions.com/obedience-to-god-701962.