This week’s prayers are developed from last week’s blog on The Power of Self Denial, and are written by Pastor Leslie
February 14 – As today is St Valentine’s Day – we pray for our view of love and relationships. So many can be caught up with the idea of romance, of eros love, of the perfect relationship. Others can feel inadequate, undervalued or insecure in relationship. Narcissism, control and mind games impact many other relationships. Sadly, ‘self,’ sin and the sinful nature manifest their darkness and decay in all sorts of ways in relationship.
Lord, we pray a proper appreciation of the true, full nature of love, and how You desire to lead us into that understanding and lifestyle. We pray for those looking for relationship, or those in relationship – that they will recognise that without Jesus, without putting into practice self-denial – their relationships will never be what they could be.
We pray that the ministry of Telford Elim, in person and online, will teach and instruct/model a better, Christ-honouring way to do relationships. We pray for Christians to apply Scriptural principles to their relationships, and see the divine imprint of Your power, grace, love and truth in those relationships.
Grant us a thirst for agape love, to seek You to be filled with it so that we can put ‘self’ to death, deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily, and follow Jesus in all of our relationships. Thank You Jesus that Your blood is the answer – the Cross the place of victory and true freedom in life – Your Spirit’s life and power the x-factor in all our relationships. Amen
February 15 – In these prayers – I have chosen to use the term ‘self’ throughout because ‘self’ refers to more than simply ourselves; it is us, but also a force within each one of us which, outside of Christ, is dominated by sin; in Christ, ‘self’ loses its ability to lead us in antichrist ways – Lord Jesus, You have given us a new spiritual life which sets us free from the law of sin and death. In You – we now are able to truly die to ‘self’ and live for our Saviour.
Lord Jesus, whenever You make a really difficult ask of us – something rises within and starts to rebel against Your command or word – that is the power of sin and ‘self.’ Father, as we battle to do what Jesus taught in the New Testament – it is so tempting to resort to self-help fixes. At other times we think of lots of excuses why we shouldn’t do, think or act as commanded.
You call us to die to ‘self,’ to put it to death. The victory of Jesus over the power of the human ‘self’ or ego is at the heart of the story of the Cross. However, Lord Jesus, You not only defeated the power of ‘self’ (and sin, Satan and the world), but opened a pathway of redemption which means that we can put ‘self’ to death as we daily take up our cross, and live in Your freedom.
Lord Jesus, we pray that this truth will permeate deep within in each one of us, and that we will die to self, daily take up our cross and follow You. In Your name. Amen
February 16 – Father, thank You that the denial of the power and needs of ‘self’ is at the heart of Jesus’ teaching, and an important first step in daily taking up our cross and stepping into the life of faith and freedom He calls us to live in. This points to the well-known example, ‘deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Me’ (Luke 9:23).
As we think of the people in the world around us who we are praying for – especially those outside of Christ, we know that their ‘self’ is controlled by the sinful nature and will assert itself in so many ways following its own dictates, the world, and is susceptible to Satan’s temptations. Yet, we proclaim that the Gospel is still able to awaken them to the truth that Jesus sets people from the power of ‘self.’
As we ponder what this means for those not yet in Christ – ‘self’ will always seek to protect, vaunt and please itself; outside of Christ, ‘self’ dominates the life within, and pushes its own agenda – we pray for their salvation and renewal in the Holy Spirit.
‘Self’ is always drawn to the base, carnal and soulish because at its heart, ‘self,’ outside of Christ, is fallen and in rebellion against You. Therefore, the truest expression of ‘self’s’ power is when the sinner sins. ‘Self’ produces sin, just as a cow produces milk – it is its natural outworking.
Lord Jesus, You are the Father’s answer to the power of ‘self.’ We pray that many will experience Your liberating power as they join us. We pray for the release from specific strongholds that ‘self’ creates – the strongholds of sin, rebellion, unbelief and apathy. Break through Lord Jesus, save many in and through our ministries and people, in person and online. Amen
February 17 – Father, we pray for those today where ‘self’ is in charge of their lives and families. ‘Self’s’ control leads in soulish and carnal directions. It will often wear a cloak of respectability, of niceness and a willingness to help others. Open their eyes, Lord, to see their need of Jesus.
Religious people, outside of Christ, are still controlled by the power of ‘self,’ no matter how religious their practices and upright their moral code. One of the saddest things about ‘self’ outside of Christ and not denied is that it brings people into bondage – they are bound by the whims of ‘self.’
One of the biggest is seeking to control others using whatever it takes to make them do its will. ‘Self’ rebels against Your command, Lord Jesus, to agape love others as we love ourselves. Jesus, You elevate love for others onto the same plain as love for ‘self.’ We pray for many to be renewed in You, truly surrendered to and dead to ‘self’ in You.
We pray that this agape love will set many free to live and be in relationship with others with You in charge. That were ‘self’ has bound relationships in sin – Your ministry, through Telford Elim and its people, will lead to many stepping into Your full salvation with all its spiritual life and grace to live in Your will. Amen
February 18 – Father, the more people yield to ‘self’ and its needs, passions and desires, the more it controls their thinking and dominates their interactions with society. ‘Self’ is selfish at heart, and is non-spiritual in its reasoning and understanding.
Since the Fall of Adam and Eve, it is a destructive force at the heart of the human problem of sin and division. Once the true claims of Christ are pressed home, ‘self’ fights for self-survival. This becomes really clear when the Gospel message is presented – repent, believe in Jesus, deny ‘self,’ take up your cross daily and follow Him.
Thank You that the Gospel still convicts and reveals the extent to which ‘self’ is in charge of a person’s life. As we live and minister, by the word and Spirit, there will be a battle within and a wrestling with Jesus the Saviour – like Jacob with the angel. We pray, Holy Spirit, for many to yield to Christ, repent and believe in the Gospel, to enter into the new life which begins within at salvation.
Lord, we pray for all those who have dismissed Jesus’ right to be their Lord, who are lost and still bound by sin and the power of ‘self’ – Lord, have mercy and save. I pray individually for those Your Spirit brings to my mind at this moment… In Jesus’ name. Amen
February 19 – Father, the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) is such a good example of ‘self’ on the throne of a man’s heart. The rich man failed to deny ‘self;’ instead, he fed it more wealth, failed to truly love the poor beggar at his gate, and ultimately ended up in a lost eternity because he rejected Your way for life.
Jesus had just rebuked the Pharisees for their love of money, and exalting themselves above Scriptural authority (Luke 16:14-18). Lord Jesus, You were driving home Your point about the danger of making wealth one’s idol throughout the parable.
If we are in You, Lord Jesus, then the rule of ‘self’ in our lives is already being broken as we walk with You, and obey Your word as good disciples.
Lord, we know it is a battle that is real and will continue for the rest of our lives. We pray that we will be empowered by Your Spirit to apply the biblical principles enshrined in self-denial and self-control.
Holy Spirit, thank You that as we ask You to join us in this battle – You do so; we never have to fight alone against the enemies of our souls. We pray for all who struggling to understand the importance of inviting You into the battle – anoint Telford Elim to teach and instruct in how to apply these truths. In Jesus’ name. Amen
February 20 – Father, once we realise the power of the ‘self’ within to shape our lives, and our response to Christ and His claims – then Jesus’ words about self-denial and self-control are really important to hear. After all, self-control is one of the Fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:23), and therefore part of Your nature which You want to share with us.
On the one side, self-denial is about the application of the victory of Christ over selfish desires – it is denying ‘self’ its authority and rights in our lives. On the other side, self-control flows from the life of the Spirit and word within. It is about the mastery of the desires and power of self through the impact of the new life in Christ.
We pray that as the power of the word and Spirit touch our lives, ‘self’ will be brought under the lordship of Christ. We proclaim that as Your freedom flows in our lives bringing the freedom in the Spirit to follow Jesus wholeheartedly – we will hear of many testimonies of how people stepped into a new place denying self, taking up their cross daily and following Jesus. Amen