The focus of this week’s prayers is on principles for a godly life gleaned from the life of Sarah and written by Pastor Leslie.
Jul 19 – Father, thank You for the story of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis chapters 12 – 25. They were a married couple who were open to follow Your guidance, exemplified a growing level of faith, and were truly adventurous and obedient to Your word.
They set out in response to Your command from their own birthplace, families and community to go to a land they did not know. This journey took them further away from home and further into a journey of faith and discovery of who You are, what You are like, and what You require of those who obey You.
As we consider their example today – it reminds us that there is a cost to be in a true, faith-filled, living relationship with Christ. I pray that I too may be able to discern Your direction, be open and responsive to Your Spirit’s guidance, and faith-filled, obedient and adventurous in how I follow our Lord Jesus. Amen
Jul 20 – Father, as we consider further the journey Abraham and Sarah undertook all those years ago, they moved from a largely pagan understanding, including idolatry, to a monotheistic view knowing who You are and what You require in worship; You demand that Your children worship You alone.
As I reflect on my own faith-journey – I also recognise how indoctrinated in our pagan society’s ways I was and how I thought, acted, and behaved in accordance with it. Forgive me when I still demonstrate spiritual immaturity and allow a carnal, fleshy outlook on life and faith to determine how I think, act and behave.
I pray that many in our communities will be led to Christ and directed in the true pathway of discipleship away from being faithless and unbelieving – to faith-filled and firmly believing the Gospel because of the ministry, in person and online, of Telford Elim. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jul 21 – Father, as we consider Sarah’s example of love and devotion to her husband, stepping out with him when You had as yet only spoken to him about doing so, we recognise it must also have been difficult for her to leave all she knew to follow Your call.
Paul and Peter tell us that Sarah is an example of a godly woman who aided her husband by recognising his headship of the home, but also as the freewoman, able to give birth to the child of promise standing in a place of righteousness and truth before You. She was not afraid of the terror that the unknown and miraculous can bring.
As we consider her, thank You for the women who are seeking to follow her example in our church. May they be upheld and strengthened through the difficult days when there is yet no sign of the fulfilment of Your promises for their families and lives. May they be like her, recognised as containing the inner beauty of a Christ-honouring heart which grows in faith and devotion. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Jul 22 – Father, there is a challenge in how Sarai, as she was, was renamed by You, Sarah. You were working on her character and personality transforming her from Sarai meaning, ‘she who contends or is quarrelsome’ – to Sarah, ‘princess or mother of nations.’
When she was 74 or 75 and had lost hope of ever bearing a child, she decided to act herself – to allow her maid slave, Hagar, to sleep with her husband and bear them a son. Although this seemed a right and sensible thing to do according to the worldly standard of her day – clearly evident in the Code of Hammurabi, which meant that the resultant son, Ishmael, would be regarded as the freeborn son of both Abraham and Sarai, not Hagar – she was seeking to make happen, by the ethical and legal standards of her day, what You had promised to her husband.
In essence, she sought to enact a divine decree by human means. Forgive me when I seek to do this. May I learn that this nearly always leads to disaster and years of pain. I choose to submit to Your timing and will, oh Lord, in those deep areas where You are at work producing godliness, obedience and the good soil of a faith-filled life. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Jul 23 – Father, as You renamed her ‘Sarah’ when she was approximately 89, 15 or so years after her own attempt as enacting the promise, I recognise that it took that time for You to break down all of Sarai’s human striving and bring her to place of complete submission to Your will.
Thank You Lord that You took time to address any doubts or unbelief expressed in her laugh in response to Your news about her conceiving and bearing a son. Through Your words, You convicted her and brought her to a place of faith which led to a new potential for the consummation of the promises.
We also need to hear Your words of rebuke when needed – give us ears to hear and hearts that are open to receive the new life Your life-giving words bring. Help us to partner with Your Spirit in this work in our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Jul 24 – Father, You knew Sarah’s personal heartache over her barrenness, but also her faith to still endure waiting for Your timing. It is recorded in the NT that Sarah was a woman of faith, and is the mother of the women of faith.
You wanted her to begin to own the new name You had given her – to no longer strive to make it happen in her own understanding but to allow You to be true to Your word and bring to pass what You had promised.
It still required the human agency of her and her husband having sex together, but the outcome was miraculous. You vindicated Your word and promise in Your time when Sarah and Abraham where in the right place spiritually to receive the blessing promised.
You are saying to us that Your promises are still true and we can rely on them. When You speak, and we know it is You who is speaking, we can trust in Your miraculous power to bring to pass, through us, what You have determined to do. We pray for such an attitude of faith and belief in the lives of many in our church, in person and online, and across the churches in Telford. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Jul 25 – Father, there is a place for human agency, but only when we are fully consecrated and set apart for Your purposes. Is there a divine promise that makes me laugh with incredulity?
May the product of my faith and actions, enriched and empowered by Your word and its divine promises, and Your wonderful Spirit, lead to joy and laughter in others as Christ’s Kingdom purposes are established in and through my life, and Telford Elim, in person and online – because I declare, ‘nothing is too hard for You.’ In Jesus’ name. Amen