Seven Life Enriching Principles.
Dec 5 – Father, thankfulness is one of the most important principles You have laid down in Your word. It does make a difference to say thank You. It humbles us to recognise that everything we have, including life itself, is a gift from You, and You even give us the power to make wealth.
Choosing to live everyday with a thankful heart is a good thing to do. It takes patience, determination and a lot of courage to be a thankful person when we live in an unthankful world.
We pray those who want us to complain or for us to join them as they grumble – show them that complaining and grumbling are root sins which destroy them, and open the door to unbelief and spiritual bondage.
We also pray for those who feel entitled – why should we be thankful about something which we have worked for and is ours anyway. This attitude is rooted in pride, it rejects You as Creator, Sovereign and Lord. We pray for the conviction of the Spirit, and submission to Your word and Lordship.
There are many benefits to our spiritual life by being thankful. Psalm 100, thanksgiving is the first step in the process of entering Your presence – the second praise, and the third worship (Psalm 99:5, CSB, ‘Exalt the Lord our God; bow in worship at his footstool. He is holy.’ John 4:23-24, ‘’But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.”’).
Thanksgiving opens the doors into Your presence. I commit to being a thankful person. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Dec 6 – Removing Unhelpful Baggage: Father, so many of us are staggering under the burden of the weight of something or other. Hebrews 12:1, CSB, ‘Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance [weight] and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us.’
You tell us to strip off every hindrance or weight that slows us down. Teach us what this really means, and how to do so.
We should try to avoid being selfishly motivated in this; it is not casting aside my responsibilities nor protecting myself, but getting rid of the weights of the past or the things that hinder me from achieving what You call me to do.
I put the baggage of my past under the blood of Jesus, and pray for the grace and support needed to deal with it in a Scriptural, godly and life-transforming way. Sometimes that can mean embracing change, and the biblical pathway of correction.
However, it is worth noting that some of the people or things we may see as unhelpful baggage, are actually placed in our lives by You and are there for a bigger purpose. We pray and ask for wisdom in this so that we accept what You bestow, and reject what is destructive or hindering to our spiritual walk.
Lord, deliver us from the baggage of: i. an ungrateful attitude; ii. a poor attitude to life and faith; iii. a negative voice in my head which plays over and over the same negative thoughts when something goes wrong or I face a challenge or do something wrong or stupid; and iv. the baggage of past failures which we are still ashamed off.
Set us free in Christ from all of these and whatever else may be dragging us away from whole-hearted devotion. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Dec 7 – Refusing Despair: Father, despair is a crushing emotion which can:
i. be the result of a protracted period of battle and testing;
ii. arise unexpectedly when we are vulnerable to its approach;
iii. it can come after a big success – perhaps a lot of effort has gone into achieving a goal and then afterwards, instead of ongoing joy, comes a sense of despair;
iv. it can be physically induced through extreme tiredness;
v. or because of mental ill health.
When it comes it can be overwhelming and soul destroying. Overcoming ongoing despair may need professional help – we pray that anyone in our church who needs such help will be able to access it.
When it can be addressed by rest and spiritual refreshing – guide us in how best to do this ultimately living in Your Spirit’s fullness, and with Your rest reigning in our bodies, souls and spirits.
We declare 2 Corinthians 4:1, ‘Therefore as we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.’ We chose not to allow despairing thoughts to remain, and instead commit to replace them with Your word’s hope.
We pray for all in Telford who are living with despair – deliver and lead them into Christ’s truth, grace and hope. Amen
Dec 8 – Living with Hope: Father, hope is one of the three Christian graces from 1 Corinthians 13:13, CSB, ‘’Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love — but the greatest of these is love.’ Although agape love is greatest, faith and hope are foundational to our maturing in the faith.
It is one of the bedrocks of the faith. Hope is not wishful thinking, ‘let’s hope it happens.’
Christian hope is based on four fundamentals:
1. Confidence in the Your word’s promises;
2. What John Piper called, ‘hope is faith in the future tense.’ That is, it trusts in Your continuing commitment, in Christ, to Your people;
3. It is a calm assurance in Christ’s grace and Your goodness;
4. and the reality that You really do love me.
I affirm these four truths and seek to base my hope in them. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Dec 9 – Trusting in Christ: Father, at the heart of the Bible is the call to trust You. Proverbs 3:5-6, CSB, ‘’Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.’
The Gospel message is also a call to believe in Jesus, literally, ‘believe into or trust into Jesus.’ and to follow Him daily. Acts 16:31, CSB, ‘They [Paul and Silas] said [to the Philippian prison warden], “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household.”’
Romans 10:8b-11, CSB, ‘This is the message of faith that we proclaim: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, ‘
He is the most trustworthy person we will ever meet. What He says He can do, He can do – what He says He will do, He will do – when He saves, He saves. He is all He said He is, and He loves us completely.
May my life be lived so He gets all the praise, honour and glory. May our Church, in person and online, bring Him praise, honour and glory. May our Borough and County bring Christ praise, honour and glory as men, women, young adults, young people and children are saved. May our nation bring the Lord Jesus Christ praise, honour and glory. Amen
Dec 10 – Applying God’s Grace in Christ: Father, grace is the most magnificent blessing. It is Your loving goodness, kindness and favour made available to us in Christ. We do not merit Christ’s grace, and yet, You make it available to us – we come boldly to Jesus and ask for and seek to obtain His grace.
Ephesians 2:4-5, CSB, ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!’ 2 Corinthians 12: ‘But Jesus said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.’
Your grace is a saving, powerful, life-transforming blessing. It is by Christ’s grace we are saved, it is by His grace that we are kept and preserved in the faith, and by His grace we can live facing everything in life.
Grace flows from Jesus’ finished work at the cross – therefore it is linked to the promises and benefits of the New Covenant. We ask for the grace we will need today to worship, serve, give, witness, fellowship and live as You intend. In Jesus’ name and for His glory. Amen
Dec 11 – Living by the Law of Love: Father, It is the greatest life enriching principle there is. It is abiding in Christ that releases Your love into our lives. Your love is not an emotional reaction – it flows from the very centre of Your being. You are love.
As we trust in and obey Christ, Your heart of love opens more and more to us. The more we experience Your love the more we desire to abide in Your love.
Your agape love drives out fear and replaces it with a calm assurance that You really care. It enables us to love others truly as You calls us to. We ask to be filled with Your love each and every day.
Jesus spoke about the outworking of this in Matthew 22:35-40. CSB, ‘“‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?’ “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Holy Spirit, teach us how to love – to love by our words, actions and godly attitude towards others. In Jesus’ name. Amen