Kingdom Building Vision
This week’s prayers are written by Pastor Leslie. The aim of these prayers is again to help us pray into the Kingdom Building vision that was announced at the recent Vision Sunday service. This week we will again be thinking about how to create a Christ-honouring culture in our lives, church, and, through us, in the world we move in.
There is a famous phrase by Peter Drucker, ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast.’ This means that whatever the underlying culture is, it will always infect any new vision or plans that are unveiled. Therefore, in order to change what we do – we have to change how we think and naturally approach things.
The following 12 areas are really important building blocks in changing or building a new culture. Last week we looked at the first seven, this week at the remaining five.
Attitude – Call – Character – Charisma – Competency – Giving – God’s Gifting – Integrity -Personal Talents – Personality – Sacrifice – Timing.
June 6 – Integrity: Integrity is one of the main hallmarks of a person with a good character. When on my own being the same person as I am before people. Being known as a person of integrity is a good thing. It is a way of living which is honourable, righteous and noble. The polar opposite is to be deceitful, dishonest and corrupt.
Father, as we think about integrity today – we thank You for the wonderful example of the Lord Jesus. His integrity shown through as He lived in obedience to Your word and will. He neither allowed the adulation of the crowd, nor the opposition of His nation’s leaders to sway how He taught, ministered and lived.
Lord, we confess that most people populate the hinterland between these two states of being. Not overly upright nor on the other hand, egregious; that is, not gross nor notoriously wicked. This hinterland is the place of compromise, of situation ethics – being flexible in the application of moral laws according to the circumstances that one finds oneself in at that time.
It is the pathway of the religiously minded that allows for the ‘white lie’ when it is deemed appropriate, for the fiddle that does no-one any real physical harm, and for the thought that the ends justify the means. Yet, it is the way that is not righteous in Your eyes.
You tell us to walk in the Spirit so we will not fulfil the lusts of the flesh/carnal nature. You call us to walk the narrow road following Jesus. We pray for the moral clarity and strength, for the guidance of Your word, for the commitment to be the same person in every setting of life – whether fêted by the crowds or opposed by the influential.
We pray that through the ministry of Telford Elim, in person or online, people will be equipped to live lives of integrity, denying self, living sacrificially, and following Jesus. Amen
June 7 – Personal Talents. God-given natural talents and aptitudes. Some are born with a natural talent for a particular thing or aptitude that enables then to do something well. Father, thank You that these flow from Your Common Grace freely given to the world.
The doctrine of Common Grace, with ‘first order beliefs,’ teaches that a universal knowledge of You and of what is good has been liberally spread throughout humankind. Therefore, even acts of truth, goodness, wisdom, justice and beauty flow ultimately from the gift of Common Grace. Thank You for such gifts and personal talents liberally distributed within our society.
As a result, we pray today about wise stewardship and good governance in all parts of society; we recognise and acknowledge that wise stewardship and good governance is also a gift from You, and that many non-Christians can govern well because they are living in the blessing of Your Common Grace.
Father, thank You that You also reveal the knowledge of Yourself in and through human culture, even in its fallen state. Society in all its complexity, with its ability to regulate and govern itself successfully, ultimately finds its order and prosperity from Your gift of Common Grace.
We pray today particularly into those areas of society where acts of untruth, unrighteousness, wickedness, foolishness, injustice and willful destruction have the upper hand – may such acts be exposed where they are hidden in secret, be discovered where they are buried within the wider structures of society, and be overcome and expelled as a result once people see them for what they are – inherently evil.
We bring all our personal talents to You, lay down our ownership of them handing them over to Jesus’ Lordship, and ask for Your wisdom and guidance in how to steward these well. May Jesus be glorified by how we steward the personal talents we have because of Your gift of Common Grace. Amen
June 8 – Personality. Thank You Lord Jesus that Your personality was always fully reflective of Your Father’s perfect love, justice, holiness, goodness, faithfulness, truth, righteousness, beauty and mercy. Warm and engaging, attractive and yet firm and commanding in manner – Your personality revealed the full wonder of Your original design for our personalities.
Self-aware – You knew perfectly your own strengths, human frailty, and rhythms. You were able to perfectly understand others and their motives, not committing Yourself to anyone’s control nor manipulation. You could see through difficult personalities to the heart, and You drew together with all sorts of personalities to form Your disciples.
Lord, as Christians, ‘we have a responsibility to accept our moral agency – we are accountable and responsible for our decisions and our choices when we make them’ (‘Thinking about whether or not you should receive a Covid-19 vaccine?’ by Debbie Duncan, Malcolm Duncan and Chris Shaw, December 2020). In other, words, we will give an account for our own choices, acts and patterns of thinking and reacting.
Others may have a part to play in how we are shaped, but we will be held accountable how we move forward in Christ allowing His transforming work to change us. Our choices determine the course of our lives. The choice to deny self, take up our cross and follow Jesus wholeheartedly changes everything in us, about us, including our personalities.
When we stand together as Your people, our collective personalities should reflect something of the wonder and glory of Your personality. We know that Your Spirit’s work in us, Your word’s work in us, and the impact of fellowship with mature, godly believers all sanctify or set us apart from the world, the people we once were, and the power of the carnal nature.
We pray that we will not remain rooted in the old us, but partner with Your Spirit, word, and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in creating our new Christ-honouring personalities.
Forgive us when we have been harsh or abrasive and not reflected You well – teach us how to reflect Your love and grace through our personalities. Amen
June 9 – Sacrifice. Romans 12:1-2, CSB,
‘Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.’
Father, sacrifice is about giving up something of ourselves, something important to us for the greater good, and for the Greater One, Jesus Christ. It is about forfeiting our own way in favour of ‘Your way of life’ (John W. Ritenbaugh – The Awesome Cost of Love, https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/5588/Sacrifice-as-Way-Life.htm accessed 5-5-22)
It is about holding nothing back from You in our following of Christ. You are calling us to lay down on Your altar even those parts that we enjoy, and seem so important to us. Only that which is truly laid on the altar to Christ can ever truly become what You designed it to be.
Holy Spirit, guide us to be living sacrifices – to live daily laying ourselves down on the altar. We pray that Telford Elim, in person and inline, will be able to model and call people to live true, sacrificial lives that are biblical, righteous and acceptable to Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
June 10 – Timing. Timing is one of those important rules in life that can be easily overlooked. In appointing someone to a role in church, it may be the right person, but the wrong time for the appointment. He or she may not yet be ready, or a number of other things have to align before the appointment made.
Father, walking in step with Your Spirit is a marvellous way of getting aligned with Your timing – Your timing is perfect. Thank you for the example of the Lord Jesus who came in the fullness or rightness of time (Galatians 4:4). The Holy Spirit came exactly on time ‘when the day of Pentecost had arrived’ (Acts 2:1).
Lord, as Your word tells us, Ecclesiastes 3:1, NKJV, ‘To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.’ There is an appointed time for everything – even the birth of the Messiah, and outpouring of Your Spirit.
Your appointed times are for worship, divine encounters, to align our lives with Your timing, and to learn to wait upon, depend on, and follow Jesus wholeheartedly. Your timing is about us coming under Christ’s Lordship, and learning to walk in Your heavenly rhythm for life.
You also tell us to make the most of the time we have taking full advantage of every opportunity that comes our way because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). We live in a time when evil is not hidden, but openly in view around the world.
We pray that our lives will be aligned to Your timing, and that we will walk in that timing making the most of every opportunity You bring across our path. In Jesus’ name. Amen
June 11 – In order to be able to serve God as He wishes, then sacrifice and aligning our lives with His word, timing and ways are key. At the heart of this is living a life of worship out of which flows our witness to Jesus, giving and service.
Father, it includes our all, because it is to be our thought through, ‘reasonable’ spiritual service/worship – Paul is thinking of intelligent worship in Romans 12:1 [JB Phillips]. Latreia can be rendered either as service or worship – it is our voluntary response of devotion to God; douleia would be slavish devotion.
This all happens through the renewing of our minds. It is not ‘mindless emotionalism’, but a thought through, deeply intelligent approach to life by a Christian renewed by the Holy Spirit [Leon Morris, 435].
Lord, equip us to live this sort of life which honours Christ. May we live well thought through, intelligent and Spirit-filled lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen
June 12 – Paul then proceeds to consider this in our relationship with each other as Christians – our fellowship in church (12:3-8, CSB).
‘For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, according to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the proportion of one’s faith; in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. if service, use it in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.’
Father, as Pastor Geoff Richardson comes to church today to preach, richly anoint him to bring Your word and a revelation of Your heart and promises. Give us ears to hear, and hearts and minds that are open and responsive to Your word.
We would to be Kingdom builders who partner with Christ in establishing His reign in this town, borough, county, and beyond through our online ministries.
We pray for any who are stuck in a place where they trying to live out someone else’s gifts and blessing. You equip each of us uniquely to fit into Your body, the Church. Bless Telford Elim, its people and ministries, so that each one of us can step into that which You call us to do, and gift us to do. In Jesus’ name and for His glory. Amen.