Should we expect to suffer as a result of our witness?

Father, You have called us saints and yet our hearts convict us. Here You tell us to sanctify our hearts, an active process of cleansing and renewal by You, that in good conscience we might provide others with a good defense of our love for You in meekness and fear, avoiding arrogance or the suggestion of appearing judgmental.

When you meet Jesus, will He say, welcome friend…

Father, As a result of Your grace and mercy, you promise us that through our faith in the resurrection of Jesus, we have eternal life. From this side we do not completely understand nor appreciate that which awaits but we will. Salvation from sin, suffering and weakness is assured. We know that joy and celebration will characterize heaven.

Do you mean that God knew whether I would choose to love Him?

Father, we earnestly pray that You will help us in what seems like an unending quest, punctuated by tests, permitted by You. If our journey seems uncertain, in terms of events and goals, we have assurance that all things work to the good for those that love You and obey You. Your grace is sufficient in all things. Give us comfort this day that You are present and that You care, constantly. Your love is made manifest in everything we see.

God never moves away from us…He seeks us.

Father, You have taught us that there are two overriding commandments. First we are to love You with all of our heart, mind, and strength and second, we are to love our neighbors as our selves.

An unexamined life is not worth living…still true (Socrates)

Here You tell us to examine ourselves, to look into our hearts and ask ourselves if the Holy Spirit, Jesus in us, actually exists. The answer, if we are to be saved, is yes, yes, He lives in my heart and every time I turn to Him I am making the right decision, the right move. Bless each of us and help us as we seek to know You better.

I humbly declare I am not proud; never have been.

Father, we know that to be like Jesus is our goal and we also know that our lower nature, our flesh, often causes us to act more like a goof ball than a saint. Give us the humility we pray to allow You to overcome that which is present in all of us. You promised to do so if we but ask.

Suffer patiently? How is that possible…

Jesus, our objective is to be like You. We will need a lot of help not to return evil for evil. If people are critical of us, to take such criticism without angrily giving it back to them, doubly for some of us, requires Your Spirit in us.

God’s word can never be stamped void. It invades your space

Father, we thank You for Paul’s ministry. He taught us how to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, who he refers to as saints. We do pray for each other, perhaps not as fervently or constantly as we should, but we know that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. You hear the prayers of those that love You so we never speak in vain when we bring our needs and hopes to You.

Is doing the right thing burdensome? Just the opposite!

Father, we know this earth is Satan’s domain but here You tell us that You are greater than Satan. We are impotent when it comes to waging war with Satan unless we are in Your hand, filled with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

You say “be holy”…I feel so unworthy at times.

Being “sober-minded” is another admonition and we know that is different than intoxication from drink. You teach us that we should be orderly in our conduct, to not speak coarsely and to therefore have Your Spirit in us. You also tell us to be full of joy, so to be sober minded must not mean to be long faced and stern in our demeanor.