Lord, please counsel us by revealing the subtle deceptions of our heart. We pray:
- . . . that we will have no other gods before You. That we will not dishonor Your uniqueness. That we will not put anything or anyone in Your place, nor fall prey to the schemes of the devil by replacing the ultimate priority (You) with worldly pleasures, possessions, power, or pursuits (1 Jn 2:15–17). That the use of our time and energy will reflect the Lordship of Christ and that our souls will pant and thirst for You, O God, (Ps 42:1, 2).
- . . . that we will not provoke Your jealousy by worshiping You through things seen, felt, or touched. That we will not dishonor Your nature as a Spirit being. That we will not get caught up in the elements of worship at the expense of the Person being worshipped. That we will worship You in spirit and truth (John 4:24), and “see” You as exalted and, therefore, get caught up in “worth-ship.” That we will not place our faith in human reason or things seen, but instead walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).
- . . . that we will not use Your holy Name carelessly. That we will not dishonor Your character. That we will not misrepresent You by using Your Name falsely (Ps 24:3, 4), hypocritically (Titus 1:16), blasphemously (James 2:7), rashly (Eccl 5:2, 3), or irreverently (James 3:8–11), or speak of holy things flippantly. That our talk will not be dominated by meaningless, empty or idle words (Matt 12:36), but always by reverence and prudence.
- . . . that we will follow your creation principle of rest. That we will honor Your wisdom. That we will not allow the American “rat race” to rob us of stopping to look at the sunset (Ps 24:1). That You will help us to be diligent and faithful workers, but at the same time guard us from becoming slaves to our earthly employments (Col 3:22–24). That we will not allow busyness and worldly pleasures to destroy the immense worth and uniqueness of the Lord’s Day. That corporate worship will be more important than hunting, fishing, or football. That we will realize the most valuable family time is not spent in front of the TV, but in Your house learning Your Word (Acts 20:7).
- . . . that we will show reverence and respect for our earthly parents. That we will honor Your authority structures. That we will not be like the world—disobedient to parents (2 Tim 3:2), but instead will teach our children to cheerfully obey, with respect. That we will not forget our elderly parents and grandparents, but will gladly accept the role-reversal of becoming their caregivers (1 Tim 5:3, 4). That we will recognize earthly parents as gifts to be honored and treasured, but not more than Christ (Matt 10:37). That we will learn to be submissive and respectful toward the authorities You have ordained (Rom 13:1–7), while at the same time faithfully praying for our leaders (1 Tim 2:1–4).
- . . . that we will not hate or kill. That we will not dishonor Your gift of life or Your love. That we will not allow the sun to go down on our anger so that it becomes deep-seated hatred, resentment, or bitterness (Eph 4:26), or hate our brother or sister in the Lord and, therefore, be liars that dwell in darkness (1 Jn 2:9, 11; 3:15; 4:20). That we will love our neighbors as ourselves and be lights in a dark world by cherishing the sanctity of human life, young and old and disabled. That we will show the world that children are valuable blessings, not inconveniences or burdens, and plead with You to change the hearts of women who selfishly seek abortions, men who fearfully force them, and doctors who gladly assist them.
- . . . that we will not lust or commit adultery. That we will not dishonor Your gift of sexuality. That husbands will rejoice in their wives and wives rejoice in their husbands (Prov 5:18), holding the marriage covenant in the highest regard and the marriage bed undefiled (Heb 13:4). That those of us who are unmarried will find our fullest satisfaction in You by fleeing youthful lusts and pursuing righteousness, faith, love, and peace (2 Tim 2:22). That all of us would maintain purity of mind by avoiding TV programs, videos, magazines, or Internet sites that stimulate and feed the flesh (Phil 4:8). That we will pray for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is self-control.
- . . . that we will not steal from You or from others. That we will not dishonor Your provision. That we will not steal from You by withholding Your tithe from our church because of unbelief or self-centered spending habits (Mal 3:8), but give motivated by grace (2 Cor 8:1-9). That we will not steal from others by taking advantage of them or being habitually late for appointments. That we will flee laziness and pursue hard work (Prov 6:6–11), and avoid all financial dealings that call integrity into question. That we will not steal from government by cheating on our taxes (Rom 13:6), or steal from our family by wasting money on foolish habits (1 Tim 5:8), or buy a lottery ticket or enter a casino (Prov 28:22). That we will learn to be good stewards of the money You have entrusted to our care, faithfully giving our first-fruits to You and wisely managing the rest (Prov 3:9-10).
- . . . that we will not lie against one another. That we will not dishonor Your truth. That we will not practice perjury (Prov 24:28), bribery (Prov 17:23), slander (Prov 10:18), gossip (Prov 11:13), or flattery (Psalm 12:2, 3). That we will not make false claims about ourselves or wear masks to impress or deceive others, speaking only the truth in love (Eph 4:15), and building our relationships on trustworthiness. That we will tell the whole truth and not reveal only the facts that make us look good. That we will be true friends by honoring confidences (Prov 17:9). That we will not lie in church by singing songs of worship to You from our lips and not from our hearts (Matt 15:8). That we will honor Your truth at all times by pursuing authentic Christian living.
- . . . that we will not crave earthly belongings. That we will not dishonor Your gifts. That we will not desire what is not rightfully ours and endeavor to acquire it, but instead treat other people’s property with respect. That our hearts will not be captivated by affection for money or this world’s goods (1 Tim 6:8–10). That we will resist the temptation to put trust in credit cards and learn to say “no” to impulse buying. That we will replace envy with gratitude and conscious thanksgiving (1 Pet 2:1), praise instead of complaint, and prayer instead of worry (Phil 4:6, 7). That we will learn to be content in any and every circumstance (Phil 4:11).
Heavenly Father, we pray this for ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ. May You grant all of us the grace to be Your obedient servants! In Jesus Name, Amen.
[This article was originally posted January 4, 2012, and is excerpted from Delight in the Word: Spiritual Food for Hungry Hearts]