Prayer Diary

A calling to holiness (2)

1 Corinthians chapters 5-9

As Paul continues to address the issues at the church in Corinth reported to him, he deals with problems caused by the values of the world that have come into the church. The christians, instead of following the higher standards that being members of the Kingdom of heaven bring, are still following the ways of the world. Instead of demonstrating the new behaviour that having a personal relationship with Jesus should bring, Paul challenges their still carnal behaviour and attitudes. Whereas by now the fruit of spiritual growth should be seen in them, instead they are still acting like spiritual infants.

They seem not to have grasped the fact that, not only is the church collectively the temple of the Holy Spirit who is amongst them, but also the physical body of each believer individually, is also the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives within them. Therefore, allowing the kind of open sexual immorality by a member that even pagans would not tolerate, cannot go unchallenged. If unrepented of sin is not confronted and dealt, like yeast in dough, it will spread and permeate every part of the church. We are saved by grace, but grace is not a licence to sin. Those who think they can abuse the grace of God believing they can live a deliberate lifestyle of sinful behaviour and God will simply forgive them, will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Once we come to Christ, all sinful behaviour is to be left behind because, Paul says, “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  So the church must deal with sexually immorality on an individual and a collective basis.

Like today, the society in Corinth was one where individuals readily resorted to suing one another. So even in the church, members were taking each other to court before non-christian judges. This conduct raises several factors: First, one day believers will judge angels. The Corinthians should be ashamed that they seem so feeble-minded they cannot even sort out minor disputes amongst themselves. Secondly, by taking such disputes to pagan judges the church has shot itself in the foot for being such a poor testimony before those it should be seeking to demonstrate the values, power and superior way of life in Christ. And thirdly, they should instead lay aside their personal pride and “turn the other cheek” as it were, rather than bringing the cause of Christ into such disrepute. To their credit, a reading of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians shows they did listen to him and put right this carnal behaviour.

Likewise, we are called to be holy. This does not mean we can become perfect in this lifetime, but to do all to pursue a godly lifestyle, so the Holy Spirit is not grieved but can work powerfully through us.

1st – 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 Repenting over sexual sin

  1. As we repent of the way your church in this land has often accepted the world’s ways  rather than preaching the clear moral guidelines in your Word, forgive and bring change
  2. For any who confess the name of Christ but who are engaging in fornication, bring repentance and a desire to be obedient to you, O Lord
  3. For any who confess the name of Christ, yet are engaged in adultery, bring repentance, confession, restoration of the marriage and a total change of heart and behaviour
  4. Holy Spirit, for those in the church who are struggling with pornography, help them to decisively to break from it completely
  5. For those in the church who may be struggling with thoughts of or temptations towards any other ungodly sexual activity, help and strengthen them to walk in your ways

2nd – 1 Corinthians 5:3-5  Confronting sin

  1. As we bring before you any sin in the church that may be hindering the moving of your Holy Spirit, forgive Lord and help us to discard all such hindrances
  2. As we bring before you the sin of our nation, forgive Lord and send a revival in this land
  3. Send a revival in our church that will cause a heightened awareness of sin and cause many people to walk in the pathway of holiness
  4. We pray for our national government and leaders in our local government to turn from leading our nation down pathways away from God’s revealed laws
  5. We take authority over the spirits of violence and lawlessness on our streets and bind them in Jesus’ name

3rd - 1 Corinthians 5:6-8    A change in character

  1. Lord Jesus, help us to become more like you each day
  2. Teach us to welcome the trials that come in our lives as the means by which you help us develop and change our character for good
  3. Help us to be continually developing all the nine-fold fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives
  4. If there is any habitual sin in our lives, Holy Spirit, convict us and enable us to deal with it decisively
  5. Cause us to remember that your goal for us in this life is holiness rather than happiness, knowing that in eternity there is no sorrow

4th – 1 Corinthians 5:9-11  No compromise

  1. Lord, as we live in a fallen world, help us to be discerning as to whose company we should keep
  2. Since we are to be salt and light in this fallen world and therefore need to mix with, and seek to save, the unsaved, guide us to those non christians you would have us befriend
  3. Give us the grace and the strength to always be influencers of others for good rather than be influenced by others for bad
  4. Lord, give us the grace to deal gently with repentant sinners and firmly with those who claim the name of Christ but who are unrepentant sinners
  5. Cause all those in the church who are living carelessly or deliberately in sin to come under a deep conviction of sin by your Holy Spirit and be radically changed

5th – 1 Corinthians 5:12 Breaking off ungodly relationships

  1. Give us discernment as to who to befriend and who to avoid
  2. Teach us when we should end any kind of relationship that will not do us good
  3. Keep us from ungodly work or business dealings, we pray
  4. Help us to be people of godly integrity and sound judgment
  5. Teach us your ways and give us the will to walk in them daily

6th – 1 Corinthians 6:1-3 – The need for competence

  1. Give us the wisdom to be able to help others in the church when there are disputes between them and for each party to have the grace to resolve them peacefully
  2. Help us to understand the enormity of the responsibilities you will give us in your kingdom in the life to come and the sense to speak and act responsibly now in all we do
  3. For those in the church who may still be harbouring resentment towards others, help them to release it in Jesus’ name
  4. Give to all our elders and our discipleship cell leaders all the wisdom they need as they lead others in the church
  5. We pray you would give wise leadership abilities and wise counsel to all our heads of departments and all who teach within the church

7th – 1 Corinthians 6:4-6   Avoiding a bad testimony

  1. Holy Spirit, give us a wisdom to deal with all of life’s situations, especially when we are under pressure
  2. Cause us to remember that we are ambassadors for Christ at all times and therefore need to be always mindful of our testimony
  3. Teach us to live always in the knowledge that you are watching and listening, O God, so that we may live for you and not for ourselves
  4. May we be a good example to others and truly be able to say, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ”
  5. Help us to remember, O Lord, that one day we will stand before you to give an account of our lives as christians and may this knowledge effect the way we live now

8th – 1 Corinthians 6:7-8  Doing the devil’s work for him

  1. Lord, help us to keep our old nature well and truly crucified
  2. Holy Spirit, when we start to act or react, being led by our old fallen nature, immediately convict our consciences so we put a check on ourselves straightaway
  3. Give us the grace and strength to be able to waive our “rights”, even if others are wrong, rather than pursue a course of unnecessary conflict merely for the sake of pride
  4. Forgive us whenever we have resorted to using the ways of the world to get our way, rather than trusting in your ways, O Lord
  5. May our testimony always be that we are trustworthy, because we bear the name of Christ

9th – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Praying for the corrupt and the immoral

  1. Lord, those who do not know you, cannot live according the principles of your kingdom, so save and change them so that they can know the joy of pursuing a life with Christ
  2. For all those we know who are sexually immoral, give them a life-changing conversion to Christ
  3. Deliver from the bondage of the kingdom of darkness all those we know who have a drug habit and bring them into the liberty of the kingdom of light
  4. Deliver all those who are in bondage to alcohol, O Lord and may they learn to use their money more profitably
  5. For any individuals who have cheated us in the past, we forgive them and pray they will  find a heavenly Father who will meet all their needs, without the need to cheat others

10th – 1 Corinthians 6:11 Washed and sanctified

  1. As we remember that you have washed us from all sin, cause us, in response, to desire to walk ever closer to you
  2. Cause all the men in our church to rise up in the power of their new life in Jesus to become changers and shapers of our society for Christ
  3. Enable all the women in our church to flourish in the full power of the Holy Spirit in all of their God-given ministries
  4. Cause all the male youth in our church to be bold, making a powerful stand for Christ and influencing their own generation
  5. Give all the female youth in our church a courage and boldness to be different from their peers by allowing the Holy Spirit to work through their lives and their relationships with non christians

11th – 1 Corinthians 6:12  Not mastered by anything

  1. Break the chains that bind all those we know who are addicted to cigarettes and are unable to quit the habit,
  2. Cause all those we know who are addicted to drugs to turn to you, O God, and find the will and the strength to be delivered
  3. For those in bondage to pornography, in Jesus name we pray that the  power that binds them would be broken
  4. For those addicted to food, or who suffer from anorexia or bulimia, expose and break the cause of their bondage, O Lord
  5. For all those in bondage to crime on the streets where we live, turn them from crime to Christ

12th – 1 Corinthians 6:13-18  Flee sexual immorality

  1. Lord, give each one in the church the strength to say ‘no’ to sexual temptation
  2. Help us not to listen to the lies of the world and of the devil but rather to listen to the wisdom of our God revealed in his Word
  3. Give all our young people in the church the wisdom to discern between what is right and wrong, what is good and bad and what is appropriate and inappropriate
  4. Give all the school teachers in the church wisdom, strength and courage as they set a good example in the schools in which they teach
  5. Enable all the single people in the church to take a stand for sexual morality boldly and without shame because they belong to Jesus

13th – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20  Individuals - the temples of the Holy Spirit

  1. Cause us to walk in holiness as we remember the great privilege that you live within us as your temples when we accept Christ
  2. Help us to be good stewards of our bodies, O Lord, so that we may use them for your service and glory
  3. For those of us who are sick in body, we pray right now for their divine healing
  4. For those we know who are troubled in their minds from varying degrees of depression, touch them now and replace their gloom with the joy of the Lord
  5. We pray for divine health and strength at all times so that we may be fit to do all you call us to do

14th – 1 Corinthians 7:1-2   Seeking a Godly spouse

  1. For all those in the church who are seeking a Godly wife or husband, give them wisdom and guide them to the right person
  2. For all those who are hindered by financial constraints from pursuing marriage, give them a financial release, O Lord
  3. For all those who are seeking a marriage partner but are hindered by shyness or lack of self-confidence, make a way for them and answer their prayers
  4. Bring fellowship to those who feel a sense of loneliness, since your Word says you “set the lonely in families”
  5. For all those who are getting married this year, help each to put Christ at the centre of their relationship that their marriage may prosper

15th – 1 Corinthians 7:3-6  Marital harmony

  1. Strengthen the relationships in the midst of the pressures of life of all our married couples in the church, O Lord
  2. Help all the husbands to be able to wisely balance their responsibilities between work, family and ministry
  3. Enable all the wives to cope with all the stress of looking after a home and family as well as work responsibilities and still enjoy life
  4. Continually help fathers and mothers in the church in the demanding task of raising their children in the instruction of the Lord
  5. Bless the institution of marriage in our midst, O Lord, that it would be the blessing to all members of the family that you desire it to be

16th – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 Praying for the single and widows

  1. Bless all the single men and women in the church, O Lord and may their lives be fulfilled and fruitful in all they do
  2. Cause all our singles to find and use their skills, talents and abilities and as they dedicate them to you, O Lord let their lives be full of the joy of the Lord
  3. We pray that all our single men and women would be good role models and mentors for the youth in the church to follow
  4. Be their Father and Husband to all the widows in the church, O God
  5. Comfort and meet every need of all the widowers in the church, O Lord 

17th – 1 Corinthians 7:10-11  Praying for marriages under strain

  1. For all marriages in the church that are under strain, bring help, counsel and support so that they may be restored to their former place of joy
  2. Strengthen and help in their family relationships all the marriages of those we know who are not christians, we pray
  3. We pray our government would remove laws and rules that discourage marriage and have the wisdom to pass laws that strengthens the institution of marriage
  4. For any in the church whose marriages are under such strain and are considering divorce, help them now to find a better solution and restoration of their relationship
  5. For all those couples we know outside the church whose marriage is heading for divorce, help them now to find Christ and to see their marriage healed

18th – 1 Corinthians 7:12-14  Praying for believers married to unbelievers

  1. For all those who are currently single but are considering marrying an unbeliever, guide them according to your Word, so their spiritual life is not shipwrecked
  2. For all the unsaved husbands married to women in the church, save them, O Lord
  3. For all the unsaved wives married to men in the church, save them, O God
  4. For the children in homes where one spouse is saved and the other is unsaved, let the children follow the way of the believing parent and come to know you for themselves
  5. Give grace to those believers who are married to unbelievers, so that their Godly lifestyle would cause their unbelieving spouse to come to know the Lord

19th – 1 Corinthians 7:15-16  Praying for the deserted

  1. Comfort and encourage the hearts of each wife we know whose husband has left the marital home
  2. For each husband we know whose wife has left the marital home, help and encourage him, O God
  3. Comfort and give the strength they need in their time of loss to the children of those homes where one of the parents has left, O Lord
  4. For believers we know whose spouse has left home and are struggling to understand God’s will in their situation, give them clarity of thought and may their self-worth be found in their relationship to Christ
  5. Help the church to be a source of comfort and blessing to those who have been deserted, we pray

20th – 1 Corinthians 7:17-24  Being content in God

  1. Lord, help us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on you, so that  no matter how much we gain or how much we lack we know our true treasure is in heaven
  2. If you bless us with much material wealth, may it be our servant and not our master, so that you are always our first love
  3. Lord, may we find our self-worth in our relationship with you and not from what we do or what we own, so that we may be at peace and content
  4. Lord, teach us the secret of being content in any and every situation.
  5. Help us to remember that you are the God who can enable us to do all things through Christ who gives us strength

21st – 1 Corinthians 7:25-31  Upholding the value of virginity

  1. Since you have said, “Be holy for I am holy”, may our bodies be consecrated unto you and not be used in an ungodly fashion
  2. Teach us to value purity in body as well as in mind
  3. For all those in the church who may feel pressured by the values of this world to engage in premarital sex, give them determination of mind to make a stand for Christ
  4. May we not bow to the pressures of this world, O God, but rather to unashamedly uphold the value of virginity outside of marriage
  5. Give us a greater revelation of you, O Lord, so that we understand the blessings of being obedient to your commands

22nd  – 1 Corinthians 7:32-35  Devoted to the Lord

  1. Help us to love you with all our heart, strength, soul and mind, O Lord
  2. May our priorities in life be in tune with your will for our lives, we pray
  3. If you are not currently our first priority and love, O God, show us how to mend our ways
  4. Give us a deepening love for your Word so that we may live by it and know the blessings of the favour of God
  5. Give us a heart to pray, O Lord, not as a duty but out of our relationship with you

23rd  – 1 Corinthians 7:36:40  Praying for engaged couples

  1. For all the couples we know who are thinking of getting engaged, help them to make the right choice at the right time, O Lord
  2. For those who are already engaged, help them in all their plans and financial arrangements as they look forward to their wedding day
  3. Bless and help all those who teach the pre-marriage courses to those engaged couples who are preparing for marriage
  4. Keep each courting couple from falling into temptation but rather give them wisdom to conduct their relationship with dignity
  5. Lord, be a divine Matchmaker for all those who are seeking you in prayer for the right person to marry

24rd – 1 Corinthians 8:1-6  Love builds up

  1. Help us to love like Jesus, whether towards friends, family members or even those who dislike us, so that we may move in power of your Holy Spirit
  2. Help and anoint all the teachers in the children’s ministries to build up the children in the things of God
  3. Give love, patience and wisdom to all those minister to the youth, to build up our young people and be an example for them to follow
  4. For all those who minister to others in our Prayer Centre, equip and anoint them to lead many to Jesus, bring healing to the sick and see lives revolutionised for Christ
  5. For all those leading ministries and those who serve in the church, enable them to build each other up in the things of Christ so they reach out and win the unsaved to Christ

25th – 1 Corinthians 8:7-13  Don’t be a stumbling block to others

  1. Lord, help us be good examples to both fellow christians and non-believers
  2. Make us continually thoughtful to the needs of others, so that our actions do not cause others to fall
  3. For those whose relationships are hindered by harbouring unforgiveness, change their hearts to release those who have hurt them
  4. Give us wisdom in all our actions, speech and plans, so that we are influencers for the good of others and not a hindrance to them
  5. Forgive us for those times when our actions or words have had a negative effect on others and help us to change

26th – 1 Corinthians 9:1-6 – God raise up more leaders

  1. Lord, raise up more apostles in our nation and in the nations around the world to pioneer more churches
  2. Raise up genuine prophets in our land who will speak the contemporary Word of God into our churches and into our governmental leaders
  3. Raise up more evangelists in our nation and provide the finance they need to win thousands to Christ
  4. Raise up more pastors across our land who are willing to sacrificially serve the body of Christ and lead them into the true ways of God
  5. Raise up more teachers who can clearly and relevantly expound your Word and cause people to understand and follow your ways

27th – 1 Corinthians 9:7-10  Praying for church leaders

  1. Help all our pastors in their work of spiritual leadership and give them the strength to lead according to your will, O Lord
  2. Help all our elders in the task of spiritually overseeing the running of the church and give them grace, O God
  3. For all our men and women discipleship cell leaders, help them in their work of leading and serving in their cell group
  4. For all those who lead teams or departments in the church, give them grace and prosper their work as they serve you, O Lord
  5. For our children’s and youth leaders, help them to lead by example and guide those they lead into the ways of God

28th – 1 Corinthians 9:11-14  Giving financially to the work of God

  1. Teach us to be people of obedience and faith and not to be afraid of being generous in our giving to your work, O Lord
  2. As we give our tithes and offerings cause those finances which remain to prosper more than they otherwise would
  3. Help us to remember the spiritual principle that we will reap what we sow and fail to reap where we do not sow
  4. Cause us to be cheerful givers and not people who do so grudgingly
  5. Since you have said it is you, O Lord, who give us the ability to gain wealth, may we ‘render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s but to God that which is God’s’

29th – 1 Corinthians 9:15-18  Preaching the gospel freely

  1. Give us the courage to speak your Word in season and out of season as your Spirit leads us
  2. As we thank you for all those we see giving their lives to you, O Lord, may we see more and more  people turning to Christ in total commitment
  3. Prosper all the work of evangelism, O God, whether personal one-to-one encounters, through the cells or on the streets
  4. Each time the gospel is preached in our church services we pray there will be a fruitful harvest
  5. Give us “divine appointments” with those people you want us to witness to who are ready to accept Christ

30th – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23  By all means save some

  1. Give us insight, Holy Spirit, into how we can develop strategies to win the lost from all backgrounds
  2. Anoint your people as witnesses in their places of work, causing them to be fruitful, we pray
  3. Give us strategies, Holy Spirit, into how to win men for Christ, especially those who would lead their families also to Jesus
  4. Give us strategies, Holy Spirit, into how to reach the youth in our society, that will cause them to be radically converted and changed for Christ
  5. Give us strategies, Holy Spirit, into how to win the current generation of children to Christ before they are corrupted by the values of this world

31st – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27  Running to win the prize

  1. Help us to be people who are self disciplined in our times of personal prayer and Bible study
  2. Help us to be self disciplined in order to get our priorities right and the correct balance between God, family, work and ministry
  3. Cause us to achieve a standard of excellence in all that we do for the kingdom of God, whether by our personal example, teaching, witnessing, serving and all forms of ministry
  4. When we find we are flagging in their spiritual race, give each of us the strength to continue and to be more effective in the future than we have been in the past
  5. As we pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to anoint us in all that we do, make us effective and fruitful as Ambassadors for Christ