Prayer Diary

A calling holiness (1)

1 Corinthians chapters 1-4


When the apostle Paul first visited the city of Corinth, in what is modern day Greece, he did what he always did and went first to the Jewish synagogue to preach Jesus as the Christ. But, with a few exceptions, he met with opposition from the Jews to his message and so turned to preaching to the gentiles, where he found such a response that he stayed for eighteen months, establishing the church in that city. This was, in one way, a great success. But in another, the influx of pagans quite unacquainted with the ways of a God of holiness, brought with it numerous pastoral and spiritual problems that Paul had to manage and help the Corinthians overcome.

So the church at Corinth was comprised of many people who had been saved right out of the world. They had known only the lifestyle of the culture of their day, which was one of gross immorality. The massive temple of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love dominated the city and each evening the priestesses would emerge to practice what was nothing less than prostitution in the name of their religion. Coupled with that, the city had an international reputation for drunkenness and so to if anyone was accused of ‘living like a Corinthian’, it meant they lived the worst sort of lifestyle.

It took the new converts some time to unlearn their old behaviour and to embrace a lifestyle of righteousness, as Paul’s letter to them reveal. They had to grow up spiritually, stop acting like babies and become mature in Christ. This meant putting aside all divisions, quarrels and prejudices and learning to life as the one body of Christ, which is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. The church is his temple and needs to be a place of righteousness and holiness.

So Paul opens his letter to them as, “the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…” Christ died and rose from the dead to make them saints and portray the righteousness of God through their godly witness. No longer were they to live the lives they once did but rather now, with the power of the Holy Spirit within them they were to be ambassadors for Jesus

  The church had great potential to become a powerful influence in its city. It also had the potential to self-destruct by the power of internal sin. It took time, but Paul was eventually able to turn the church at Corinth around and get it on the right track. In the process he shows the necessity of the church ensuring that its own house is in order if it wants to see the manifest presence of God in its midst.

As we continue to seek the face of God for revival, this month we are praying through the areas God revealed through Paul to a church “called to be holy”

1st - 1 Corinthians 1:1-2 - Called to be holy

  1. Since you died and rose again to bring us from the kingdom of darkness into your kingdom of light, burden our hearts to seek your paths of holiness
  2. If there is anything in our lives that is unpleasing to you, convict our minds and give us the grace to root it out, so that we may live according to your ways
  3. Help us to be separated from sinful ways and separated unto the ways of our God, so that we may walk in holiness
  4. We pray that anything that is hidden in the church that causes you to withhold your presence or blessing may be brought to light and removed
  5. Holy Spirit, move up and down this land bringing a deep desire within your church in our nation to walk in the ways of holiness

2nd - 1 Corinthians 1:3 – God’s grace and peace

  1. Cause your grace to be evident in our lives, in our church, our families and in our places of work, overflowing into the lives of others causing them to desire to know Jesus
  2. Cause your grace to be manifested in the lives of all our unsaved family members so that they come to know saving grace through receiving Jesus as Saviour and Lord
  3. May those we know who are troubled in their family lives know God’s peace and also that they would be peacemakers
  4. May all those we know who are troubled in their places of work know the peace of God and become peacemakers
  5. Lord, in accordance with Romans 16:20, may “the God of peace soon crush Satan under our feet”

3rd - 1 Corinthians 1:4-6 – Our testimony

  1. Help each one of us to practice what we preach and bring honour to the name of Jesus through our Christ-like characters
  2. Enable us to maintain a good testimony before unbelievers in our places of work
  3. Lord, help us to maintain a good testimony towards each other, as the family of believers
  4. In accordance with Ephesians 5:1, help us to “be imitators of God, as dearly loved children and to live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us”
  5. May the blessings of our relationship with our God, through Jesus Christ be so evident in our lives that others will desire to receive what we have

4th – 1 Corinthians 1:7 – Not lacking spiritual gifts

  1. Pour out your Spirit mightily amongst us, baptising many in the Holy Spirit and cause your spiritual gifts to be distributed throughout the church
  2. Cause many to speak in tongues and to use the gifts of interpretation of tongues and prophecy
  3. May the gifts of faith, miracles and healings be multiplied amongst us, O Lord
  4. Let there be a greater manifestation of the gifts of words of knowledge, words of wisdom and the discerning of spirits, we pray
  5. We pray for the greater manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit not just within the confines of meetings in the church building, but outside also

5th – 1 Corinthians 1:8 – Kept strong

  1. In times of trial, keep our faith strong and our determination to follow Jesus in every way, steadfast to the end
  2. Meet with those in our fellowship who are struggling and remain spiritually immature, causing them to grow and help us to encourage them
  3. Make us strong and powerful witnesses for you, anointed by, and moving in the gifts of, the Holy Spirit
  4. Raise up all the men, women and youth in our fellowship to be mighty in power, strength and leadership, continually being filled with the Holy Spirit
  5. Raise up all the intercessors in our fellowship to be strong and powerful in prayer to the pulling down of every spiritual stronghold that seeks to attack the church or its members

6th – 1 Corinthians 1:9 - Our Lord is faithful

  1. Since you are utterly faithful may we learn to trust you completely and so grow in faith
  2. As you have called us into fellowship with you, may we not neglect that astounding privilege, but rather walk closely with you daily
  3. Give us the courage to trust your Word at all times and to be bold to take you at your word, stepping out in faith whenever you call us to, knowing you are faithful
  4. Teach us the difference between presumption and faith so that we may not bring you or your Word into disrepute through our foolish actions
  5. Since part of the fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness, help us to co-operated with you, Holy Spirit to develop that quality within us to an ever-greater extent

7th – 1 Corinthians 1:10-11 – Healing divisions

  1. Cause there to be a healing in the relationships with any in the church who are out of fellowship with each other
  2. Give the grace to any church member who is out of fellowship with their unsaved family members to seek to heal any rift
  3. We pray that any frictions within any families in the church will experience a complete reconciliation and healing
  4. For any in the church who may be bound because they are harbouring unforgiveness, give them the grace to release all anger and bitterness and so be free
  5. Cause every marriage in the church to become ever stronger as Jesus is made the foundation of their relationship, O God

8th – 1 Corinthians 1:12-16 – Getting the focus right

  1. Lord, help us to keep our focus squarely on you as the foremost object of our attention
  2. We pray that all our discipleship cell leaders would be kept on fire for you and with a passion to share the  gospel of Jesus Christ
  3. Give to all our discipleship cells strategies and a passion, together, to seek and to save the lost
  4. Keep all those who evangelise on the streets focussed on Jesus Christ and the power of the cross to save every unbeliever, anointing them to see lives changed by Jesus
  5. May we not take our eyes off  you, Jesus, but always preach without fear, the power of the cross to change the sinner into a saint

9th – 1 Corinthians 1:17 – Preaching the undiluted gospel

  1. Give us “divine appointments” with individuals so that when we speak to them of the crucified and risen Saviour, they will respond
  2. Holy Spirit, keep in the forefront of our minds that we are ambassadors for the King of kings as we share the life-changing message of the gospel at every opportunity
  3. Anoint our words with power whenever we share the message of the cross and cause us to see people respond by giving their lives to Christ
  4. Give us the wisdom and ability to share the gospel in different ways that will reach the particular people we are witnessing to, without watering down the message
  5. Holy Spirit when we feel inadequate and think we do not have the right words to say, give us the right words to speak

10th – 1 Corinthians 1:20-21 – The bankruptcy of human wisdom

  1. Cause the “wisdom of men”,  which deceives so many to believe we are here by blind chance and evolution, to be revealed for the falsehood it is
  2. Move the hearts of our parliament and government who frequently make laws based on ungodly human wisdom, to bring change to their ungodly laws
  3. Bring change to the ungodly way sex education is presented to ever younger children in our schools and its calamitous consequences, which is based on the wisdom of man
  4. Bring change to stop the holocaust of the unborn through the abortion laws of our nation which are based on human wisdom and run contrary to your revealed ways;
  5. Break the power of their influence over our government of all the lobby groups that influence our lawmakers to pass ungodly laws

11th – 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 – The power of God

  1. Send your power in our midst in increasing measure, O Lord
  2. Cause the prayers of all our intercessors and the Prayer Centre to be so anointed and with discernment that successfully pull down mighty spiritual strongholds
  3. As we understand the extent of the authority you have delegated to us, help us begin to move in the power of God far beyond anything we have experienced up to this point
  4. Multiply the signs and wonders that you do in our midst, O Lord, and may they confirm your Word, causing many to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ
  5. Since your Word says: “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet”, help us to live victoriously over sin, temptation and the devil

12th – 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 – One is a majority with God

  1. Help us to continually remember that the source of our strength and power is not ourselves but you, enabling us to not to falter or faint as we serve you
  2. As we consecrate now all that we are and all that we have to your service, use even the little we may have and multiply it
  3. Help us remember that our significance comes not from what we achieve but from who we are in you, through whom we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength
  4. We dedicate to you now, O Lord all our natural talents, gifts and abilities and ask you to enable us to make use of every opportunity to use them for your service and your glory
  5. We pray that you will add to any natural abilities we have, the gifts of your Holy Spirit and that we may use them wisely and profitably

13th – 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 - Boast only in the Lord

  1. Jesus, be Lord of our lives in every way and in every area
  2. Help us to remember your Word, O Lord, that tells us that it is you who give us the ability to create wealth so that we may honour you with our finances
  3. As we surrender our talents, our abilities and all that we have to you, use us for your glory
  4. May we today have the opportunity to use all our natural, our intellectual and our manual abilities, to increase your kingdom and to honour Jesus
  5. Cause us to remember that we are not our own, we have been bought at a price so that we honour you with our bodies as your servants, O Lord,

14th – 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 - A demonstration of the Spirit’s power

  1. Holy Spirit, come amongst in power to bring conviction of sin, repentance and a turning of many to Christ
  2. Holy Spirit, come amongst us as a purifying fire to burn up all sin, ungodliness, apathy and anything else that is unpleasing to God
  3. Holy Spirit, distribute amongst us the gifts of speaking in tongues, prophecy and the interpretation of tongues
  4. Holy Spirit, distribute amongst us the gifts of words of knowledge, words of faith and the discerning of spirits
  5. Holy Spirit, distribute amongst us the gifts of faith, miracles and healings

15th – 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 - Revealed by God’s Spirit

  1. Reveal to us as we wait upon you, your  plans and purposes for our individual lives, helping us to make the right choices so we walk in the perfect destiny you have for us
  2. As we read your Word, O God, reveal to us ever-deeper things about yourself
  3. Give us words of knowledge and of wisdom that bring revelation into the lives of unbelievers causing them to recognise there is a God whom they must come to know personally
  4. Holy Spirit, move us to prophesy so that our fellow believers may be strengthened, encouraged and comforted
  5. Speak to us, Holy Spirit for your servants are listening

16th – 1 Corinthians 2:11-13 - Taught by the Spirit

  1. Teach us to be obedient at all times to our King into whose kingdom we have come through faith in him
  2. Teach us to be faithful in all our doings, so that our ‘yes’ means ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ means ‘no’
  3. Teach us to be a people who exercise a faith that can see great answers to prayer
  4. Teach us, Holy Spirit, the wisdom of when to speak and when to say nothing
  5. Bring to our remembrance all the things we have learned, whether through reading your Word or listening to preaching and teaching, so that put everything into practice

17th – 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 – Having the mind of Christ

  1. Give us the mind of Christ that is always obedient to the will of our heavenly Father
  2. Give us the mind of Christ that causes us to exercise true and powerful servanthood
  3. Give us the mind of Christ that hates sin and self-centredness, but rather seeks the good of others
  4. Give us the mind of Christ that can trust you to move in powerful gifts of the Holy Spirit
  5. Give us the mind of Christ that can always say, “Not my will but yours be done heavenly Father”

18th – 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 – Desire the solid spiritual food

  1. Renew daily within us, O God, the desire to read your Word and thereby to grow daily in our spiritual lives
  2. For those among us who are neglecting to read the Word of God, put a hunger in their spirits to desire to know you more through reading your Word
  3. Bless and anoint all those in the church who teach the Word of God, whether to adults, youth or children causing them to so reveal God’s Word that many lives are changed
  4. Bless and anoint all our discipleship cell group leaders and cause them to have continuing revelation and insights into how best to facilitate the spiritual growth of their cell group
  5. We pray that the preaching of your Word each Sunday would cause the seed to grow into great spiritual fruit in the lives of each of us

19th – 1 Corinthians 3:3-4 - Worldly Christians

  1. For all those in the church who have one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom of heaven, Holy Spirit help them see the folly of their actions
  2. If there is anything within our own lives and practices that is still worldly, search our hearts, reveal it to us and enable us to put it right, O God
  3. Help us to hunger and thirst after your righteous ways, O Lord our God
  4. Help all those in our midst whose lives are being held back from knowing the full blessings of God because they are not fully committed to God
  5. Cause there to be a hunger in the heart of each one of us to seek only after the ways of God for our lives

20th  – 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 – Each to do his part

  1. Help us to know the calling you have put on each of our lives so that we can serve you effectively in working to our individual strengths
  2. Bless and anoint all those in the church who have practical ministries, helping them to use those abilities to further the growth of the kingdom of God
  3. Bless and anoint all those who have charismatic gifts, helping them to use them effectively for the building and extension of your kingdom. O Lord
  4. Bless and anoint each member of the church who has an evangelistic ministry and multiply the fruit of their labours and cause them to lead many to Christ
  5. Bless and anoint all those in the church who have pastoral giftings and help them to build up and edify all those in the church

21st  – 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 Careful what we build

  1. Holy Spirit, help us in all we do, to do it out of love for Jesus and not for selfish motives
  2. Help us to correctly discern the true meaning of the Word of God so that we may not fall into heresy or wander from your pathway of truth
  3. May all we do in seeking to build the church of Jesus Christ be for the glory of God and not for the glory of man
  4. Be at the centre of our lives and of the church continually, Lord Jesus
  5. Lord,  keep us teachable, so that if we make mistakes we have the humility to listen to correction

22nd – 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 - The christian and judgment (1)

  1. Teach us how to walk in the fear of the Lord
  2. Cause us to remember, Lord Jesus, that one day, as christians, we will each stand before your throne in judgment and may that influence our life now on earth in a positive way
  3. Although as believers we will not be judged for our sin, but for the measure of our faithfulness, so help us to be faithful to you in all our ways
  4. Help guide us so that the things we do here on earth will be of such eternal value, that on the day they are tested by you in judgment, they will not be burned up as worthless

5.   Enable us to be spiritually fruitful whilst here on earth so we will have much more than our salvation when we stand   before your throne, Lord Jesus,

23rd – 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 – The christian and judgment (2)

  1. Lord, help us to be faithful to you in the way we talk
  2. Lord, help us to be faithful to you in every aspect of our conduct and behaviour
  3. Lord, help us to be faithful to you by seeking to develop the fruit of the Spirit in our lives in any and every situation
  4. Lord, help us be faithful to your ways in every aspect of our family lives and relationships
  5. Lord, help us be faithful to you in every area of our lives in the workplace

24th – 1 Corinthians 3:16-23- The church as temple of the Holy Spirit

  1. Lord, teach us the true depth of the meaning of “holiness” so we live as those you have set apart to be  holy
  2. We pray that the manifest presence of God will be seen and felt whenever your people meet to worship you each Sunday
  3. We pray that the manifest presence of God will be evident whenever your people meet in each of our discipleship cells, causing us to desire to walk with the Lord
  4. We pray that the manifest presence of God will be evident wherever and whenever your people meet together, in the streets, in homes or at places of work
  5. Lord, help us not to be like the church at Laodicea, where you had to stand outside the door and knock to come in and we now welcome your presence amongst us

25th – 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 – Trust and faithfulness

  1. Make us a people, O Lord, whose word is our bond
  2. Teach us to be faithful in all the small things so that we will automatically be faithful in the greater things
  3. Help us to be faithful even when no-one is watching, but rather, knowing that you are watching, O God, we do everything as unto you
  4. In the ministries we carry out in the church, cause us to be faithful and trustworthy so that we do not cause stress and distress to others
  5. Help us realise, O Lord that as we prove faithful in the little things, you will then start to entrust us with much greater things

26th – 1 Corinthians 4:3-4 Having a clear conscience

  1. Let the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord
  2. Holy Spirit, continually speak to our consciences and reveal anything that grieves you so that we may put it right
  3. If there is any unconfessed sin in our lives, reveal it to us, Holy Spirit, so that we may  deal with it and not grieve you
  4. If there is anyone we need to forgive, bring them to our minds now, Holy Spirit and help us to release them from our resentment
  5. Search us, O Lord and know our hearts and may we seek to conform with your will and your ways so that we may walk in the pathways of righteousness

27th – 1 Corinthians 4:5-7 Hidden in darkness

  1. Lord, enable us to examine ourselves to see where we are found wanting, so that you do not have to bring discipline to our lives
  2. Expose anything within us that hinders the moving of your Holy Spirit in our lives, we pray
  3. Expose anything in the church that may grieve your Holy Spirit, O God, so that nothing will hinder all that you desire to do amongst us
  4. Teach us to abhor sin and everything that would not be pleasing to Jesus
  5. Help us to take every opportunity to be the light of the world in the darkness of the society in which we now find ourselves

28th -  1 Corinthians 4:8-13 Suffering for Christ’s sake

  1. Give us your strength to overcome in any situation as we remember that you never promised us an easy life in this world, but rather that you would never leave us
  2. When we go through trials, cause us to remember that you often use such situations to enable our faith to grow, so may such times of “fire” refine and purify us like gold
  3. Give grace for this hour to all those of your children we know who are suffering in one way or another right now and may we be a help and comfort to them in their time of need
  4. Strengthen us as we remember your Word that reminds us that the sufferings of this present world are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us
  5. Strengthen the suffering church throughout the world in their time of trial who are being killed, tortured and persecuted simply because they follow Christ

29th – 1 Corinthians 4:14-17 Imitate me

  1. Lord, may we be walking so close to you that we are able to say to new Christians, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.”
  2. Lord, forgive us when we have been a bad witness and example and teach us to be conscious that we are to walk in your ways every moment of the day
  3. Help us to guard our words so that what we speak is always constructive and done in love and not destructive, even when we have to rebuke
  4. Help each of us in our Christian witness, especially when we are with unbelievers, so that our actions do not contradict our words of witness about Christ
  5. Help each of our fathers and mothers to be good role models to their children, demonstrating to their children what a true follower of Jesus is like, in any and every situation

30th  – 1 Corinthians 4:18-21 The Kingdom of God

  1. Help us to demonstrate the truth of your Word, not merely by talk but with a demonstration of your power
  2. Help us to be good stewards of the gifts of your Holy Spirit so that you are able to trust us with great responsibility
  3. Lord, we pray once again, “Let your kingdom come let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
  4. We take authority in Jesus name over every enemy spirit power that is seeking to oppose the expansion of the kingdom of God through our church commanding them to flee
  5. Build your church in our midst, Lord Jesus, and let not the gates of Hades prevail against it