Praying Philippians 3
1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. 2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh- 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith- 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Praying for a Cross Centered Life
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help me find my joy and happiness in You and Your Son above all else. Please strip me of all sinful pride I carry in my heart. Forgive me for the times when I have thought my “good deeds” have raised my stock in Your. Philippians 3 has reminded me that the only thing that gives me favor before Your sight is Jesus. Forgive me for obeying Your Word in effort to earn You or Your favor. Remind me that only in Your Son can I truly find life and hope. Thank you for your Son. Thank you for providing what I never could through Jesus. Help me to see any accomplishments in this life as loss and utter trash when I compare them to you and your Son. Strengthen my heart to value Jesus more than anything in this life. Make the heart beat of my life to be a desire to know Jesus, gain Jesus, be found in Jesus, and become like Jesus. Give me a passion to know Jesus intimately so I can appreciate His beauty and even think as He does. Help me to find my identity in Jesus. Give me a Gospel-centered perspective that reminds me that while my identity as a husband, father, pastor, and employee are important, they all pale in comparison to my identity as one whom Jesus has tasted death for. Let me always see myself as a sinner saved by Your grace. I pray this perspective helps me live as Jesus in every aspect of my life. As I pursue Jesus by Your grace help me to make Jesus my goal. I know I have not achieved full maturity, but help me to press on towards it out of love for the One who sustains and holds me, Jesus.
I pray you empower me to live out this pursuit of Jesus with the same power you raised Jesus from the dead with. Mold me into Jesus’ image even if it means bringing pain in the process. Help me to see the glory ahead of me as infinitely greater than the temporary pain I will face as You grow me. Open my eyes to selfish pursuits. Give me a hatred for sin so that I will be eager to die it. Help me to see Jesus as the ultimate prize in my life that is worth more than anything else this life could ever offer. Give me a sense of urgency to pursue Jesus with all I have all the time. Convict me when I am tempted to to take breaks and pursue the things of this world. Help me to look beyond my past and to strain forward to what lies ahead as I have Jesus as my goal. Give me endurance so that this pursuit may be a life long pursuit. I recognize I can never accomplish this. Thank you for being there to uphold me when I can’t uphold myself. In all of this let me find my joy in You and Jesus. You are everything!
In Jesus' name,
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