Loving Father, even as bright and blinding as it might seem to us – open our eyes to see your way, our example, given in her life of Jesus Christ. Give us – your children, your saints, your chosen, your elect, your remnant – the strength and power and love and self control to walk in His footsteps. Demonstrate to the world, the difference between a child of darkness and a child of light, so that more might see past those imposters who claim your name but do not seek you or know you. Make it clear even to the the foolish the ways of the lost, the hypocrite, and the faithful.
Let us walk in your Holy Spirit as the faithful – not treating our advocate as an excuse for our sin, but as a humbling reminder of our reliance upon the Holy Spirit to provide the power, love, and self-control that guides our steps. Do not let us be the ones who profess with our mouths but never confess with our hearts. Do not let us be the ones who claim your godly name and title, but who deny the very power that can make us godly.
We ask you humbly, Lord, to send more laborers – whose ears will be opened to hear your Word, whose heart’s will be open to love your ways, whose desires will be open to obey your wise guidance, and whose hands will be open to lift up each other in encouragement, accountability, and equipping one another. We are eager to see the enemies retreating back into the darkness. We patiently wait for your return, renewing our strength.
Teach us discernment so that we might seek you with an abandon and an unwavering and undivided loyalty to your purpose – knowing and appreciating the value of your eternal blessings (those fruit of the Holy Spirit) as opposed to the temporary and relative worthlessness of the things of this world. Teach us the heavy responsibility of stewardship, the high cost of discipleship, the weighty matters of forgiveness – so that we can better realize the immeasurable bounds of your grace and mercy and discover that while heavy, none of these are burdensome when relying on your strength.
Teach us to be children of light, as we become more and more like our teacher, as we are reconciled and drawn closer and closer to our love, our life, our portion, and our prize, Jesus Christ.
Like Paul, on that road to Damascus, let us be blinded by the light so that we might be healed, restored, and put into deeper service. Like Peter, let our heads dip under the waves only momentarily as you teach us the next lesson and lead us out into deeper waters. Like Thomas, let the humbling but loving and gentle rebuke of our doubts be replaced with a renewed faith and purpose and direction.
Do not let us go the way of the purse holder, the betrayer, the one who turned back, the one who loves the world more than Christ, the one who choose darkness instead of light – but let us head off towards our meeting with our cross, our death, and our resurrection.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:14-16 NLT
Children of Darkness
With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. But that isn’t what you learned about Christ.
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.
Warnings Against Traps & How to Escape
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:17-32 NLT