Prayer Focus: March 2013

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Released 1 March 2013

‘And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God' Micah 6:8 (NIV).
‘May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it' 1 Thessalonians 5:23-34 (NIV).

Reflection 1
‘We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.'
Doctrine 10 (the Doctrine of Holiness), The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine, 2010, page xvi
Doctrine 10 of The Salvation Army's 11 doctrines of faith indicates that sanctification by grace through faith enables holy living.

A holiness to be lived out in mission
‘The holy life is expressed through a healing, life-giving and loving ministry. It is the life of Christ which we live out in mission. God sanctifies his people not only in order that they will be marked by his character, but also in order that the world will be marked by that character. God changes the structures of society through a variety of means, but he changes them as well through the mission of his sanctified people, empowered and gifted by his Holy Spirit.

‘The mission of God's holy people encompasses evangelism, service and social action. It is the holy love of God, expressed in the heart and life of his people, pointing the world to Christ, inviting the world to saving grace, serving the world with Christ's compassion and attacking social evils. Holiness leads to mission.

‘Sanctification by grace through faith is the privilege and calling of all who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and who accept the power of the Holy Spirit to lead a life of holiness.'
The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine, 2010, page 198

‘Gracious Lord, thy grace apply,
Both to save and sanctify;
All my life wilt thou control,
Calmly ordering the whole,
That the world may ever see
Christ, and only Christ, in me.'
The Song Book of The Salvation Army 479 v 3

Reflection 2
Holiness and works

‘The experience of holiness results from the indwelling and work of the Holy Spirit in the life of Christians as they are open to him. It leads to growing discipleship and changed patterns of living as the life of Christ infuses and transforms their human life. As believers grow in holiness, both individually and in community with other Christians, their lifestyle will reflect this growth. Commitment to worship and personal devotion will be accompanied by commitment to God's mission in the world by evangelism, social service and social action. However, works of piety or compassion cannot achieve or earn holiness, but are its effects.'
The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine, 2010, pages 220-221

God, through your Holy Spirit help us to see ourselves and the way we live in our world with honesty and bravery. May our acts of worship encompass a joy in all your creation and acceptance of our responsibility to it and for it. Help us to show a reflection of your love, grace and mercy through our interaction with and on behalf of others. Teach us how to nurture our environment in a way that reflects a gratitude for your provision for us, your gift to us.

Reflection 3
Ethical and social consequences

‘However, for humanity, holiness is not only concerned with separation, but also has a moral dimension as the believer begins to reflect the character of God. Holiness stresses the ethical and social consequences of salvation. It focuses on the grace of God as a costly grace which calls for changed attitudes, motivation and lifestyle as we begin to reflect the character of God in our daily living.'
The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine, 2010, page 200

Lord, none of us live to ourselves. We are part of some dimension of community. May our lives, through the work of your Holy Spirit reflect the character of God in our daily living. A lifestyle which recognises and responds to the ethical and social consequences of living as a forgiven person, set free from the limitations of sin and set free to be engaged fully in our world. To serve, to influence, to act against injustice as we see it. Lord, through your Holy Spirit help us to embrace this freedom and be a reflection of your character in our world.

Reflection 4
Call to holiness

‘Helpful or unhelpful as definitions may be, the call to holiness in all its dimensions reminds us that the holy life necessarily involves personal, relational, social and political attitudes. The experience of holiness isn't merely a very blessed spiritual feeling on a Sunday morning. If it is anything at all, it has its outworking in everyday life, seven days a week. Holiness demands that we get our hands dirty while asking God to keep our hearts clean. It must make a defining difference as to how we live and to the people we are.'
Called to be God's People, Robert Street, 2008, page 84

Holy Spirit, we choose to live as your children. Help us to define the changes we need to make in our thinking and our actions to truly reflect you. Help us to live as catalysts for change in our community. Change that brings hope to the hopeless, freedom to the captive and clarity of sight to those who live in darkness. This type of engagement means we must be sure of who we are in you and mature in nature and also emotionally. Help us to seek and find the wholeness of sanctified living that sets us free to be all that we can be and then free to do all that we can do. A life fully given over to you, a life fully lived in community, a life of endless possibility.

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