Prayer To Walk in Holiness
“We misunderstand and distort reality when we take ourselves as the starting point and our present situation as the basic datum.”
— Eugene Peterson, in *Leadership Journal* magazine.
God calls us to be holy. After all, God is holy. (Most of us just assume that, but in the Bible they're so awestruck by God, they keep saying it : 1 Peter 1:15-16; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:4). When we speak of the 'Holy Spirit', we're saying the Spirit is holy.
If we are 'indwelt' and even 'filled' with the Spirit, does it mean holiness is in us? But what is holiness? Following the law? A saintly countenance? A quietude people can see? Churchly achievement? Excellent performance? Good deeds? Good PR? Being super nice to everyone?
The holy life is simply living as someone who belongs to God and who lives by the vision of the Kingdom of God. Were it only so simple. For we, on our own, don't have much to work with.
We can't rightly envision what a life of holiness is, and even if we could, we couldn't get ourselves to be that way. So, the Spirit brings us into the holiness of Jesus. (I'm not talking about a holiness '' Jesus' or a holiness in Jesus' style.
Thanks to the Spirit working through your faith, Jesus is really there with you and within you, giving you Jesus's holiness.)
Some Christians emphasize biblical standards of holiness. Some call this legalism, and unfortunately sometimes it is legalism. Firmer roots for personal holiness grow when we recognize that we are broken creatures, through and through. Even our vision of what makes for holiness is marred and twisted.
We start growing in Christ as we learn we are strangers to God's ways. This leaves us no recourse but to prayerfully listen for the Spirit's leading. Without the Spirit's work, we not only cannot know God, but we also fail to discover our true selves.
The Spirit, through the Bible, shows us what a God-pleasing life is, and leads us to want to live it and treasure it.God doesn't get appeased by your doing good things, any more than by sacrifice of a virgin or conquest of a nation. God's not impressed. God does better things in the first minute of each morning than anything we ever did.
If you need Godliness, only God has it, so only God can give it to you. It is 'earned' in a sense, but only by what Christ did. And through what Christ did, his life, death, and transcendence of death, God gave it to you.
The light shines on you, and from there it reflects onto everything else.
“We live in a strange society where we make documentaries of serial killers, movie idols organized crime members, authors political crooks, and role models criminals who beat the system…. I don't know when crime went from being news to entertainment, but somehow it's made the transition.”
Are we 'without form and void'? Does the world, the culture, the people around us set our shape for us? If so, the Spirit isn't shaping us. We'd be more an amoeba than a Christian or a human being. A shapeless lump of a church isn't one that follows the Spirit. A Christian chameleon who blends in with his/her surroundings isn't a Christian at all.
Eventually, they regenerate into a degenerate, improve a newly-repackaged product, renovate into a crack house, and become as just as the fine print in a contract. wise, any group that tries to be everything in general and nothing in particular isn't worth being a part of. Those who believe in Christ are called to live out the Kingdom.
It's different from the others, distinct, holy.
How does the Kingdom stack up with today's moral climate? Think of the attitudes which are becoming more common nowadays:
How does the Kingdom stack up with today's moral climate? Think of the attitudes which are becoming more common nowadays:
- “It's only a crime if I get caught.”
- “Become big enough to get away with it.”
- “I've got to come it looking good.”
- “Go do it; you can always cover up the consequences.”
- “It's better to be believed than it is to be truthful.”
- “Rules are made to be broken by me and used against others.”
This is the stuff that's filling our minds. Many people even call it “getting real”, because 'this is how the real world is'. But there's nothing 'real' about it. It is all about seeming to be what you aren't. What's 'real' about that? In the eyes of God, the Ultimate Reality:
- God knows even your inmost thoughts, thus you are so “caught”;
- You can't get anywhere near big enough to throw your weight around with God;
- God doesn't care what it 'looks ', only what it is;
- Your cover-ups have consequences too, and the more you cover up the cover-ups of your cover-ups, the greater and more deadly the consequences will be;
- God doesn't believe; God knows, holds to the truth, and calls on us to hold to it too;
- Rules are made so you stay aware that you are not God, and so we all don't have to be as good as God in order to live reasonably well with each other.
Holiness and Holeyness
You can't be made holy if you're worrying about protecting yourself or about getting success or sex or fame or power, or even keeping up an image as a 'holy man'. Your life becomes more holey than holy.
There's just no place for that before the God who ultimately determines your safety, success, or power. God wants you to really 'get real'.
The emperor Ego has no clothes, and the Spirit is the little boy who has the sense to say so.
|“My obligation is to do the right thing. The rest is in God's hands.” — Martin Luther King Jr.|
Holiness Within a Larger Context
Living holy is not only pleasing to God, it is displeasing to those who work evil in the world. To live as a follower of Christ and to love your neighbors as yourself is an act of spiritual warfare against evil. The struggle can be waged by acts as simple as :
- telling the truth instead of lying,
- treating people with respect instead of cussing them out,
- listening instead of blowing them off,
- deciding against spreading the juicy gossip you've heard,
- ordering vegetable juice instead of a daiquiri.
It could be :
- some gentle words for your girlfriend,
- a helping hand to an elderly woman in a store,
- simple 'thank yous' to the people who've helped you along,
- an act of kindness to a stranger, just to be kind,
- keeping your lifestyle simpler and less upper-class than your neighbor's.
You could choose to do something else, and the idea wouldn't be from the Devil. But that idea would still have to be chosen *against* when there is a more Christ response to be chosen *for*. Thus it could be something :
- choosing not to throw your punch or draw your knife,
- choosing not to walk out on your marriage,
- choosing not to abort your child,
- choosing to stop trying to be a star so you can have time to work with troubled teens,
- choosing not to step all over your colleagues to get promoted.
Even that which you are allowed to do, which you are morally justified in doing, which would make your life easier, which would give you more success or more control over your life — even those things are to be turned away, if there is a more Godly choice to make. These spiritual struggles are fought in you and in the parts of society around you, every moment of every day. When Christ says “Follow me”, He is showing you the way forward for a holy life.
back to the Top
|“As long as we think we can save ourselves by our own will power, we will only make the evil in us stronger than ever.” — Heini Arnold, *Freedom From Sinful Thoughts* (Plough, 1973), p.82|
Thinking about you and God? Try these pages :
“When He wore a crown of thorns, do you wish to wear a crown of gold?”
Johann Arndt, *True Christianity*.
“Being unable to cure death, wretchedness and ignorance, men have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things.”
“Frightful this is in a sense, but it is true, and every one who has merely some little knowledge of the human heart can verify it: there is nothing to which a man holds so desperately as to his sin.”
“The reigning cliche of the day is that in order to love others one must first learn to love oneself.
This formulation — love thyself, then thy neighbor — is a license for unremitting self-indulgence, because the quest for self-love is endless.
By the time you have finally learned to love yourself, you'll find yourself playing golf at Leisure World.”
Charles Krauthammer in *Time* magazine, 28 June 1993
“[Spirituality] arises from a creative and dynamic synthesis of faith and life, forged in the crucible of the desire to live out the Christian faith authentically, responsibly, effectively, and fully.”
Alister McGrath, *Christian Spirituality*
“Everyone thinks of changing humanity, and no one thinks of changing himself.”
“Pietists believe that evangelism is the preaching of the Law, to show man what he is in himself, and of the Gospel, to show how differently God now sees him in Christ and his responsibility to live in this new light. This is the theology of Word and Sacrament — a creative 'can do' which replaces that 'can't do' of the Law.
We reject the cognitive theory of religion that says a man can learn what is right and follow it. We also reject that peculiar…. idea that says when you know the right theology you have reached the goal. We hold that a belief which does not accomplish change has not been assimilated and cannot be classified as Luther's 'true and living faith.
“I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed.”
“Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but live for it.”
Charles Caleb Colton
“For perfection, it is better for us to go through the crucible and conquer ourselves; to love God, it is better not to be perfect. How much better it is to be with Him than to compose one's perfection.”
Eugraph Kovalevsky, *A Method Of Prayer* (Praxis, 1993)
J. B. Phillips, *Plain Christianity*
Illumine our minds, our souls inspire Vouchsafe to us love's holy fire Thy wondrous pow'r on us bestow, That we in grace and strength may grow.
“Creator, Spirit, Heavenly Dove”, verse 3
(unknown 8th cent., translated by Luther into German, later translated into English)
“Glory be to 'the Holy Ghost.' Oh, I'm full of spirit, I am not unenlightened. I also have feeling, heart, sentiment, and imagination. But do I ever hold still in order that the wholly Other may fill me with his Spirit and give me a sense of the true priorities in life?”
Helmut Thielicke (as published in *Leadership Journal*, Fall 95)
“Holiness is a state of soul in which all the powers of the body and mind are consciously given up to God.”
“You may as well quit reading and hearing the Word of God, and give it to the devil, if you do not desire to live according to it.”
For further reading on holiness:
ver.: 02 January 2015
What Holiness Is. Copyright © 1996-2015 by Robert Longman.
What Is A Prayer Walk?
Have you ever heard of a prayer walk? What is it? What does it mean and how should we do it?
What is Prayer Walking?
Simply put, prayer walking is praying while you walk. Where we walk, we pray, and in our own community a few years ago we walked throughout the community and prayed for those who don’t know Jesus Christ in a personal, saving relationship.
It is fine to know Jesus or to know about Jesus but to have a personal relationship with Jesus means that there was a time in a person’s life when they choose to turn away from and forsake their sins (called repentance) and the put their trust in Christ. That is what we pray for when we walk through our cities and towns.
That people would come to see their need for the Savior and that they will have the wrath of God on them for disbelieving in Jesus (John 3:36b). That is what we pray for when we walk through our cities and towns.
Why Prayer Walk?
The prayers of those praying while they walk are intercessory prayers, asking for God to intercede on behalf of the lost for God to send them His Spirit to convict them of their sins and to see that they are separated from a holy God by their sins at the present time (Isaiah 59:1-2).
Prayer walking is not knocking on doors, handing out Bible tracts, or doing street evangelism. It is simply walking the streets where they know lost people live and that’s just about everywhere. It is the very same mission that Jesus said that He came for; “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
Paul wrote “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst” (1st Tim 1:15). If you or your church is not on mission to seek and to save the lost then you are living out the “great omission” instead of obeying the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).
Do we care enough that people are dying every day without Christ and that they will spend all eternity separated from God under His judgment (Rev 20:12-15)?
Starting a Prayer Walk
Starting a prayer walk is just as easy as…walking! There is no hard and fast rule when you are prayer walking. You might want to have someone go with you to pray with you, either silently or verbally.
You don’t have to have someone with you and neither must you have more than two. Talk to your pastor or the leader of the outreach committee if you have one. If you don’t have an outreach committee, you only have to ask someone to go with you and pray as you walk.Ask others if they’d be interested and then find a map of your community or neighborhood and have different people cover different areas so that the whole town or community can be covered in prayer.
As the others cover the streets in the city or town, met together to fill in the areas of the maps that you and others have already prayer walked in.
Is Prayer Walking Biblical?
There is no biblical command to prayer walk. It is not found in the Bible but praying is and the command from Paul in 1st Thessalonians says “pray without ceasing” (5:17) so this would seem to fit nicely into the idea of prayer walking.
Prayer is essential for the believer but it is critical to the corporate body of Christ at the local level, which is the church. Jesus said that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
So now we have these two commands telling us that we must “pray without ceasing” and that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart” so why not take it to the streets?
Pray for Open Doors
Paul once sought prayer from the Colossians saying “Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains” (Col 4:3).
Paul walked hundreds of miles in his missionary work around the Roman Empire and there is no doubt that he prayed while walking such as for the different churches and for an open door so that opportunities would be provided to reveal the plan of God through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Paul sought the prayers of the saints so that he might be able to proclaim Christ to the lost and said “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” (Eph 6:19-20).
Paul states that we are all really ambassadors God who represent the King of the kingdom and in 2nd Corinthians 5:20 he said “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
” What was Paul saying? God is making His appeal through us and if not us, who? He said we “implore” you which is basically saying he is making a very serious or emotional request of us as if to beg urgently or piteously as for aid to do something and in this case it is for prayer.
It is an act of mercy since God had mercy on us.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas.
Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.
32 Great Christian Quotes About Holiness
Of all the Christian quote subjects available I believe holiness is the most talked about. It is a subject upon which some Christians disagree. Some believe that we must be completely holy here on earth to merit a place in Heaven.
Others believe that holiness is not at all necessary in our Christian walk, they believe that all of our sins, past, present and future are forgiven so we can live however we .
And still others believe that once we come to know Jesus as Savior that we will spend the rest of our earthly life desiring to follow the Holy Spirit Whom leads us to be holy, in fact that true and complete holiness is progressive and only complete when we are in Heaven.
I love the featured quote below by J.C. Ryle which sums it up best. I pray that as you read these Christian quotes about holiness that you are able to reflect upon your relationship with the Lord.
Featured Christian Quote About Holiness: “Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God’s judgment, hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word. ” ~ J.C. Ryle
Holiness – A.W. Tozer, Preacher & Writer
No man should desire to be happy who is not at the same time holy. He should spend his efforts in seeking to know and do the will of God, leaving to Christ the matter of how happy he should be.
The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people.
A Pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself, but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself.
Wise leaders should have known that the human heart cannot exist in a vacuum. If Christians are forbidden to enjoy the wine of the Spirit they will turn to the wine of the flesh….Christ died for our hearts and the Holy Spirit wants to come and satisfy them.
Holiness – Andrew Murray, Preacher
The greatest test of whether the holiness we profess to seek or to attain is truth and life will be whether it produces an increasing humility in us. In man, humility is the one thing needed to allow God’s holiness to dwell in him and shine through him. The chief mark of counterfeit holiness is lack of humility. The holiest will be the humblest.
Nowhere can we get to know the holiness of God, and come under His influence and power, except in the inner chamber. It has been well said: “No man can expect to make progress in holiness who is not often and long alone with God.”
Just as a servant knows that he must first obey his master in all things, so the surrender to an implicit and unquestionable obedience must become the essential characteristic of our livesLet it be your business every day, in the secrecy of the inner chamber, to meet the holy God. You will be repaid for the trouble it may cost you. The reward will be sure and rich.
Do not strive in your own strength; cast yourself at the feet of the Lord Jesus, and wait upon Him in the sure confidence that He is with you, and works in you. Strive in prayer; let faith fill your heart-so will you be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Holiness – Jim & Elisabeth Elliot, Missionaries
Holiness has never been the driving force of the majority. It is, however, mandatory for anyone who wants to enter the kingdom. (Elisabeth)
I may no longer depend on pleasant impulses to bring me before the Lord. I must rather response to principles I know to be right, whether I feel them to be enjoyable or not. (Jim)
I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it. (Elisabeth)
Grieve not, then, if your sons seem to desert you, but rejoice, rather, seeing the will of God done gladly. (Jim)
God is God. Because he is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to. (Elisabeth)
Holiness – J.C. Ryle, Pastor & Writer
We must be holy, because this is the only sound evidence that we have a saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
I cannot see how any man deserves to be called “holy,” who willfully allows himself in sins, and is not humbled and ashamed because of them.I should as soon expect a farmer to prosper in business who contented himself with sowing his fields and never looking at them till harvest, as expect a believer to attain much holiness who was not diligent about his Bible reading, his prayers, and the use of his Sundays.
I am convinced that the first step towards attaining a higher standard of holiness is to realize more fully the amazing sinfulness of sin.
Holiness – Charles Stanley, Pastor
Renewing the mind is a little refinishing furniture. It is a two-stage process. It involves taking off the old and replacing it with the new.
The old is the lies you have learned to tell or were taught by those around you; it is the attitudes and ideas that have become a part of your thinking but do not reflect reality. The new is the truth.
To renew your mind is to involve yourself in the process of allowing God to bring to the surface the lies you have mistakenly accepted and replace them with truth. To the degree that you do this, your behaviour will be transformed.
I’m convinced that the man who has learned to meditate upon the Lord will be able to run on his feet and walk in his spirit. Although he may be hurried by his vocation, that’s not the issue. The issue is how fast his spirit is going. To slow it down takes a period of time.
A Christian has no right being in a fight unless it’s a spiritual fight.
Holiness – Rick Warren, Pastor
Who are you going to live for – yourself or God?
The closer you live to God, the smaller everything else appears.
God does not want you to become a God; he wants you to become godly – taking on his values, attitudes, and character.
Christness is your eventual destination, but your journey will last a lifetime.
Holiness – Charles Spurgeon, Pastor & Writer
Be dogmatically true, obstinately holy, immovably honest, desperately kind, fixed upright.
I believe the holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him.
A faith which works not for purification will work for putrefaction. Unless our faith makes us pine after holiness, it is no better than the faith of devils, and perhaps it is not even so good as that. A holy man is the workmanship of the Holy Spirit.I have now concentrated all my prayers into one, and that one prayer is this, that I may die to self, and live wholly to Him.
If you think you can walk in holiness without keeping up perpetual fellowship with Christ, you have made a great mistake. If you would be holy, you must live close to Jesus.
In proportion as a church is holy, in that proportion will its testimony for Christ be powerful.
Gathering these quotes has really made me think about holiness and how it relates to me. It must be a habit to choose holiness over unholiness if we are to progress from the old man to the new man. It is a choice and when we make the right choice we will have an abundant life (John 10:10).
Read more about holiness here: What is Sanctification?
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as: Christian Quotes, Holiness
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