Prayer focus for August 5-10, 2012
Galatians 5:1 tells us to stand fast in the freedom for which Christ has made us free and not to be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Paul is talking to the people about not returning to a system of religious works to try and gain right-standing with the Father but to hold on to the freedom He has given us.
I pray God's people don't slip into the deception of thinking that simple outward "acceptable" behavior means a person has had a change of heart and is right with God. It's not about outward behavior, but what's in the heart. Many are driven by guilt and regret instead of allowing the love, forgiveness and mercy of God to cleanse them from dead religious works. We can never be good or perfect enough in our behavior to deserve a place of right-standing with God. It's only by trusting in Jesus Christ and the fact that He paid the price for our sin will we ever be able to be cleansed from a consciousness of guilt. Guilt and regret will drive you and interfere with the Spirit of God being able to lead you.
Oftentimes it's religious leaders who, often unknowingly, oppress the people by portraying a distorted view of the Father. They are not preaching the good news that Jesus Christ has provided for our forgiveness. God is not holding our sin against us. (2 Corinthians 5:19). This is good news! Most likely those who try and oppress people religiously are often driven by their own frustration and disgust at their own imperfection. They are afraid to trust God and let go, allowing people to be free in Christ.
I pray for freedom for all of God's people in Waterford and the surrounding area. That we all let go of our own efforts to become righteous. That we don't oppress others by expecting certain behavior from them. But that we come to understand in a greater way the love of God, His forgiveness and mercy, and allow that to cleanse us from our distorted view of the Father.