Updated: Dec 9, 2021
As someone that came to know Christ in a saving way as a young adult, I can still recall the times when the desires of my flesh ruled in my heart. Comfort, amusement, and selfishness were at center stage in me. But, even when we do make the commitment to follow Him, the Bible instructs us to acknowledge our sin nature every day.
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
PRAYER TIP #38 - Daily Denial of Ourselves
On this side of eternity, it is a daily choice to be wholly fulfilled by God because we are so liable to find our pleasures elsewhere. John Piper says it like this, "The call for self denial teaches the pursuit of satisfaction in God." When we crucify the desires of our flesh, only then are we able to experience the true joy of holy contentment in God the Father.
Before getting married last month, one of the most profound pieces of advice given to me was to wake up every day and ask the Lord to help me die to myself and my desires. The union that my husband and I have now will flourish and be better off when we are able to deny our selfishness and commit to selflessness. This advice is valuable not only in navigating marriage, but also in our lives as Christians. 1 Peter chapter 4 says, "Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin." Our fleshly desires are to be nailed to the cross just as Jesus Himself was.
Prayer Points - (Pray over these requests)
Give praise to God for saving us from the power of our sin that remains very active in our flesh.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you deny yourself on a daily basis.
Thank Him for His overwhelming care and love for us even as we are tempted by our flesh.
Help us to be fully satisfied in our Heavenly Father and His goodness.
Suggested Prayer - (Pray these words in your heart or out loud):
Dear Lord, we are in awe of You. Thank You for sending Jesus to save us from our sin. We ask You to help us by Your power to deny ourselves and our earthly desires. We understand that You have a place for us in eternity, but on earth we are still tempted to satisfy our flesh. Give us the strength and discipline to take up our cross daily as You have commanded us. We want to be fully satisfied in You alone, God. We want to live to please You and You alone, despite our sin nature. Your Son died for us so that we may die to ourselves every day. Help us by Your Spirit to live according to Your ways.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen