who live according to the law of the Lord! (Psalm 119:1 HCSB)
Patrick prayed, "this day be within and without me." He knew that Christ was within him, and he wanted his inward attitudes and outward actions to make Christ's presence obvious. Look at Paul's prayer in Philippians 1:
I pray this: that your love will keep on growing
in knowledge and every kind of discernment,
so that you can determine what really matters
and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ,
to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-10)
Paul wanted his converts to learn God's will and do it. He urged them to "work out your own salvation"--not work for your salvation, but put it into practice. He said that it is God working in us who enable us to do this:
Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions],
so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence
but much more because I am absent,
work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete)
your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling
(self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience,
watchfulness against temptation,
timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).
[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you
[energizing and creating in you the power and desire],
both to will and to work for His good pleasure
and satisfaction and delight.
(Philippians 2:12-13 AMP)
I chose the word "godliness" to represent this prayer topic, as I ask for wisdom and power to follow God, and choose to act in accordance with His will instead of my own. The word also implies a reverence and respect for God (as mentioned in Philippians 2:12-13).
O Perfect Lord,
Teach me Your commands
and empower me to keep them.
Plant and nourish the fruit of righteousness within me,
filling me with the knowledge of Your will.
I am revisiting the themes of several of my books as I seek to “just be with Jesus." Today's post is adapted from my book Sacred Signposts. I am putting aside lengthy readings for a season, and instead looking for one word or phrase from a scripture portion to carry through the day. Today’s phrase, for me, is "determine what really matters."
photo credit: Sheepdog Demonstration - Ring of Kerry - Kells, Ireland via photopin (license)