So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. . . . Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:12–13, 17)
It's as though You have written these words to us today, Father . . . indeed, You have. Though they date back to the first century, they fit the twenty-first century like a well-tailored garment. They touch every aspect of our being. Your words address our position in Christ and our practice on earth. They specify our struggles without overlooking the important, positive side of compassion, love, forgiveness, patience, humility, and gentleness. How we long to live as we say we believe. How far short of that we often fall. And we realize it again even this day, as we recognize the straight line of truth so clearly marked in Your inspired Word—God-breathed, preserved, and now provided for us in our language. Help us to live according to Your standards, day in, day out.
As You do soul-surgery in our hearts, may we allow the scalpel of the Spirit to pierce whatever area needs to be addressed. May each of us open ourselves to it. Guard us from hypocrisy. Few things are more detestable than a phony Christian! May we speak truth today. More important, may we live truth today. May we declare it to others in a way that makes sense. May Your Spirit take it from there and drive it home. May our lives and theirs be changed as a result of it.
It's in the name of Jesus Christ we offer our words of prayer. Amen.