July 7th

 

Undistracted Prayer

1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.  7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” 1 Peter 4:1-7 NIV 

Prayer is our vital communication link with God.  Sinful habits, like lust and sexual idolatry can hinder or block that prayer link, leaving us disconnected with God and vulnerable to the Enemy.

Peter gave a few examples of sin that can distract in verse 3 above --alcoholism, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.  Such pursuits will cloud our minds with thoughts of sin and weaken our ability to control ourselves. I believe that sex addiction is an example of the "detestable idolatry" Peter was talking about.  I remember that as a porn addict, I often found that sexual fantasies and porn memories would compete for my attention during prayer and Bible study. 

 Our sins can actually form “cords” that can hold us in a type of slavery to our sinful desires.  Solomon wrote, “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin” (Proverbs 5:22 NASB).   Thankfully, such cords of sin can be cut with the blood of Jesus Christ.  The blood of Christ brings forgiveness for our sin and cleansing from the footholds it had in us.  Through faith in Christ, we are free from the bondage of sin and free to live for God in righteousness. 

We have the opportunity and obligation to exercise our blood-bought freedom to now live for God instead of living for carnal lusts.  One of the ways we do this is by steering clear of temptations.  Another way is to use our body parts to serve God and not sin.  When we exercise our freedom in such ways, we’ll be well on our way to being clear-minded and self-controlled.  Our prayers will flourish accordingly.  

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God, I praise you that I can come before you through the blood of Jesus boldly.  I confess any sin that I have allowed to cloud my mind and weaken my self-control: _________ (list).  Please forgive me and cleanse me from this sin.  I apply the blood of Jesus and cut any cords associated with that sin that have bound me.  Through Jesus I am now free to live for God!  I commit to using this freedom to serve God and to use my body, soul and spirit as instruments of righteousness and not sin.  I pray, Lord God that the mind of Christ will now manifest in me each day more and more as I walk with you.  I take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and I cast down any speculation or argument in my thoughts that is against God.  Please teach me to pray effectively and powerfully in your name. Thank you, Father. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”