Praying about Perfectionism

Father, I confess my foolishness. I have forgotten how my new life in You began. After starting in the Spirit, I am now trying to become perfect by my own human effort. Only a crazy person would think she could finish by her own efforts what You started. If I wasn’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do I suppose I could perfect it? But You count me righteous because of my faith, because I believe the message I have heard about Christ. You lavishly provide me with Your Spirit, working things in my life I could never do for myself- not because of my strenuous moral striving, but because I trust You to work in me. Father, help me remember always that it was You who began a good work in me and You will complete it. It’s not up to me. Galatians 3: 3, 5-6 NKJV+MSG, Philippians 1:6

Jesus, Your Word says I have died with You, and You have set me free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do I keep on following the rules of this world? Such rules are mere human teaching about things that perish with the using and don’t even matter past this life. These rules seem wise to me because they appear to require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and bodily discipline, but they provide no help in actually making me more like You. By Your grace, You are the One Who arms me with strength; You are the One Who makes my way perfect. My own efforts get me nowhere. Colossians 2:20-23 NLT, Psalm 18:32

All have sinned and fallen short of Your glory, God; there is none righteous, no, not one. But I need to realize this truth so that I can appreciate what it means to be justified freely by Your grace. Lord, I confess that I have turned to follow my own way. By grace I have been saved through faith, and that not of myself. Your gracious salvation is a gift from You to me, but not because of anything I have done to deserve it. I have no reason to boast; I am Your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which You prepared beforehand for me, that I should walk in them. Romans 3:23, 10, 24, Isaiah 53:6

There is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin. All the righteousness I strive so hard for is like filthy rags. Father help me remember that Your grace is sufficient for me, for Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. Therefore mostly gladly I will boast in my weaknesses, faults and deficiencies, because then Your power can work in me…. For when I am weak, then am I strong. Ecclesiastes 7:20, Isaiah 64:62, Corinthians 12:9-10

Jesus, on the cross You cried, “It is finished!” By offering Yourself, You have perfected forever those who are being sanctified.  Therefore I can be diligent to enter into the rest You have for me, ceasing from my own works. At the same time, I will also press on, in order to possess that perfection which You claimed for me. Show me how this works, Lord, because I work to imitate You. I want to press toward the goal of the heavenly prize You have for me. John 19:30, Hebrews 10:14, 4:11,10, Philippians 4:12-14, Ephesians 5:1

Lord, I ask You to make me strong and perfect. I want to be fully confident that I am following Your whole will in everything I do. Help me to trust that YOU will perfect that which concerns me. You are the God of all grace and You have called me to Your eternal glory in Christ Jesus, so after I have suffered awhile, You will perfect, establish, strengthen and settle me. To You be the glory and dominion forever and ever! Colossians 4:12, Psalm 138:8, 1 Peter 5:10-11

It is the job of the church, Lord, to build each other up until we all come to such unity on our faith and knowledge of Jesus that we will be mature in You, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. I need Your help to know how to put on love, which is the bond of perfection You have given us. Ephesians 4:13, Colossians 3:14

A blessing for my readers, courtesy of Paul: Now may the God of peace Who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep… make you perfect and complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is pleasing in His sight, through Christ Jesus, to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21