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Praying Through God's Word: 2 Corinthians

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2 Corinthians 1:1-2:11

Lord, You “comfort us in all our affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). You turn our times of trouble into times of great blessing. When bad things are happening to us, You keep on loving us. You don’t leave us on our own when the going gets tough. You’re with us in the good times – and You’re with us in the bad times. How do we know that You love us? – Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8). Thank You, Lord, for Your love. It’s the only love that keeps on going when we feel like giving up. It’s the love that keeps us going, the love that assures us that You have not forgotten us. Your promise is still true: “I will never leave you. I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5).

2 Corinthians 2:12-3:18

“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). “Thanks be to God, who, in Christ, always leads us in triumph” (2 Corinthians 2:14). We thank You, Lord, for Your words of encouragement. where would we be without Your Word which brings such strength into our lives? In ourselves, we are so weak. Again and again, we fail You – but that, Lord, isn’t the full story of our lives. Alongside the story of our sin, there’s another story – the story of Your amazing grace. Your glory is shining upon us. We’re being “changed into Christ’s likeness with ever-increasing glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). In life’s many hard times, help us, Lord, to see what You’re doing in our lives.

2 Corinthians 4:1-5:10

Lord, You’ve called us to salvation – “God has shone in our hearts … ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). You’ve called us to service – “having this ministry by the mercy of God” (2 Corinthians 4:1). Where do our experience of salvation and our empowering for service come from? – They come from Your great gift, the gift of Your Spirit: “God has given us the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 5:5). we fail You so often. Our faith is weak, our witness seems so ineffective – but there is more than our faith and our witness. There is Your Spirit. Thank You, Lord, for the great encouragement that comes to us from knowing that You have given us Your Spirit – the Spirit of grace, the Spirit of power, the Spirit who will lead us on to Your eternal glory.

2 Corinthians 5:11-7:1

Lord, You have saved us. Help us to serve You. Help us to begin with worship. We cannot work for You if we’re not learning to worship You. Help us also to live for You. We cannot serve You if we’re not learning to live for You. When life, worship and service are brought together, our words and our actions will proclaim Your greatness. We will be “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Every part of us will say, “To God be the glory! Great things He has done.”

2 Corinthians 7:2-8:7

Before, Lord, we can give to You, we must receive from You. Our giving is always a response to Your grace. We begin with Your grace (2 Corinthians 8:2) – and, then, we move on from there to our giving (2 Corinthians 8:7). How could it ever be any other way? Our giving cannot even begin to compare with Your giving. The gift of Your Son, Jesus, is the greatest gift of all. Anything we give to You can never be any more than our way of saying, “Thank You, Lord.”

2 Corinthians 8:8-9:15

“You know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ … Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 8:9; 9:15). Love begins with You. It doesn’t begin with us. You loved us so much that You gave Your only Son, Jesus – He is our Saviour (John 3:16). Our love for You comes from Your love for us. We look at Jesus. We see what love is. We ask You to help us to love You, as You love us.

2 Corinthians 10:1-11:15

We know, Lord, that Satan is a determined enemy. He reminds us of this, day-after-day. We thank You, Lord, that Satan is also a defeated enemy. May we remind him of this, day-after-day.

2 Corinthians 11:16-12:10

“My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9). These, Lord, were the wonderful words You spoke to Paul. These are the wonderful words that You’re speaking to us. Many years have come and gone since Paul came to You with his ‘thorn in the flesh’ (2 Corinthians 12:7-8). We come to You with our troubles, problems and difficulties. What do You do about all of this? – You say to us, “My grace is sufficient for You.”

2 Corinthians 12:11-13:14

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Lord, these are not only words to be spoken at the end of a service of worship. They’re much more than that. They’re life-changing words. They speak to us of Your blessing. They point us to Jesus, our Saviour. They remind us that Your love is an ‘always and forever’ love. They remind us that “the Spirit is poured upon us from on high” (Isaiah 32:15). Help us, Lord, to live as people who are loved, saved and empowered.

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