How to pray for the fruits of the Spirit (and understand what they are)

Dear Lord,

I need the fruit of your Holy Spirit,
the evidence that you are working in my life
and producing works that are honoring you.

Give me love like yours that doesn't see status, race, gender, intelligence, economics, politics, personality, age, or sinfulness. Help me just love souls like you love souls. This is not a gift so much as it is a decision. Help me decide to love like you. (Click here to read "Why love hurts.")

Fill me with joy at being in relationship with you. This, I think, is also a decision. Help me decide to choose joy and thankfulness for any and every situation, to have the faith that you are present and you will accomplish good in me and through me. Your will and timing are always best. Remind me not to chase after happiness because that is fleeting. Joy lasts. (Click here to read "Handling joy and grief at the holidays.")

Help me seek peace over safety, security, and being proven right. Convict me when my decisions and actions are motivated by pride and selfishness. Peace comes at a great price, and it arrives through mercy of the undeserving. If I want peace, help me groom mercy. (Click here for "4 lies about fulfillment.")

Lord, give me patience. This one scares me because I know patience only comes through hardship and suffering. But without patience, faith is impossible. I will always be leaping ahead of your will and missing it completely. So help me become courageous enough to learn patience.

I need to develop more kindness. I need to stop and notice people who are hurting, people who need prayer, people who would benefit from a gentle word instead of a brusque statement. Make me kind and tender, attentive and compassionate. Teach me to think of others-first in every situation. Remind me that kindness could change everything for someone else. And may I be content with nobody knowing what kindnesses I perform.

I want goodness. Not the kind I can brag about. The real goodness that's integrity and righteousness--making right decisions when nobody's watching, when everybody's doing something else, when being righteous hurts. When it costs me something important. May I listen to the Holy Spirit and respond in meekness and obedience to his prompting. The right decision is rarely the easy decision. Give me courage to lean into hard, right decisions, even when it means fighting hard for it. (Click here to read "At war.")

Develop faithfulness in me. That means I forgive and restore. I welcome second chances in myself and others. I endure and persevere when the work is hard, when people fail me, when nobody notices what I'm doing or what I've accomplished. I am faithful in my work because I love you and I only care what you think. I do not live and work for the applause or recognition from people. I choose to believe in God and God's Word, regardless of popular opinion. Faithfulness is counter-cultural. (Click here to read "How to transfer faith to your kids.")

Develop gentleness in me. Wow, this is hard one because it seems personality-driven. It's meekness. It's strength under control. It's power delivered softly, with respect. Being gentle means I understand that God has a plan and I'm not going to rush it or hurt people to get what I think I deserve. I will handle people with care.

Help me develop more self-control. I need to think before I speak, text, tweet, blog, or email. When I feel angry, violated, embarrassed, stupid, or ashamed, I need to stop myself from reacting and consider the other fruits of the Spirit. How can I respond with kindness and gentleness? What does righteousness tell me to do? How does love react? When I control my emotions and thoughts, I can control my behavior. All of this starts with letting the Spirit transform my thoughts. (Click here to read "How to control your anger.")

Who do I think God is?
What do I think I deserve from God?
What does God require of me?
(Click here to read "Who are you and why are you here?")

These are the transformations I want. Holy Spirit, you have free reign to change me.
I trust you.

In Jesus' name,

Click here to buy Soulspeak, a book that teaches you how to be transformed.


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