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Although You really love us, You really, really, really hate sin. Help us not to take our sin lightly, for those You love You discipline for their persistent sinfulness, for You are a holy God.

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Help us to endure faithfully and courageously under persecution when it comes. Lift up and encourage those who are enduring it now, giving them a rich sense of Your presence.

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Show us what the word “sacrifice” means to You, and what it means for us. Remind us that sacrifice doesn’t meant left-overs, and that what You sacrificed for us set the standard for what our sacrifices should entail.

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When people are getting on our last nerve, remind us that if we are to grow in grace, sometimes it is necessary for us to be stretched.

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May we be like John the Baptist, preparing the way for Your coming; make us strong and firm and steadfast as we do.