Self-control is one of my biggest personal weaknesses, in one of those “three steps forward, two steps backward” kind of ways.
But still, I press on.
I press on because I believe God’s Word, which says my entire testimony can be disqualified when lack of self-control is displayed in my life.
The longer I walk with the Lord, the more clearly I see that a lack of self-control can take many forms.
Lust, fury, gluttony, and laziness come to mind, to name just a few.
Perhaps you struggle with self-control, too.
It’s my prayer that you’ll be encouraged by praying the Scriptures for self-control. God has laid these verses on my heart in the time of my own need, and it’s my prayer that He continues to conform you and me into the image of His Son Jesus Christ in the realm of self-control.
Prayers for Self-Control
Thank God that you are not alone in temptation, claiming the truth that no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. Praise God for His faithfulness in not letting you be tempted beyond your ability. Ask Him to give you an awareness of the way of escape He always provides, and the courage to make use of it (I Corinthians 10:13)
Pray that God would give you an athlete’s mentality, as one who is exercising self-control in all things as you train for the race and then run to receive the Prize. Ask Him to help you run your race in such a way that you may obtain the eternal Prize. Beg Him for the grace you need to discipline your body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others you yourself should be disqualified (I Corinthians 9:24-27).
Ask God to keep at the forefront of your mind the truth that the end of all things is at hand, and that this understanding would motivate you to be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers (I Peter 4:7).
Thank God for His grace that has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, as we wait for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for his own possession who are passionate about doing good works (Titus 2:11-14).
Remind God of His promise to work in you, giving you the desire and the ability to act according to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
Claim the truth that you have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer you who live, but Christ lives in you. Recommit to the Lord that the life which you now live in the flesh you will not live by your own power, but by faith in the Son of God who loved you and gave Himself up for you (Galatians 2:20).
Ask God to help you walk by the Spirit, not gratifying the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
Share with God your amazement that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit of God within you. Pray that He would remind you often that you are not your own, for you were bought with a price and are therefore obligated to glorify God in your body (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
Beg God to grant you a love for Him instead of the world or the things in the world. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. Ask that He would enable you to live each day with an awareness that the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (I John 2:15-17).
Dear Heavenly Father, I confess that too often, I allow myself to be controlled by my desires and my impulses rather than by Your Spirit. Please forgive me and help me to draw me closer to You, walking in Your Spirit every moment of every day. This is impossible for me apart from Your grace, so please grant it lavishly, as you promise. It’s in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, that I pray. Amen.