I'm praying a new prayer + rivers of living water printable coloring page

rivers of living water John 7:38 printable Scripture coloring page

I woke up this Monday morning after a week of my kiddos being sick that blended into a weekend of fevers, coughs, and snotty noses. It wasn't a pretty week for us and I wasn't ready for a new one yet. 

Lord, help me be a slave to your Spirit today and not to my flesh.

That was the only thing I could think of to pray over the day ahead. But something in that prayer--not in the words themselves, but the truths they contain--set me free.

Let me explain how I got here.

You see, normally, my prayers go something like this: "Lord, please give me patience with my kiddos today. Help me train them well. Help me to be a good mom. Help me be a loving wife."

But lately I've been thinking about these kinds of prayers and wondering if they line up with God's Word.

You see, we're really praying for God to give us spiritual fruit. Are we asking God to zap us with "fruit juice," or are we asking God to make us more capable and "together" on our own? How does all that work?

Here are some clues to the answers to these questions from Scripture:

1. Clue #1: Fruit is a product of the Spirit.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23
2. Clue #2: We either live in slavery to our flesh (and sin) or to the Spirit (and righteousness). 
"Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sinhave become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification." Romans 6:16-22
As believers who have the Holy Spirit, we're not bound to our flesh. Our flesh isn't completely dead yet, so we still sin, but sin doesn't have to be our master anymore.

3. Clue #3: The energy to produce spiritual fruit comes from the Spirit. The effort is ours, but that effort is only made possible by God's work in us.
"Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me." Colossians 1:28-29
Did you catch that? The struggle is ours, the toil is ours, but the energy is His. It's not easy (but it's also not burdensome--Matthew 11:28-30).
"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:3-8
God's divine power has given us all things, not through our good works, but through His calling. We become partakers of the "divine nature," changed into someone completely new (2 Corinthians 5:17). For those reasons, we are to "make every effort" to grow and put on this new life and take off the old.

4. Clue #4: If we want to see fruit of the Spirit, we have to let the Spirit lead.
 "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.Romans 8:11-14
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.Galatians 5:16-18
The solution to our lack of patience--or any other fruit of the Spirit--is to be led by the Spirit of God, to walk in His Spirit. Is is by the Spirit, that we'll put to death the things of our flesh (ie. not having patience with my kids).

These truths should shape how we think and pray about spiritual fruit. Remember my new prayer?

Lord, help me be a slave to your Spirit today and not to my flesh.

This approach is not about pulling ourselves together so you we can just "do better" today. This is about surrendering control of our whole selves and our whole days to the power of the Holy Spirit.

Something in me is set free when I put myself under the control of the Holy Spirit. I know that no matter how I feel that day or how much sleep I've gotten, the energy to glorify God and obey Him will be there. There may not be extra energy to do all the things on my to-do list, but there will be enough to do what He is leading me to do. My confidence to face the day is in the power of the Spirit, not myself.

I make mistakes. I lose self-control. I repent. But then I move on, because that's what the Holy Spirit is doing and I'm called to keep in step (Galatians 5:25). My focus is on following His lead, not on how well or how badly I'm doing at a particular moment. Focusing on keeping in step with the Spirit frees me from judging myself by my worst moments.

Will you join me in this prayer? How do the Scriptures in this post change how you think about spiritual fruit in your life?

I made this coloring page of John 7:38-29 for you! Isn't this an amazing promise from Jesus? You can download your coloring page here (usage below*). If you use a coloring page, will you do me a favor and share a picture on Instagram (if you're an instagrammer) and tag me @marydeandraws? Thanks!

rivers of living water John 7:38 printable Scripture coloring page

*My coloring pages are free for your personal use. Please don't repost the actual file, but feel free to link to this page! Any other uses, please ask!

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