“So, guard yourselves in your spirit and do not be faithless.”
– Malachi 2:16
What a simple verse, potent command that just very simply leads us to pray.
Malachi 2:16 Encourages Us to Guard Ourselves with Prayer
Think about it. God saying to his people, guard yourselves in your spirit and do not be faithless. Do you realize what this is very clearly implying? That if we don’t guard ourselves, we will grow faithless. Maybe just turn that around. To be faithful requires guarding yourself in your spirit. Faithfulness doesn’t just come naturally. It comes through supernatural, God-empowered effort to guard ourselves, to guard our hearts, to guard our minds so that we might be faithful, full of faith and obedient. Oh, isn’t this what we long to hear in our lives at the end? To stand before Jesus and hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” This is my constant prayer. I would encourage you to make this your constant prayer.
Amidst whatever you’re walking through, amidst whatever circumstances you find yourself in right now, whatever God has entrusted to you, that which is great or easy, wonderful and that which is hard, not easy, doesn’t feel great. To pray in the middle of both, God, help me to be faithful. I’m going to be full of faith in you, to trust in you when things are going great and to trust in you, to have faith in you when things are not going great and to obey you when things are going great and when things are not going great. And especially if things are not going great, if things are hard right now in your life, all the more so, Malachi 2:16, guard yourself in your spirit. The adversary loves to use difficult days to rob us of faith, to strip faith away from us, to destroy our faith.
Malachi 2:16 Encourages to Hold to God in Faith
So don’t let it happen. Don’t let it happen. Hold fast to faith in God. Be full of faith. Can I just pray that over you right now? Help me, God, help us to do Malachi 2:16, to guard ourselves in our spirit and to not be faithless. God, we say before you right now, we want to be faithful. We want to hold fast to faith in you. We want to walk with trust in you, in obedience to you with whatever you entrust to us.
With good days, we pray that we’d be faithful stewards of good days and with hard days, we want to be faithful stewards of hard days. We want to be faithful to you, full of faith in you, trusting in you, holding fast to you, obeying you, pressing into you, not being drawn away from faith in you during hard days. God, I pray that over every single person listening right now and especially those who are going through those hard days.
God, I pray that you give them faith on days when faith is hard to come by. Give them hope in the middle of despair and strength in the middle of weakness. We pray that you would draw them into deeper faith, increase their faith during these days, I pray. Guard their spirits. Help them to proactively guard themselves in their spirits in prayer, in your word. Not to wander from you, but to press into you and to trust in you.
God, we pray just what we see all over your word that you would turn valleys into springs of faith as we trust in your faithfulness to us. God, we praise you that even when we grow weak in our faith, you are faithful to us. You faithfully love us. God, you faithfully care for us. You faithfully provide for us. All glory be to your name, oh God. Great is your faithfulness.
The faithfulness of the Lord never ceases even in the middle of lament. Lamentation 3. You give new mercies every morning. You are faithful to give them. So God, we pray, show your faithfulness in our lives, in abundance, especially when we walk through hard days and help us to guard ourselves in our spirit and not be faithless.
Praying for the Makassar People
Oh God, even as we pray this, we pray for the Makassar people of Indonesia, two and a half million people, hardly any of whom have faith in you, Jesus, because they haven’t been reached with the gospel. God, we pray for the spread of your faithful love and faithful compassion and faithful mercy among the Makassar people.
Please, God, cause your church around the world, in Indonesia and other places to be faithful. Cause us to be faithful, to give and use our prayers and our lives for the spread of the gospel to all the nations. God help us to be faithful to the Great Commission so that they might be brought to faith in you and they might one day stand before you, bow before you, Lord Jesus, as faithful servants saved by your faithful love. We pray all this according to your word in Malachi 2:16. In Jesus name. Amen.