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I am a follower of Christ but I continue to sin. I want to live by Jesus' example but I am struggling in my prayer life. How can I lead a better life?
Thank you for sharing your testimony of how God is at work in your life.
I am so glad to hear that you have recently started attending Church again. The fact that you are aware of your need for God, and aware of your faults before God is sure sign that God is at work in your life. The other people around you may not be aware of their wrong because God is not yet at work in their life, convicting them of sin and guiding them towards him. Therefore be encouraged that God is at work in you.
Sadly many people follow Christ for a time, but then fall back into old ways of living. Jesus warned about this in the parable of the sower, saying how some seed falls on good soil and grows, while others fall on soil and quickly grow up, but are stopped from growing by things in the world. You can find this parable in Matthew 13.
Also many people who do follow Christ experience a daily battle with the old way of life. This is because the 'old man', who we were before Christ, tries to pull us back into following our sinful desires. This is my own experience; every day I need to fight the good fight and remind myself of what Jesus has done for me. The Apostle Paul wrote this:
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:18-25)
I would like to encourage you to read all of Romans chapters 3-12.
Every week I take communion to remind myself that Jesus' body was broken for me and that his blood was shed to forgive my sin. This is why the Churches do this as often as possible. We need to be constantly reminded because we constantly mess up. The good news is that Jesus will never let us go. Consider these verses:
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6)
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one (John 10:27-30)
There are also some practical verses in the Bible to help us:
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). This verse encourages us to consider every thought that we have and to 'take it captive' if it is not honouring to Christ. If you have negative thoughts, they are not from Christ, so get rid of them with Jesus' help in prayer.
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:22-25)
This verse encourages us to continue to meet with others and to do good works. Being involved in a Christian ministry keeps us focused on Christ. One of the keys to the Christian life is to do it in community. You need to find people in the Church to meet with and often as possible. Once a week is not enough. The early Church members met daily.
I spend the first 5 years of my Christian life living with all of my immediate family who were not followers of Christ. This was a difficult time, but step by step I prayed for them and shared the good news of Jesus with them. Thankfully God also showed his love to them and they are now following Jesus. This is the hope that we can have for our family. If they do not know Jesus, slowly tell them and show them about how Jesus is at work in your life. Eternity is worth talking about.
We will pray for you.
I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey.
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world.
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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