A Prayer for Self-Control

The Bible says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23a) Having self-control is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It is something other people can readily see in our lives, indicating we have the Spirit of God living and breathing inside of us.

None of us are perfect when it comes to the area of self-control—especially in times of emotional distress. These are the times in which self-control is most needed; yet, often self-control is most lacking during these times. The God-given ability to maintain self-control is critical in times of crisis. The Holy Spirit can continue to refine us into the person He wants us to become if we will allow Him to control our behavior during these times.

Recently, I experienced a time of emotional crisis and felt compelled to vent my hostility to a family member. The outcome was quite negative, and not at all what I expected. I realized later that my venting of the matter in this particular situation was sinful because of the intent of my heart. My intent was to expose the flaws of someone else, and this family member could do nothing to help fix my problem. What I should have done instead was pray. I was greatly convicted about my own lack of self-control.

Proverbs 16:32 tells us, “Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.” Proverbs 5:22-23 says, “An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.”


Dear Father in Heaven,

Forgive us for our lack of self-control. Help us to be held captive by Your great promises and truths rather than our own sins.

Grant us the ability to accept Your ways, and transform our behavior radically into behavior that is pleasing to You and You alone. Fill us with the precepts and principles from Your Word, Father.

Lord, we are distressed and feel as though we are in a pressure cooker. Please give us an extra measure of understanding and control throughout this turmoil.

May You fill our lives until they are overflowing with You, so that we may exhibit and bear the fruit of self-control in our lives at all times.

In Your precious, holy name we pray.



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