Good and gracious Lord,
we praise and thank You
that our moral failings do not take You by surprise.
You told Peter he would deny you three times
before the rooster crowed.
Forgive us for the ways that we have denied You
by loving the approval of others more than Yours.
Grant us renewed boldness
to openly identify ourselves as Your followers.
Make us people of honest confession,
unshakeable assurance, unquestioning obedience,
abiding joy, and full devotion.
For we pray in the strong name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Psalm 2 – The nations that rage will become the inheritance of the Messiah (vv. 1,8).
Father, you have given to Jesus the ends of the earth as His possession.
He declares, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”
“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Jesus Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!’ (Abraham Kuyper)
Since the ends of the earth are your possession, you have called us to be your witnesses “even to the ends (remotest parts) of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
I pray that you would supernaturally cause a mass conversion of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists, animists, atheists, and agnostics
to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have mercy upon them, open blind eyes like you did long ago,
pour the wine of your love and Word on calloused, stony hearts.
May a great in-gathering of souls take place in our lifetime
as people devotedly kiss Your Son as Savior (Psalm 2:11),
as young people throughout the world
“serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling” (v.11)
as they contemplate you as a loving Savior,
but also as a just judge
who will come with “a rod of iron”
and break those who have refused to kiss you
as the only Savior of sinners. AMEN.
Prayer of Preparation
In this new year O Lord, grant us a renewed hunger and delight in Your Word.
So move in our hearts that we delight to do what You command.
Free us from finding our happiness and well-being in created things so that we might find You our greatest treasure.
Adoration: Praise God for Who He Is
- We praise You, O Lord, that you are in the business of transforming hearts so that we can think, behave, and belong in a way that pleases You and brings us good.
- We praise you for your willingness to share with us your wisdom and your Word.
- We adore you for changing the desires of our hearts so that we might find you our greatest delight.
Confession: Acknowledge and Turn from Your Sin
- Forgive me for the ways that I have conformed to the world in departing from you by accepting the world’s advice, being party to its ways, and adopting its most fatal of its attitudes – scoffing.
- Pardon me for allowing worldly values and thinking to shape my life and decisions.
- Forgive me for all the ways that I have thought that true fulfillment and happiness could be found apart from you and your Word.
Thanksgiving: Express Gratitude to God for His Works and Ways
- Thank you Father that you have freed me from judgment, collapse and expulsion from your presence because of the Cross of Jesus.
- Thank you Father that Jesus is the only, truly blessed man who always delighted to obey you and never failed in delighting in your law. Thank you for his perfect obedience to your law for us.
- Thank you that you care about and identify with us, your people, and you call us the congregation of the righteous – acceptable in your sight because of what Jesus has done not us.
- Thank you for imputing to us the righteousness of Christ by faith alone, and now you grant us power to work out in our lives what you have worked in us.
Supplication: Ask God to Meet Your Spiritual and Physical Needs
- Lord, please give me a greater delight in you and your Word. May it be reflected in an established, guarded rhythm of spending time with you in your word.
- Grant that I might discern and reject unbiblical, worldly patterns of thinking and living so that you might receive greater glory from my life and ministry.
- Lord, would you be pleased to prosper our work for you in this new year?
Consecration: Commit to Obey God’s Will
- In 2019, I will regularly meditate on God’s Word using the Psalms and a Read through the Bible in a year plan.
- In my reading and studying, I will endeavor to focus more on what Christ has done in order to increase my delight in Him and His Word instead of focusing on what I must do.
Intercession: Asking God to Meet the Needs of Others
- So work by your Spirit in the lives of Scottie and the kids that they become discerning, fruitful, mature, stable, flourishing, and godly men and women.
- So work in their lives that they recognize and reject worldly thinking and living so that their lives might conform more to your character.
- Grant your Spirit in full measure to the leaders of our church so that they might think deeply about your Word and will and become fruitful and effective in building your church and extending your kingdom in the world.
- Make them people of substance who are rooted deeply in your Word and useful in your kingdom service.
- Free them from the curse of the counsel of the wicked, the path of sinners and the seat of scoffers.
- Grant all of them your wisdom to lead and serve well.
- Overwhelm them with their personal inadequacies for the task at hand so that they might seek and find you.
- Give them your wisdom from above that is peaceable (see James 4). Bring our divided country together O Lord, break down the walls of hostility.
All this we pray in the great name of our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord.
Father of spirits, looking to Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,
we lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,
that we may run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
Few, they tell us, finish well…
Lord, let us get home before dark.
Before the darkness of staining your honor,
shaming your name, and grieving your loving heart.
Before the darkness of a spirit grown mean and small,
fruit shriveled on the vine, bitter to the taste of our companions,
burden to be borne by those brave few who love us still.
Before the darkness of tattered gifts,
rust-locked, half-spent or ill-spent,
A life that once was used of God now set aside.
Grief for glories gone or fretting for a task God never gave.
Mourning in the hollow chambers of memory,
Gazing on the faded banners of victories long gone.
Cannot we run well to the end? Let us get home before dark.
- Adapted from Robertson McQuilkin’s Prayer
“Let Me Get Home Before Dark”
In corporate worship, we invest time in prayer. We do this because God commands us to seek Him in prayer. Prayer also serves as one of the main ways that we exercise our faith in His promises as well as an antidote for our anxious hearts (Luke 18:1; Philippians 4:6-7).
Prayer is hard work and all of us struggle to pray well. Therefore, we constantly need our Lord’s guidance. This is why we regularly use the Lord’s Prayer as a pattern for our own praying. According to His prayer, evil exists in the world and has its origin in the Evil One. All of us are prone to succumb to the devil’s agenda which is to profane God’s name, oppose God’s kingdom, resist God’s will, fail to forgive those who sin against us, and to fail to resist temptation.
On the contrary, Jesus’ prayer helps us to refocus on the Lord: His praise, His program, His plan, His provision, His pardon, and His protection. Today when you pray, remember that you are participating with our Lord in His uprising against the disorder of your hearts and your world. Ask Him to strengthen your capacity to trust Him for He has promised to rescue you from this perilous life on earth and bring you safely home to heaven.
Thanks to my good friend David Elmore I know of the esteemed Robert Hawker, an evangelical Anglican minister back in the late 1700s and early 1800s. His devotional The Poor Man’s Morning & Evening Portions can be assessed here:
Poor Man’s Morning & Evening Portions
Here is a lovely thought of his that I am thinking about and praying through this week:
- That I may have increasing views of the infinite dignity of His person, work, merit, offices, relations, characters, and in short, everything that relates to one so dear, so lovely, so glorious, and so suited to a poor sinner like me, as the Lord Jesus Christ is in all things.
Robert Hawker, The Poor Man’s Morning & Evening Portions
at birth we are all launched into a world
that is ringed with terror –
conflicts, accidents, assaults, disease, violence and death.
How easy it is to allow fear to dominate our lives:
The fear of rejection, failure, condemnation, pain and death.
Thank You that Your sword was awakened
against our Good Shepherd who laid down His life for us
so that we might experience
the certainty of your care.
Your lamb was slain to save wayward, stubborn sheep like us.
Grant us grace to trust
that everything is necessary that You send into our lives
and nothing is needful that You withhold.
May all our days be full of praise and delight in You
our Shepherd, King and God.
For we make our prayer in Jesus’ name, AMEN.