By Deborah Nayrocker, M.Ed., Crosswalk.com
Every New Year offers opportunities for us to move forward in our lives.
Many people are content to simply survive. But you don’t need to be just surviving—when you can be thriving. The power of prayer can lift you above your worries for this world, and out of survival mode.
When you pray, you’re communicating with the God of eternity. You were created for fellowship with Him. Prayer is a critical element of this divine relationship.
In Jeremiah 33:3, God said, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” What a wonderful promise!
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
As you renew your perspective and hope this year—for yourself, loved ones, and the world—here are four suggested prayers:
Prayer #1 – Godly Wisdom and Understanding
Every day you have decisions to make, big and small. You may be often facing new challenges and difficult circumstances. You may not know how to deal with them in the best ways.
Many areas in life that matter greatly to God: your family, work, relationships, and your health. We all need help to make wise day-to-day decisions.
You can be bold when you take your needs to the Father. You can ask in prayer for the help that you need, and expect to receive answers, if even in unexpected ways.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16).
What is the beginning of wisdom? King Solomon said, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). In prayer, you can express your great reverence and awe of God and believe that you can receive His wisdom.
Wisdom is defined as knowledge rightly applied. It is always available to you. When we pray the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and insight. He reveals things to us that we couldn’t otherwise have known.
An added benefit of wisdom is that you receive your Father’s protection. King Solomon said, “Get wisdom, get understanding. Do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you” (Prov. 4:5-6).
A Prayer for More Wisdom and Understanding
Dear God, You are the all-knowing God. I need more of your wisdom in my life. You have said you give wisdom generously.
Father, I yield my life to you. I know your Word is a guide for my life. Help me be focused on what your Word says is the true and right way. Help me be discerning and obedient.
I especially need your wisdom and direction about these matters: ___________________. Show me what I need to do. Give me the courage to do what is right. I am trusting you to help me in these areas. Thank you for your help. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayer #2 – Salvation of Family and Friends
Many Christians have family members who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord. I know people who are praying for their family members’ faith—siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, children, and grandchildren. They are also praying for their friends.
God loves each of us and He wants to have a lasting relationship with us. He wants us to be in His family. To have peace with God, we need to say “yes” to him and “no” to ungodly ways.
It is the Father’s plan that everyone goes to heaven to live with Him, for He cherishes and values us. We know He wants everyone to come to repentance. Our Father is patient and He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9).
There is a grand celebration in heaven when people repent of their sins and yield their lives to God.
We may not know how or when the Father will bring our loved ones to Him. But we know He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).
A Prayer for the Salvation of Your Family and Friends
Father God, You are a gracious and compassionate God. Every person is important in your sight. Right now I am praying for __________ that you would remove the veil of deception from his/her eyes. Open __________’s spiritual eyes so that he/she may turn from darkness to light. Help __________ know that he/she cannot make it on his/her own. Reveal Yourself to __________ so he/she will believe that Jesus, your Son, is the only way, the truth, and the life. I pray that __________ will trust in Jesus to be Savior and Lord of his/her life, receiving eternal life. I pray __________ will be open to receiving your merciful gift of salvation, and he/she will receive it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Becca Tapert
Prayer #3 – Boldness to Share the Gospel
We live in a troubled world and people are looking for hope. The world is dark and gloomy without Jesus. There are many proud people who think they can make it to God on their own.
Fear can often get in the way of sharing your faith and the gospel. Yet you can overcome these fears.
The early church waited and prayed for boldness to witness (Acts 1:8). They prayed and received the help they needed. They were ready to share God’s Word with boldness.
The Bible says that the gospel is the power of God that leads to salvation. The gospel is necessitated by sin and is initiated by God. The gospel is driven by grace and it is centered around Christ (Galatians 1:1-6).
Jesus told parables and stories so his listeners could relate to spiritual matters. You can tell God’s story of how He provided a way so we would no longer be separated from him. You can tell your story, how you discovered your purpose in life, and why you hope for eternal life in heaven.
We are seeing signs that these are the days of God’s harvest. Many of the fields of harvest are ripe and ready.
A Prayer for Boldness to Share the Gospel
Father God, Thank you for your Holy Spirit, our Helper and Comforter. Give me spiritual courage and boldness to share the gospel. Help me to be faithful and not fearful. Use me and equip me.
Help me to be alert to opportunities you bring my way. Help me to take the opportunities to share your Word clearly.
Prepare the hearts and minds of people to be open and receptive to You. Prepare the way for people to receive salvation and a new way of living. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayer #4 – God’s Mercy and Righteousness
There is a saying, “Evil prevails when good men sit and do nothing.” If we do nothing we are often trampled on by our complacent ways.
For a long time we have been fed make-believe reports from voices in the news. We haven’t been given the whole picture. The truth has been obscured.
We all need to pray that God would illumine our eyes to see the truth. We need to pray for clarity and accuracy. Let’s be open to the truth, relying on facts and evidence.
Jesus said Christians are the salt of the earth. We must be informed and vigilant citizens. We must be careful who we believe and what we believe.
God was specific about who should lead and rule over people. He said, “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” (2 Samuel 23:3)
Do not neglect to pray for our leaders in government. Paul urged Christians to “pray for kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
In many countries, people can participate in their own governance. They can vote in elections for leaders who will do the most good for their country and for humanity.
In the United States, our founders gave us the ability to keep our liberty and Republic through our Constitution. Citizens of the United States are blessed to have a representative form of self-governance.
Each of us can research the candidates and learn where they stand on important issues. We can elect leaders—in local, state, and national elections—who will be just and rule in the fear of God.
A Prayer for God’s Mercy on Your Nation and that He Will Bring Righteousness
Father God, You are the all-powerful and mighty God of all the world. You care about every nation. Forgive us for being apathetic about the things that really do matter to our nation and for eternity. We humbly come before You and ask for your mercy. We have drifted away from what you intended for us as a nation.
Bring back a standard of righteousness. We pray for all our political leaders, nationally, statewide, and locally. We pray that righteousness and justice will prevail in our nation.
We pray that you would help us to speak up when it is time to speak up. Help us to vote when it is time to vote. Help us as citizens to do what is right. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Aldomurillo
Deborah Nayrocker is the author of Grow in Faith toward Maturity: 31 Days to a Closer Walk with God (Credo House). A practical guide for new and growing Christians, the book has 31 brief chapters for daily devotional use. The book is available in paperback and e-book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Deborah’s website is www.DeborahNayrocker.com