It may be an understatement to say that prayer is a profitable way to begin the year. I don’t claim to be an especially skilled pray-er. I find prayer to be sometimes an easy flow but more often hard work. Nevertheless, below is a prayer for your use if you wish. It requires only four minutes. It is written first person because that is how I used it yesterday, January 1. You can also go back through and change the pronouns to pray for others. (I did so for you who read my blog.) The words in italics are quotations from Scripture. You can pray these requests with confidence because, being taken from Scripture, these are all the will of God for Christians.
Note: For you perfectionists (and me), notice that the issue is growth, not arrival or achievement. And the goal is God’s glory, not self-merit.
May you be blessed!
Prayer for Growth in Grace
Lord, cause me to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
~ 1Pe 3:18
Your grace is that unilateral intervention for good that You exercise out of Your generosity, taking initiative to interfere with a person’s plans to accomplish good. By grace You do not leave us on the road to hell but intervene to draw some to Yourself in salvation. By grace You provide the desire and wisdom and power, the enablement, for the saved person to do what it takes to grow in godliness and in relationship with You. Since our change is only by Your grace-intervention, Your goodness is revealed and so You get all the glory.
While this side of heaven I will never arrive at perfection, cause me to be increasing in the size, strength, degree, vigor, and power of the graces Your Spirit plants in my heart. May the love, humility, faith, hope, repentance, zeal, kindness, courage, and other characteristics You have implanted grow stronger and not weaker, be vigorous and not feeble. Cause my sense of sin to deepen, my faith to strengthen, my hope to brighten, my love to extend, and my joy to resound.
- May I be increasing in the [intimate, relational] knowledge of God.~ Co 1:10
- Increase my love for Jesus. ~ Jn 15:9
- Increase my humility, so that it is more complete, responding to Your Spirit more quickly, increasing in frequency, intensity, and duration. ~ Eph 4:2
- Quicken and refine my gentleness. ~ Eph 4:2
- Sensitize my conscience so that I respond more quickly against sin. ~ He 5:14
- Grow me in holiness, purifying my heart desires, growing more watchful, gaining dominion over sin, more godly in conduct. ~ 1 Pe 1:16
- May my love for others abound more and more so that I seek to do kindness and be generous and tenderhearted. Make me quicker to put off fault-finding and criticism, to assume good motives of others, to think kindly of others. ~ 1Th 3:12; Ph 1:9
- May my faith grow exceedingly so that I trust in You more readily, and more frequently and intensely, and for longer times without wavering. May I see You more clearly as the Substitute, Physician, Priest, Intercessor, Advocate, Shepherd, and Friend. ~ 2Co 10:15; 2Th 1:3
- Increase my thirst for You and spiritual things so that I apply myself to spiritual desires and thoughts more frequently and intensely and for longer duration.
- Increase my zeal for godliness and for doing good to others. ~ Ga 6:9-10
- Move me to choose joy, to rejoice, to resound with joy. ~ Ph 4:4
Make me to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I know growth in grace from glory to glory will make me useful to others, happy in the faith, and will please You, as these are sacrifices with which God is well pleased. May You receive all the glory for all the transformation in me! ~ 2 Co 3:18; 1Th 4:1; He 13:16