All Christians pray–some before meals, some before bed, some during tragedies, and some at every possible opportunity (I want to be like that last group!). Often, when we begin a new year, we are aware of many needs and opportunities for God to reveal his strength in our lives. We want to grow, we want to serve, we want to evangelize, we want to endure, we want to love. And we need God for it all!
Can I make a recommendation? Reference the truth of the gospel in your prayers. Remember before the Lord that his grace is the foundation of your requests and that his favor in Christ is the assumption behind your petitions. Of course none of us deny the gospel when we pray, but it’s possible for us to pray without any reference to the good news of the new relationship we have with the Lord and the basis of that relationship in the finished work of Christ.
As I recently heard my friend Aaron point out a message, the Lord Jesus taught us to start prayers addressed to “our Father” precisely as a reminder of the new relationship we have with God because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross.
Let me encourage all of us–include some reference to the good news of Jesus Christ in our prayers. Of course our Father hears us whether we call him that our not, we’re counted righteous in Christ whether we state it or not, but it does give fresh faith to remember these gifts before the Lord!
Father, because your favor and strength are given to us abundantly in the finished work of Christ, I pray that you would strengthen us to remember and recount the gospel in our prayers. Because we have access before you in Christ, cause us to pray with confidence for your help in our weakness. Because you have loved us abundantly in Christ, help us to love others and love you this year. Amen.