I want to begin this New Year by praying for you. My prayer is not for prosperity or even health, but a biblical prayer that goes much deeper. Frankly, much of our praying is earthbound. We bend our knee and lift our voice to our Sovereign Lord, asking for requests that would make us comfortable but not better people—more God-centered people.
When you read the prayers of the great saints of Scripture, you rarely read prayers that are earthbound. They are prayers that call for the work of God in us; they are prayers that beseech the Father for spiritual growth and maturity. One such prayer that I choose to pray for you as this new year begins is found in Eph. 3:14-21.
First, I pray that during 2014, God will strengthen you by the power of the Holy Spirit in your inner person. Simply stated, my prayer is that the Holy Spirit will grow you from the inside out, forming the person of Christ in you. Paul prays that, by faith, Christ may dwell in our inner man by faith. I long for you that the Christ, who saved you by faith, may fill every part of your life. Paul is praying that when Christ dwells in us, the Holy Spirit will work in us to clear the debris of sin from our lives, and that Christ will fill every room of our heart with His presence.
My prayer is that the power of the Holy Spirit will transform you from the inside so that, day by day, you may become more and more in His likeness. It is a prayer for you to reflect in words and deeds the mind and heart of Christ. I long for you to look back in December of 2014 and lift your voice in praise and thanksgiving for the spiritual growth in your life.
Spiritual growth begins with understanding the breadth, width, height and depth of the love of God in your life. Paul prays that we may be able to comprehend the incomprehensible. I pray the same for you. May you, during this year, become rooted and established in the unconditional and unmeasurable love that God has shown you in Christ.
I have made it a habit through the years to often take time to contemplate the vastness of the love of God shown to me through the act of salvation. He chose to love me before I loved Him. Like you, I had nothing to offer Him. There was nothing about this Skiatook boy that would cause God to choose me for His family. It was a sheer act of His amazing love.
He loved me in spite of who and what I was. While I was still an ungodly, rebellious sinner, His great love took Him to the Cross to pay the penalty for my sin. Such LOVE! He did not wait until I cleaned up my life—He loved me, period.
But to understand the depth of His love requires us to go beyond His act of redemption. We must grasp His act of love shown in sanctification and glorification. His love is unconditional and eternal. He doesn’t love me just when I do right—He loves me. I did nothing to gain His love, and I can do nothing to sever His love. Nothing can separate me from His love. Nothing!
I pray that in 2014, God will help you comprehend His great love toward you. May you be immersed in His love. I am convinced it will liberate you to serve Him with joy and gladness.
So for each of you, I begin this year praying for you to make great strides in spiritual transformation by the power of the Holy Spirit. And above all, may you comprehend how great the love of the Savior is for you. If this prayer becomes a reality in your life, 2014 will be one of the greatest years of your life. This will be a more bountiful year than if you received a multi-million dollar windfall.