Making BIG requests of our God in 2018
December 19th, 2017 / By: Juan Sanchez / comments
The Bible encourages us to approach God boldly in prayer (Hebrews 4:16). Of course, the Bible also teaches us that we’re to pray according to God’s will (1 John 5:14). The reason we can come boldly before God in prayer is not because of who we are or what we’ve done; we come boldly before God in prayer on the basis of who Christ is and what he has accomplished for us by his life, death, resurrection and exaltation to the Father’s right hand.
In Jesus, “we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him” (Ephesians 3:12). Our confidence before God in prayer is grounded in our relationship with Christ. That’s why we pray in Jesus’ name.
When we boldly approach God in prayer in Jesus’ name, asking God to accomplish his will, such prayer pleases our heavenly Father. When we come before God in Jesus’ name and ask according to God’s will, we can boldly ask, seek and knock. Note the progression of increasing intensity. We’re to ask persistently of God things that will glorify him; we are to seek earnestly in prayer those things that honor God; we are to knock urgently on the doors of heaven for those things that will advance God’s kingdom.
When we take such joy in God, his will and his glory, the Bible reminds us that God will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).
As we begin a new year, I invite you to pray with boldness and make BIG requests of God that will advance his kingdom purposes and thereby bring him great glory. First, I invite you to ask God to do BIG things in and through your church. What if all the members of your church joined together to regularly pray that God would accomplish his will and glorify his name through your church?
Together, you could pray for every member of your church: for their spiritual growth, their physical needs. If you have a church directory, use it as a prayer guide for your members. You should also pray for your pastors, staff members, deacons and volunteers. Pray for all the ministries of your church using your church budget as a prayer guide. Pray for the outreach efforts of your church in your community and throughout the world. And pray that God would bless your church members and cause them to be generous in their giving so that your outreach and ministry efforts may be multiplied.
Pastors, take time out in your Sunday gatherings for such prayer. And if you’re not a pastor, might you be the person, under the pastor’s leadership, to help organize such a prayer effort in your church in the new year?
Second, I invite you to ask God to do BIG things in and through the SBTC. What if all the churches in the SBTC regularly prayed for all our other SBTC churches, staff and officers by name? Our churches could pray for one another, beginning with the churches in our associations. Use the sbtexas.com/ “Find a Church” button to see what other SBTC churches are around you, and pray for them by name. Pray for them in your Sunday gatherings. Pray also for the SBTC staff and ministries by name and by departments, asking God to do a great work through each leader and ministry team for the glory of God and the good of our churches.
Pray that God would multiply the evangelism and church planting efforts of SBTC churches with the help of your convention. Pray that our churches would grow in their generosity through the Cooperative Program so that the work of the SBTC and the SBC may increase exponentially. Pastor, lead the charge! But again, if you’re not a pastor, might you be the person in your church, under the pastor’s leadership, that would organize such a prayer effort in your church in the new year?
As we begin a new year, we make resolutions about all the things we will do this year. I’m not against resolutions. But as you’re resolving in 2018, let’s resolve to rest in the work Jesus Christ has already accomplished for us through his life, death, resurrection and exaltation. And in Christ, let us come boldly before God’s throne and make our requests known. Our Father desires to give good gifts to his children in order that his will would be accomplished and his name glorified. May the Lord allow us to witness great things that he would do in answer to our BIG prayers for his glory and for our joy.