10 Pastoral Prayers for 2018

10 Pastoral Prayers for 2018

As we move into a new year of ministry together, I am keenly aware of our need for God’s work in our midst.  I am also conscious of my tendency to pray small prayers, asking God to do things that feel safe and manageable.

However, as I read the Bible, and particularly the prayers of God’s people, I am struck by the humanly impossible petitions and promises contained within its pages.  God’s promises to His people are not attainable through human effort or intellect, and the prayers of Scripture often ask God to do what only an all-powerful, all-knowing, loving and gracious God can do.

To that end, I have found myself praying prayers for Calvary Presbyterian Church that only God could answer and that are clearly beyond my grasp.  I invite you to do the same.  Below are 10 specific ways in which I am praying for the people of Calvary in 2018:

I am praying that God might grant the people of Calvary…

  1. Joy Beyond Circumstance (Philippians 4:4)

We tie our joy and happiness up in the things we possess, the victories we win, and the blessings that occur in our lives.  However, the Scriptures call us to “rejoice in the Lord always.”  While circumstances ebb and flow, our Lord never changes, so joy is possible in all things through knowing and loving Him.

  1. Unfathomable Peace (Philippians 4:5-7)

Though we don’t know what awaits us this year, we know that most of us will be tempted to worry and anxiety due to the visible challenges we face and the mysterious future ahead.  The Apostle Paul invites us to turn our worries to prayers, and the promise we have is a peace beyond comprehension that guards our hearts and minds in Christ.

  1. Rest in the Finished Work of Christ (Mat. 11:28-30)

Life is exhausting.  Many of us feel stuck on the performance treadmill, trying to justify our existence or calm our own fears.  Jesus invites all who are weary and burdened down to get off the treadmill of our own making and find our rest in Him.

  1. Comprehension of the incalculable Love of Christ (Eph. 3:18-19)

Christ’s love is higher, deeper, wider and longer than the span of the universe itself, and it is the very thing for which we are desperate.  Before time began, God set His love toward us, and this sets us free to live our lives in the warmth of His affections, rather than seeking the world’s often cold embrace.

  1. Unity in Christ (John 17:20-23)

Our world is desperate for unity, but we don’t really know what it looks like.  We divide based on religion, economics, educational attainment, politics, and so much more.  Jesus Christ prays that the church would display the unity that belongs to the persons of the trinity, that we might be the picture and practice of unity before a watching world.  That unity must extend beyond our personal preferences and backgrounds and find it’s glue in belonging to Jesus.

  1. Spiritual Wisdom and Understanding of the will of God for our lives (Col. 1:10)

Most of us deeply desire to know what God would have us do with our lives.  Depending on our backgrounds, we often tie this to a particular job or vocation.  Some of us would like God to simply tell us exactly what to do, where to go and with whom to speak.  However, spiritual wisdom is the application of God’s revealed will in the Scriptures to the circumstances of our lives.  We are invited to seek God’s wisdom, and assured He will provide.

  1. Confidence in the power of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16-17)

I often fail to engage in gospel conversations with my unbelieving family, friends and neighbors, because I am afraid that I will say the wrong thing and fail to be an effective mouthpiece for God.  I think most of us would share our faith more if we were assured of the outcome.  The Scriptures tell us that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe.  I am praying God would grow our confidence, not in our ability to share the Gospel, but instead in the power of God to save through the Gospel.

  1. Identities shaped by our status as the children of God (Romans 8:13-16)

How we view ourselves shapes the way we live.  Many struggle to understand and embrace who they really are, because they are either confused, ashamed, or racked with guilt.  The Holy Spirit of God testifies within the heart of the believer that our identity is wrapped up in the fact that we are the children of God.  We belong to Him, and this changes everything!

  1. Hope that abounds in the promises of God in Christ (Romans 12:4, 13)

For many, how we feel today is tied to the hope we have for tomorrow.  Is it uncertain?  Is it promising?  Is it terrifying?  Though it may be all of those things, we have hope, because our eternal future has been secured for us in Christ.

  1. Love for God and one another, that flows naturally from the love of God for us (1John 4:7-12)

Love is a mantra in our culture, but we don’t really know what it looks like.  When we are captivated and enveloped in the love of Christ for us, we are then able to love one other, the world around us, and the God whose very nature is love.

May God be pleased to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think in and through the people of Calvary in 2018 and the years ahead.