“God speaks to man in the Bible; man speaks to God in prayer. One reads the Bible to discover God’s will; he prays in order that he may receive power to do that will.”The Complete Works of E.M.Bounds on Prayer, Page 72
We are clearly told in 1 John 5:14-15: Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
Dear Christian, it goes without saying that the year that has just commenced will be one laced with joys and sorrows, victories and defeats, ups and downs (Ecclesiastes 3:4,6). Knowing there are uncertainties ahead of us and aware of the truth that we can do nothing without God’s help, let us draw near to God, echoing the prayers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Lord expressed His will for His disciples and for all believers when He prayed for us in John 17. Therefore, we can be certain that God will graciously answer when we echo our Lord’s prayers for us.
LORD, please keep me. (John 17:11, 12, 15)
Heavenly Father, I thank you that in Your love, You sent Christ Jesus to this world to live and die for me a vile sinner, that I may be reconciled to You. He bore my sins in His body on the cross that I may die to sin and live for righteousness. My Saviour, please keep me back from sinning against You. Even as I face trials and afflictions, experience sweet joys and deep rejoicing, please keep me from stumbling into sin. Do not allow the evil one who roams about like a roaring lion to devour me, lead me not into temptation O LORD but order my steps to obey You. (Matthew 6:13, 1 Peter 2:24, Jude 1:24).
LORD, please fulfill Your joy in me. (John 17:13)
Gracious Father, I thank you for making me a new creation in Christ. Before You saved me, I was without hope and without You in this world. I was seeking for joy in sinful pleasures that were fleeting and hurriedly leading me to destruction. But in Your mercy You have given me the gift of eternal life and a new heart that seeks to please You; and for these, I rejoice! Father, I desire more of Your joy, that I may sing Your praise whatever comes my way. (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:3,12-13).
LORD, please help me live as one who is not of this world. (John 17:14, 16)
Holy Father, thank You for delivering me from the domain of darkness and conveying me to the kingdom of Your beloved Son. You have told me that this world will hate me because I am not of this world, just like they hated Christ My Saviour. Please enable me not to shy away from the sufferings, ridicules, or persecutions that may befall me because I am Yours.
You have told me that blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; for this momentary afflictions cannot be compared to the glory that awaits Your people. Please help me endure hardship as a true soldier of Christ, one who lives in light of eternity, with my mind set on the things in heaven where Christ is. (Matthew 5:10-12, John 15:20, Colossians 3:1-2).
LORD, please sanctify me by Your truth. (John 17:17)
Merciful Father, make me holy in heart and conduct. Please give me the grace to abide in Your word and prayer, that I may be sanctified. Without your help, the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and a desire for other things will choke Your word in me. Please help me delight in obeying Your word and by the help of Your Spirit put to death the sinful deeds of the body; that I may live a righteous life, fully pleasing You. (Matthew 5:6, Romans 8:13)
LORD, please make me Your witness. (John 17:20)
Almighty Father, please empower me by Your Holy Spirit to be Your witness. Give me utterance that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel. Diffuse the fragrance of the knowledge of You in every place through me; that I may be an ambassador who pleads with those who do not believe in You to repent and be reconciled to You, through belief in Christ the Saviour. Give me the grace to encourage believers in You, especially as the day of Your return approaches. (Isaiah 43:10, John 17:20, Ephesians 6:19)
LORD, please help me foster unity amongst believers. (John 17:21)
Everlasting Father, it is Your desire that believers are united; please help me to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Make me of one mind with brethren in my local church and other believers who call on You out of a pure heart; that we all, with one heart and one mind, may glorify You. Father, enable me to have the same mind that Christ Jesus had, that I may humble myself and be rid of selfish ambition that does not foster unity. (Romans 15:5-6, Ephesians 4:3, Philippians 2:3).
Lord, please help me know Your love. (John 17:26)
Loving Father, how deep Your love for me! How vast beyond all measure! For in love You sent Christ Jesus to die for me. I pray, help me know this love that surpasses understanding, that I may be constrained to love You with all my heart, my soul, and my mind. I see my failures to obey You and they grieve me! Have mercy upon me Father and help me obey You, out of love for You.
Please help me love others. Make me patient and kind to all, slow to anger and slow to speak, quick to listen and gentle to all, rejoicing in Your truth and not in iniquity.
Lord Jesus, You died for me, that I may no longer live for myself. Oh, help me live for You my Saviour! (Matthew 22:37-39, 1Corinthians 13:4-7)