It’s 2018 – a new year. And since it’s a new year, many people are reflecting on the past and preparing for the future. This is the season of resolutions, planning, and looking forward to what God has in store over the next 365 days. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about how you can improve your professional and personal lives? Maybe you’ve already made some resolutions in hopes of getting healthier, finding a more satisfying career, or improving your relationships.
All of these are admirable and important goals. But Christians shouldn’t only be focused on improving their professional and personal lives. They should also strive for spiritual growth since the spiritual underlies everything else. Spiritual health is the foundation for a happy life. And once we experience spiritual vitality, much of our professional and personal lives will fall into place.
But how can we improve our spiritual lives? Looking into the events and life around us it seems that our slogan should be: Prayer is the door to success in 2018.
Prayer – The Foundation of the Spiritual Life
Before we make any progress in the Christian journey, we need to realize that prayer is the door that allows us to enter into the spiritual realm. We communicate with God through prayer. Our spiritual eyes are enlivened and focused through the discipline of prayer. And every other spiritual practice – whether fasting, celebrating Lord’s day, communion, or any other – begins with prayer.
Prayer is the door to success in 2018
So as you begin 2018, keep the following prayer points in mind so that you can start the year with a healthy and robust prayer life. If you get that spiritual foundation laid, you’ll be well on your way to a better year over all.
Kingdom Prayer Points
When the disciples came to Jesus and asked for him to teach them to pray, he responded by giving them a prayer that has become known as the Lord’s prayer. It’s significant that one of the first requests Jesus encourages his disciples to make his for God’s Kingdom.
After asking for God’s name to be made holy, Jesus prays, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). This is the number one prayer priority for Christians: that God’s Kingdom would extend to the ends of the earth. As Christians, we recognize that God didn’t send Jesus into the world simply so we could live in fleeting happiness and pleasure. He sent him to establish his Kingdom. This is nowhere more clear than when Jesus ascended to the Father and commissioned his disciples to go and preach the Gospel.
This commission is in effect with each one of us. We’re all called to go and share the good news of the Kingdom. But even more basic than that, we’re called to pray for the Kingdom to come. This is why, earlier in his ministry, Jesus encouraged his disciples to “beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:38). As Christians, we have a responsibility to make the Kingdom of God a matter of serious and consistent prayer.
This year, make it a point to pray for more than your personal needs. Pray for God’s Kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Just like Jesus asked.
Let’s Pray this Year for the World:
- For peace around the world. Chaos and dramatic events fill our world; if there’s ever been a time when our prayers have been needed, the time is now. Let’s be sure to remember those people who are enduring violence and war in our prayers.
- For religious minorities Freedom of religion is restricted in many nations around the world. Because of this, countless Christians are suffering for their faith and experiencing persecution. Let’s pray that God would relieve this persecution so that they can worship freely.
- For people who live in poverty and hunger. More than a billion people on our planet live in poverty. Let’s open our hearts and minds and pray for those people, especially children, so that they might receive peace, dignity, and wholeness in their lives.
Local Prayer Points
Each of us resides in a particular city and a particular nation. We encounter particular people as we go about our daily lives of working and shopping. And every person we come across is in need – whether spiritually, physically, financially, or in some other way.
Just as it’s important for us to remember God’s Kingdom all around the world, it’s also important for us to remember his kingdom in our backyards.
One of the best ways that you can keep your local community in prayer is by keeping your eyes open. If you don’t already, read your town’s local newspaper and pray for the people you find there. Let your mayor, city councilmen, governor, senators, and congressmen receive your prayers. Pray for the policemen and firemen in your community who face dangers every day to keep others safe from harm. Pray for the local business owners in your community.
And as you go about your days, pray for those that you see. Pray for the clerk at the grocery store and the cashier at your local fast-food restaurant. Let each and every face that you meet be an opportunity to intercede on behalf of your community.
And after you’ve spent some time doing this, go out on a limb and begin asking people how you can pray for them. We’ve found that this opens numerous doors to not only pray but also to share the Gospel.
Let’s Pray this Year for the Local Community:
- For local politicians and government leaders. These people face difficult challenges and decisions each day and the future of our nations depends on them. Mention them in your prayers, asking God to put their actions in line with the Word of God. May they seek the ways of justice and righteousness.
- For people who we know who have strayed from the faith. Let’s keep them in our prayers so that they might rediscover belief in God’s mercy and find peace in his presence. Our prayers can help them become fully-devoted Christians again.
- For people in our communities that we see every day. So often we lack compassion, love, and forgiveness. Let’s pray for our neighbors, co-workers and other community members that they might live in love, forgiveness, and unity.
Personal Prayer Points
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he didn’t only tell them to pray for God’s Kingdom to come in the earth. He also encouraged them to pray for their personal needs. He said, “Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:11-13).
As you enter this new year, set aside time each day to pray for yourself. Ask God to meet your needs. Regularly seek forgiveness when you fail to live up to the calling he’s placed on your life. And ask for his supernatural protection and guidance.
But don’t stop there. Ask God to be at work in the life of your family. Your parents, children, spouse, siblings, and friends all need God’s provision, protection, and leading. Make intercession on their behalf a regular part of your prayer life.
Let’s Pray this Year for Personal Need and Family:
- That God would make us bold to proclaim the name of Jesus and share the Word of God with others. Let’s pray that God would help us to be strong and to keep our Christian witness clear in every situation – even when we face opposition.
- For the ability to forgive. We live in a fast-paced, stressful world where we often feel insulted and hurt. This can easily lead to unforgiveness and even bitterness. Let’s ask God for the ability to control our emotions, to forgive, and to have unconditional love for the people we meet. Even those who have hurt us.
- For God’s protection for our family members and other loved ones. Each and every day, our families face difficult situations in which we need to choose righteously. Let’s ask God to guide us and protect us from bad influences and poor decisions.
In the coming year, we hope that you’ll not only make resolutions to lose weight, get a better job, and spend more time with your family. We hope you’ll resolve to cultivate the greatest relationship you have by praying for God’s will to be done in the world, your community, your family, and your life. Follow prayer points for year 2018. If you will, you’ll be well on your way to a blessed 2018.
Also read: SEVEN REASONS TO PRAY DAILY