It’s the time of year that we think about New Year’s resolutions. There are things about us that we want to change, so we make a list of habits to get rid of or habits that we want to add. I’m not here to give you advice about how to lose weight or save money or make better use of your time. I do want to help you think about your goals for growth as a Christian in 2011.
At Faith Bible Church, we have 3 main priorities. We call them “growth” priorities, because everything about our Christian life should be about growing, not remaining stagnant. We have a priority of personal growth, which we define as Pursuing our love for Christ. A key verse related to personal growth is Matthew 22:37: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. We also have a priority of church growth (not about numerical growth), which we define as Helping one another grow in Christ-like Maturity. A key verse related to church growth is Eph. 4:14-15 Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way…into Christ, from whom the whole body…when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. We have a goal of gospel growth, defined as Declaring in word and deed the gospel of Christ. One of the key verses that speaks about gospel growth is Acts 1:8, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
Here are some more key verses relating to each priority, along with prayer suggestions to voice the heart for each area. May God bless you and answer these prayers in you according to His perfect will.
New Year’s Prayer for personal growth, church growth and gospel growth
Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
Prayer for personal growth in 2011
- Seeking after God
- Thirsting for Him
- Keeping a soft heart before Him
Heb. 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Prayer for church growth in 2011
- Prayerfully helping fellow Christians towards love and good works
- Encouraging each other by regularly meeting together
- Exhorting each other that the Day of the Lord is near
Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes
Acts 4:29 And now, Lord, … grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,
Col. 4:3-4 …pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, …that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
Prayer for gospel growth in 2011
- Pray for a heart that is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ
- Pray for boldness to share the gospel with words as well as deeds
- Pray for open doors and opportunities to clearly speak the gospel of Christ