If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:1-2
Dear Heavenly Father,
We praise You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that by grace through faith in Him we may live forever! May we continue to celebrate the miraculous birth of our great God and Savior in 2023 and beyond.
Lord, we ask that You help us keep Jesus at the center of our lives every day in this new year. Help us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). May we be continually reminded of what Jesus has accomplished for us on the cross, and that by Your grace, You have given us the tremendous gift of eternal life. Lord, help us to have grateful hearts and live every day with keeping this eternal perspective in view. May You give us the grace to walk in loving obedience to Your Word, and help us to delight in Your statutes and meditate on your precepts, as we fix our eyes on Your ways (See Psalm 119). Help us read our Bibles as the Holy Spirit illumines Scripture for us, and Lord, help us pray even when we don't have the words to say.
May You give us the patience to wait upon You and the wisdom to know when to be silent, when to speak, when to wait, and when to act. Let us be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19). May our words and speech be gracious and seasoned with salt, so that we may know how we ought to answer each person (Colossians 4:6). May our words build others up and give grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29). And when anyone asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have in Christ, may we always be ready to give our answer with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).
For those of us who are weak or tired, may You renew our strength this year so that we may mount up with wings like eagles and run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31). May You help us fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12), knowing that the Christian life is a battle, but also knowing that Jesus has already won the war for us (John 19:30). May we take up the whole armor of God and be strong in the strength of Your might. For we know that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (See Ephesians 6:10-20).
Lord, help us to know truth from error and discern right from almost right, by studying our Bibles diligently. The only way we can fight error and discern false teaching is by knowing the Word of God. Help us to recognize false doctrine and false prophets who come to us dressed as wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15-20). Let us not be afraid to expose false teachers so that we might warn others of their deceptive teaching and manipulative ways in the church. For we know that Scripture commands us to expose false teachers publicly (Titus 1:6-16). May we also pray for them, that they may repent and come to know, love, and preach the real Jesus.
When persecution in any form or degree comes as a trial, give us the grace to endure faithfully and to be meek and humble like Jesus. Help us to exemplify the attitude of our Lord and point our enemies to Him, in hopes that they may repent by Your grace. May You also give us the grace to rejoice in our trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces perseverance, which produces character, which produces hope, and we know that hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:3-5). May our trials help prove our faith in Christ to be genuine which gives evidence of our salvation. For it is one of the greatest joys to know that our salvation is the real thing!
Let us encourage one another in our own personal walks with Jesus and comfort one another with the promises found in His Word (1 Thessalonians 4:18). Lord, give us the grace to gently correct one another in love and restore one another in the gentleness of spirit (Galatians 6:1-2). When we are rebuked for the things we do wrong, please give us the humility to graciously accept correction, repent, and grow in wisdom and grace (Proverbs 9:8-10). May You help us to confess our sins and quickly turn from our own ways and run back to Jesus, trusting in His faithfulness, infinite mercy, abundant grace, and steadfast love.
The Christian life cannot be lived triumphantly when we keep our walk with Jesus to ourselves. Lord, help us to share our love for Jesus and our growing knowledge of His Word with one another. May we share our thoughts, experiences, and struggles, and admonish and encourage each other with Scripture. Lord, we ask that you help us remind each other and ourselves of the gospel every day in 2023. Help us live with an eternal perspective by setting our minds on things above where Christ is, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). Give us the grace to keep Jesus at the center of our relationships and conversations. “We need to hear the Gospel every day, because we forget it every day.” – Martin Luther
Lord, please give us the grace to be bold and share the gospel with those who do not yet know You. May You have mercy on those who are lost, and may You give sight to the blind. May You gift our loved ones, neighbors, and enemies with genuine repentance and true saving faith in our great Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Help us to shine as lights in this world so that we may point everyone to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord.
May this year bring lots of growth, joy, and peace in Jesus, knowing that for those who are in Christ Jesus, the best is always yet to come. Happy New Year everyone! All glory belongs to Jesus, our Lord & Savior! Amen!
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4