A “Puritan Prayer” for the New Year —
I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father as my harbor,
Thee, O Son, at my helm,
Thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to Thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.
Give me Thy grace to sanctify me,
Thy comforts to cheer,
Thy wisdom to teach,
Thy right hand to guide,
Thy counsel to instruct,
Thy law to judge,
Thy presence to stabilize.
May Thy fear be my awe,
Thy triumphs my joy.
Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed in Thy presence,
in Thy service,
to Thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from Thee,
but may rely on Thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire to show forth Thy praise;
testify Thy love,
and advance Thy kingdom.
From a collection of Puritan prayers in The Valley of Vision.
Prayers for the week…
As people of the world: Pray for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to advance in 2014. Jesus is Lord! Pray for the purity and the spiritual power of the church — that the church would be full of faith and conviction and zeal and action in the coming year. Retreat is not an option. Passivity is no plan. Seek the Lord. Fast and pray and humble yourself in His sight. Pray for your family, your church, your children, your community, your friends and co-workers.
- As neighbors and citizens: January is a cold month for much of our country. If you’re in the land of ice and snow, look for ways to help out those folks who may need some coats for their kids, or winter-proofing for their doors and windows. What a great way to meet your neighbors and make friends through mercy…which may give you an opportunity to “give a reason for the hope within you.”
- Pray pro-life prayers. Within the month of January is the special pro-life emphasis — “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday — on January 19.
Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place at the University of California — Berkeley — led by Brent Webster:
Brent started the RUF campus ministry at Berkeley in the fall of 2006. Prior to RUF, Brent served as an Assistant Pastor at City Church of San Francisco. Originally from Greenville, S.C., Brent is a graduate of Furman University and received his Master’s of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary in St Louis, Mo. Brent met Katie through RUF while she was working in the RUF administrative office. They were married in April 2010 and are enjoying life in Berkeley with William (Brent’s son). Brent, Katie and William love family time, hanging out with students and taking advantage of all that the Bay Area has to offer..
Using the 2013 “watchlist” produced by Open Doors, we pray for the persecuted Christians of a different country each week.
Teachers/parents, consider this a great way to introduce geography into the weekly lessons. Show students where the nation is, then pray for Christians in that place.
This week we pray for the Christians of Niger, which ranks No. 50 on the watchlist.
More than 98 percent of the population are Muslims, and hostility comes more from society than from the government. Historically, Islam in West Africa has been moderate, but in the last 20 years, dozens of Islamic associations have emerged, including the Izala movement which aims to restrict the freedom of “deviant Muslims” and minority religious groups like persecuted Christians. Islamic terrorist groups like Boko Haram, which are active in Nigeria, sometimes spill over into Niger.
- For new believers, who face opposition to their faith from parents and relatives
- That Christians will be strengthened: at the moment, churches don’t seem prepared for higher pressure from extremist Islam
- That the influence of Islamic pressure groups like Izala and Tariqa will wane.
Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on Utah. The vast majority of the state’s religiously-affiliated citizens are adherents of Mormonism. Pray that the true biblical Gospel would penetrate into Utah!
- Prayers for the PCUSA: Pray for the presbyteries of the Synod of Lakes and Praries: Central Nebraska, Dakota, Des Moines, East Iowa, Homestead, John Knox, Milwaukee, Minnesota Valleys, Missouri River valley, North Central Iowa, Northern Plains, Northern Waters, Prospect Hill, South Dakota, Twin Cities Area and Winnebago.
- Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the Georgia Foothills Presbytery.
- Prayers for ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
- Prayers for The Fellowship of Presbyterians.