The January 2024 month of prayer, fasting and abstinence is focussed on Spiritual Renewal. The prayers below can be used as a guide to help focus our prayers throughout the month.
Jan 1 – Acts 1:8 CSB, ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
We start the new year with a prayer based on the baptism and empowering by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does so much for us, and in us; Jesus emphasised before His Ascension how the Spirit’s coming would empower the church to be effective witnesses to Him.
Father, the Baptism of the Spirit is a wonderful, life-transforming thing. Your Spirit’s coming transformed the early church into a world-changing body of believers. Your Spirit empowered them and released them into a new experience of fruitful evangelism, mission and church expansion.
We pray for a new season of spiritual renewal in our church – of Spirit-empowered, fruitful evangelism, mission and church building. The power, gifts and love of the Spirit align Your people with Your Kingdom purposes and will. Empower each of us by Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jan 2 – Ephesians 1:17 CSB, ‘I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.’
Here, Paul calls God Almighty, ‘the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father.’ In the Incarnation Jesus looked up to God just as we are called to do. The difference was that Jesus had come from God, knew God intimately, was without sin, and knew perfectly how to please God.
Paul also called Him ‘the glorious Father.’ This is a beautiful picture pointing to God as the best embodiment of Fatherhood, the One who perfectly is Father God.
Father, as we come to You today, we meditate upon the truths that You are also the One to whom Jesus looked in His Incarnation, and the One who embodies everything that is good about Fatherhood.
As we pray into spiritual renewal, we recognise the importance of keeping Your Fatherhood in sight, of recognising the Oneness of Your relationship with Jesus, and the crucial role of Your Spirit in enabling us to know You as You really are.
We ask that Your Holy Spirit would give us wisdom to be able to engage with You as the glorious Father, to understand Your will in Christ, and the spiritual revelation we need in order to live, minister/serve and worship as You call us to do in and through the Lord Jesus. Amen.
Jan 3 – Colossians 1:9 CSB, ‘For this reason also, since the day we heard this, I haven’t stopped praying for you. I am asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.’
Paul prays for the Colossian believers to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, which is at the heart of developing Christian maturity.
The wisdom Paul speaks about is that which is godly, is in a saving relationship with the One who is the true source of all godly wisdom, gives insight into the will of God in Christ, and is able to apply the knowledge given by His word.
Spiritual understanding is the great defence against spiritual ignorance.
Father, as Paul prayed this verse, so do we. It is one thing to read about Your will, but without godly wisdom and spiritual understanding, Your will is always out of reach. We are to be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
We pray especially for those we know who are in spiritual ignorance. Holy Spirit, start to awaken them to their need of Christ, and the knowledge of Your will in Christ. Turn their spiritual ignorance into spiritual understanding, bringing the Lord Jesus to the fore through a saving relationship with Him as this happens. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jan 4 – Ephesians 3:16 CSB, ‘I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit.’
We started this week with a focus on the power of the Spirit, and we return to it today.
God has the riches we need to do all He calls us to do. Prayer connects us to the One who
distributes the riches of His grace.
Father, Your Spirit’s power transforms us on the inside, and enables us to step out boldly, denying ourselves, taking up our crosses daily, and following Jesus. We ask for the Spirit’s power in order to be strengthened in the inner being.
We would to be renewed in Christ, to step out spiritually renewed, and to see Your renewing power impact others and our communities. You know everything about our inner being – we ask for renewal on the inside. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jan 5 – Ephesians 1:18-19 CSB, ‘I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints,  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his mighty strength.’
Paul again was praying for spiritual perception and insight. This wasn’t so the believers would be puffed up with pride, but so they would be firmly established in Christ, in all that He has done for them, is willing to do in them, and through them.
Father, You are Almighty God. You have the strength to do everything well. Your power is made available to us in Christ by Your Holy Spirit.
We ask that ‘the eyes of our hearts’ – of our souls, will be opened further, so that in our thinking – our relationships – our emotions – and in the choices we make, we will know Your wisdom and spiritual understanding, the hope of Your calling.
We ask that we will be able to know what is the wealth of the glorious inheritance You have prepared for us in Christ. Without Jesus, where would we be? We would be lost in spiritual ignorance, and bound in spiritual darkness.
You are at work in us, and want to do more. It is a partnership with our faith and obedience which are key in this deep work of Your Spirit.
We pray that our church will be good at equipping the believers who come in person, and join us online, to pray such prayers, and to walk in the power You provide for life, ministry/service and worship. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jan 6 – Colossians 1:11-12 CSB, ‘being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully  giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.’
Paul’s prayer was for Christ’s followers to be able to give thanks to the Father in the midst of the longevity of life. Life can be mundane, can be tiring, and can be frustrating. Paul was praying that the believers would have all needed to endure joyfully, giving thanks to the Father, and to walk in the light of Christ.
Father, we pray for a fresh appreciation of the power of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving opens the doors to spiritual life and renewal. We give thanks for all You have done for us through and in Jesus.
Life can be hard, taxing and difficult, it can also be fruitful, joyful and rewarding. As we pray for spiritual renewal, we also ask for the strength needed to patiently and joyfully endure and thrive in life, while continuing to give ourselves wholly and sacrificially to the cause of Christ.
There is a marvellous inheritance laid up for Your people. Thank You that it is both future in heaven, but also there are the foretastes of it here in this life. We ask that we may walk in the abundance of life that Jesus promised. Amen.
Jan 7 – Philippians 1:9-11 CSB, ‘And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of [spiritual] discernment,  so that you may approve the things that are superior and may be pure and blameless in the day of Christ,  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.’
Paul prayed for their love to keep on growing. He was specific and used agape love to reinforce the divine source of such love. This love was not just an emotional response to their brothers and sisters in Christ in Philippi, but was to reflect the very character and nature of God in how He loves us and the world.
Father, thank You that in Christ, You open to us the fountain of Your love. We can drink from Your love, be renewed spiritually by it, be able to then allow that love to transform who we are, and live in love in relationship with others.
This is not ill-judged love, but that which is rooted in the knowledge of Christ and Your will, and is spiritually alive and perceptive. We pray that our agape love will keep on growing as we walk in the Spirit, and spiritually mature in every way.
As we pray for this growth in agape love in each other in Telford Elim, we ask that we will be able to approve and embrace that which is best for ourselves and one another. Our desire is that we will step into the Christian maturity You call us to – into all that You have for us in and through Christ. Amen.