TUESDAY, JANUARY 15
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV
SPIRITUAL HABIT #1 – PRAYER
As we begin the new year, I (Steve) want us to think about how we might keep growing in our faith this next year. All spiritual growth happens because God does something in us. God has sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts as believers to actively shape us into the image of Jesus. But, this doesn’t mean that God wants us to sit back and relax and let Him work while we remain idle. God has designed it so that we will get His help as we obey and seek Him. The Bible strikes a balance when it comes to our spiritual growth. If we grow, it’s because God caused it to happen. He gets the credit. If we don’t grow, it’s because our laziness or disobedience has hindered His work. It’s our fault.
One of the ways we see this principle at work is prayer. Prayer itself has no power in and of itself. The power comes from the One we are praying to – God. When we do our part and depend on God in prayer, He sends the help. When we pray, He unlocks the door to more of His grace that enables more growth. The writer of Hebrews (4:16) explains that we will “receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” What unlocks the door to God’s help? We “draw near” to God. One of the primary ways we do this is through prayer. If you haven’t made prayer a regular habit in your life, begin today! Here’s a quick guide for prayer that can get you started. Start out thinking about God and who He is – Praise Him. Then, inspect your heart and life as you search for sin – Confess to Him. Now, think of all the blessings that God has given you – Thank Him. Finish with the needs and burdens that are on your heart for yourself and others – Ask Him. Think about the areas of your life where you need God’s wisdom for decisions and direction in your life. Ask Him for wisdom, believing that He will show you His will.