EDITOR’S NOTE: This column by Frank S. Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, is part of his ongoing call to prayer for revival and spiritual awakening for our churches, our nation and our world.
NASHVILLE (BP) — Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this year was the year during which we live as “more than conquerors”? The Lord gives us the key to see how this may be accomplished in our lives — it can only be done “through Him who loved us.”
These words from Romans 8:37–39 shine as one of God’s brightest promises to His children. The passage says: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (KJV).
I believe that this could be a turnaround year for many if we would focus on our relationship with the Lord and develop positive spiritual disciplines to help us deepen our walk in a consistent way. We do not need a momentary flash in the pan, an emotional high with God; we need a long-term, consistent growth pattern.
Would you develop a time of prayer that is earnest and serious?
For many years I have used the PRAY acrostic. I like to spend time in Praise and then time in making Requests to the Lord. I then spend time in Adoration followed by a time of Yielding unto the Lord.
Others like to use the ACTS acrostic, another prayer pattern I have used over the years. It begins with Adoration — adoring the Lord and focusing on at least one attribute of His character. After that, spend time in Confession. Take time dealing with that which is in your life that ought not to be there. Remember how Jesus dealt with sin, calling for a surgical excision of it from our lives. After adoration and confession, spend time in Thanksgiving. Devote time to thanking the Lord for what He has done for you. Following that, spend time in Supplication, asking the Lord to help in various areas of your life. For me, this deals with areas of family, friends, churches, convention matters and personal areas of need.
After you have developed a powerful time of serious, consistent prayer every day, would you also engage in a practice of scriptural study and reading? On January 1 of this year, I began my 41st year of reading the Bible through in a year. I love to read a section from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs every day. A one-year type Bible is available in many translations and can help you in this systematic study of God’s Word. His Word is precious and we need to spend serious time every day studying it.
A plethora of devotional helps also are available. The bottom line is you need to do something that is consistent and ongoing so that you can reach the spiritual goals which God has for you.
What is it that we keep holding back from the Lord? What areas of our lives have yet to be totally submitted to the Lordship of Christ? What unconfessed sin lies lurking below the surface and has yet to be dealt with decisively?
Our focus in 2015 must be one of absolute dependence upon our Lord and absolute submission to Him in every area of our lives. As you willingly yield to Him, I am hoping and praying that 2015 will be one of the greatest years for you and that God will use you in a mighty way in this New Year to bring glory to Him!