IFI Prayer Team: Grow in Grace and Knowledge of Jesus
IFI Prayer Team: Grow in Grace and Knowledge of Jesus
Written By David E. Smith   |   08.31.23
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Andrew Carnegie said, “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.”

But Scripture tells us in Proverbs 16:3: “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” And in Colossians 3:2 we are told to “set our minds on the things above, and not on the things of this world.” However, Jesus gave us a superior directive telling us to

“seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” ~Matthew 6:33

Mature Christians understand that heeding this imperative is easier said than done. The anxieties of life, family, work etc. can be distracting if not overwhelming. God certainly knows our situation and the challenges that we face day in and day out. Yet He calls us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” but then gives us an incentive by telling us He will provide everything we need.

This requires us to lean on and trust in our amazing God. We must “draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~Hebrews 4:16

Grace is a constant theme in the Bible, and it culminates in the New Testament with the arrival of Jesus. Grace is God choosing to bless us rather than curse us as we deserve.

God distributes His mercy and grace upon us regularly, but they are not the same. Mercy withholds a punishment we deserve; grace gives a blessing we don’t deserve. In mercy, God sent His perfect Son to pay the penalty of our sin – eternal separation from God in hell. Instead, Jesus took our place (Titus 3:5; 2 Cor. 5:21). That is mercy.

But God goes even further and extends grace to us — even when we were still His enemies (Romans 5:10). He offers us forgiveness (Hebrews 8:12; Ephesians 1:7), reconciliation (Colossians 1:19-20), abundant life (John 10:10), eternal treasure (Luke 12:33), His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), and a place in heaven with Him some day (John 3:16-18) when we submit to His Lordship and believe that His victory over death removed our sins “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalms 103:12).

Grace is God giving the greatest treasure to the least deserving—which is every one of us. In return, not only should we imitate Jesus by extending grace to others but we should strive to grow in grace.

You therefore, beloved… beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness,
being led away with the error of the wicked;
but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
~2 Peter 3:17-18

Here are some additional prayers to lift up before our holy God through the name of Jesus over the next several weeks:

Please Pray:

  • That God will open the eyes of policy-makers and candidates for office to the sanctity of life. Pray that they will become defenders of innocent human life and not enablers of sexual immorality and death.
  • That the judicial system will uphold First Amendment rights of sidewalk counselors and Pregnancy Resource Centers as they challenge SB 1909, the new bill to punish pro-life advocacy.
  • That federal and state investigators will root out all corruption at the Capitol and among our legislators and that self-serving lawmakers will be replaced by honest and wise public servants.
  • That in the 2024 election season, pro-life candidates will have the time, energy and funding needed to saturate their districts with their campaign messages and materials.
  • That God will give wisdom and discernment to the honest public servants in Springfield who must work in the swamp of corruption and that they will have courage to serve the Lord with fear and trembling and not shrink back from calling out every form of wickedness. (Psalms 2:10-11)
  • That many godly counselors and advisers will surround our elected officials and that local pastors and Christian leaders will intentionally seek opportunities to visit and minister to these men and women. (Proverbs 11:14)
  • That God will work in the hearts and minds of our state lawmakers and governor and that He will draw them to Him and His truth. (Proverbs 21:1-8)
  • That efforts to indoctrinate children in government schools–especially the new law that mandates teaching about homosexuality and the “trans” ideology positively in government schools–will fail and that local school boards will reject this agenda for their students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • That parents/grandparents and church leaders would rescue impressionable young children from government schools and then prioritize the discipleship of these children in the Christian faith.

The works of His hands are truth and justice;
All His precepts are sure.
They are upheld forever and ever;
They are performed in truth and uprightness.
He has sent redemption to His people;
He has ordained His covenant forever;
Holy and awesome is His name.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;
His praise endures forever.
~Psalm 111:7-10

David  E. Smith
Dave Smith is the executive director of Illinois Family Institute (501c3) and Illinois Family Action (501c4). David has 30 years of experience in public policy and grass-roots activism that includes countless interviews for numerous radio, television, cable programs and newspaper articles on topics such as the sanctity of life, natural marriage, broadcast decency, sex education, marijuana, gambling, abortion, homosexuality, tax policy, drug decriminalization and pornography. He and his wife of 29 years are blessed to be the parents of eight children. They strongly believe that their first duty before God is to disciple their children in the Christian faith, and...
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