Pray BIG Prayers – Salvation

Maybe you don’t think you need to pray about this. Perhaps you already did pray about this when you were a child and have operated on the ‘I prayed a prayer when I was 8 so I know I am saved’ kinda thing. 

Since then, maybe you’ve just lived your life in your own way, pursued your own goals, chased your own dreams. Perhaps you haven’t really thought about ‘being saved’ since you prayed that prayer as a child. 

Just think – if that was someone else, would you hold them to something they said as a small child 30/40/50 years later? 

Just think – why do people renew their wedding vows?

Just think – why do you tell your kids you love them a thousand times a day?

Just think – is repenting of your horrible sinful hell-bound life of a handful of years really enough, if since then you’ve been doing your own thing?

No, I didn’t think so.

See, often, we think the prayer of salvation is a one-and-done thing: we pray it and move on knowing we have ‘ticked that box’ and don’t need to think about it anymore. But what does the Word say?

Since praying that prayer, sincerely, since repenting of a life lived for self and crying out to the Lord to be saved yes, your past present and future sins have been forgiven. But, have you prayed about your salvation since then?

In Ephesians 2 there is a great passage that talks about how we are saved by grace, through faith (vv.8-9). This means that there is nothing you can do to earn your salvation, the forgiveness of your sins, the removal of the consequences of your sins, eternal life. But, if we read a few more verses on, we see that we are to remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated…having no hope and without God…(v.12). When was ‘at that time’? That time was before you prayed for salvation, asked Jesus to cancel the record of debt your sin had accumulated, asked to be brought from darkness to light and to be born again. The Word tells us to remember that time, remember yourself pre-salvation. 

So, how does all of this lead to a BIG prayer? Well, remembering this ought to drive you to prayer in gratitude and for the endurance to keep going. If you have never prayed for any of this, then do! But, if you have prayed for this, received this by grace, through faith, then keep on praying for this. 

Today, there is a BIG prayer for you, whether this is the first time or the fifty-first time. It’s most probably the best place to conclude our look at BIG prayers.

First, if you have never prayed about this, try this BIG prayer.

Lord, I humbly come to you and admit that I am a sinner, that I have missed the mark in how you made me to live. I ask for forgiveness, and I thank you that you have made this available to me by the great and all-encompassing sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. I believe He died, and I believe He rose. Today I submit and commit to Jesus as the Lord of my life. Take me from darkness to light, from death to life, from old creation to new. 

If you are renewing your vows, so to speak, then try this BIG prayer.

Lord, I thank you that you have taken me from death to life, from darkness to light. I know that my eternal destination is to be in your presence for all eternity. I thank you and worship you for the life-giving forgiveness you have shown me, and continue to show me. I remember my life before, and I pray today that you fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit so that I keep on walking away from my old self, and towards you in the person of Jesus and in the manner He lived. 

Pray BIG Prayers – Wisdom

How often have you found yourself wondering what to do in any given situation? Maybe it’s parenting, or when you’re at work, or just trying to navigate all that life has to offer.

We read in James 1.5 that if we are lacking in wisdom, let us ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given [to] him. Great, so we’ve got some wisdom-from-above. This should help us make wise decisions, shrewd moves, and successful choices. Right?

I’m convinced that the wisdom that God gives generously to all without reproach is the first step in the process of being wise. 

Yes, Scripture clearly says that if we ask for wisdom in faith it will be given, but what do we do with it? How do we learn to apply it? Is it just downloaded to our brains and off we go? 

Some people won’t like this, but, Scripture also says that we are to think. Some may say ‘Well, I just pray about it.’, and that is good. Prayer is good. That’s not an incorrect statement to make, but it is a little incomplete. 

We read in Scripture that we are to think over what is given to us (2 Timothy 2.7) and then, after the thinking, the Lord will give you understanding in everything. 

What has been given to us, what are we thinking deeply about in order to best apply our prayer-given wisdom? The Word of God. The Word of God, useful for every possible situation we may find ourselves in (2 Timothy 3.16-17).

So, a process emerges:

  1. Encounter something difficult 
  2. Pray for wisdom (James 1.5)
  3. Search Scripture for similar circumstance (2 Timothy 3.16-17)
  4. Think over everything (2 Timothy 2.7a)
  5. Put it into action (2 Timothy 2.7b)

Today’s BIG prayer is the second step in this.

Father, I thank you that your Word teaches that Divine wisdom is available to me. As I am struggling to work through …… would you please help me to see this situation from your perspective, in the light of your revealed Word, and would you empower me to think over all of this so that I may know what to do. 

I pray, and know, that whatever course of action you direct me to take will glorify you and be the best possible outcome for me, and even if I don’t see it initially I trust you to guide me with your wisdom. 

Pray BIG Prayers – Help

Many of us have grown up in a culture where being self-sufficient is prized. The idea that you need to ask anyone for help is anything from slightly frowned-upon to outright taboo. 

Where would you put yourself on that scale? Do you feel strange asking for help? Dare you even ask anyone for help with anything, ever?

So much of our Christian faith (which, at it’s most basic, is believing that Jesus rose from the grave) is about admitting that we need help. We admit that we cannot do anything in the here and now to influence where we spend our eternity. We admit that we cannot guarantee our eternal destination by anything we do from our current earthly station. 

When we do it’s liberating, it’s justifying, and it’s saving. 

When we move away from self-sufficiency to dependency we are freed from the pressure of advancing our own little kingdoms. We take the burden off ourselves, and give it to someone else. We realise that as a stream, we are fed by a spring.  

Asking for help from a God who created the world, from a God who raised Jesus from the grave, from a God who is still present and active in the world today is not weak. Giving Him the burdens you carry, the worries you feel, the outcomes of your life is not weak. Admitting that you need help is not weak, it is quite possibly the strongest decision you can ever make. 

Modelling this for us, Jesus prayed many times for help (see John 17 for example). Today’s BIG prayer is asking for help.

Father, I know that nothing I can do in my earthly station can influence at all my eternal destination. This, along with all my fears, worries, and anxieties I give to you as a declaration that I need help. I cannot change the things that truly matter in my life, and I need you to help. I give you my life, all of it, and ask you to help me to use it well and that you would guide me to a path that leads to life everlasting.

Pray BIG Prayers – Service

John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address challenged every American to contribute in some way to the public good,

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” 

We are often told that we ought to be serving God (Deuteronomy 11.13, Joshua 24.15, John 12.26, Hebrews 9.14). But, have you ever stopped to think how or why?

Think of a spring of water, gushing forth from the land. Then think of the stream that comes from the spring. What serves what? 

The spring serves the stream in that it empowers the stream to be all it can be, all it is. Springs don’t need streams, do they? Streams do need springs, though. 

The same is true for you and God; He doesn’t need you to serve Him (Acts 17.25), but you do need Him to be able to serve Him (Philippians 2.13), you see?

So how and why do we serve? We serve filled with all that He wants to bless us with. We serve because He has blessed us with so much. 

We are the stream, 

He is the spring. 

Simply, we need Him to be able to serve otherwise we are left to pour out of our own resources and strength which, if we are honest, are very limited and superficial. 

Today’s BIG prayer then is to understand and apply how and why we are serving.

Father, as you said through the words of your Son, you came to serve, not be served. We know that without the life-giving spring that you are, we will never be the abundant and glory-giving streams we can be. 

Would you help me to see the truth in my service; that I can only do it when empowered by you and I should only do it to glorify you…full of you and for you. 

Ruth 3

What is going on in Ruth 3? Is there a moral lesson for us? How about this;

  1. Do what is asked of you.
  2. Be submissive, yielded, willing, and take direction.
  3. Put yourself into action and submit, do as Ruth did, and Naomi did, and as Boaz did.

Again though, that is putting you and me at the centre of this, making us the main character in this story, and essentially we’re then saying that the Bible is really about us. But, we know it’s not, don’t we?

So, where is Jesus in this?

Well, Ruth called out to be saved in v.9,

So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”

Ruth 3.6-9

Ruth here then is living out the truth that redemption is found under the protection of the wings, being in the care of, submitting to, the redeemer. This brings safety, security, and salvation.

This has been a consistent message from Genesis to Revelation, maybe it is easier to see in some places than others, but that’s ok, more light is shone on this as we move along the bigger picture of the Bible. But, at the core, the truth has always been the same – call on the name of the Lord to be saved; call out, ask, seek, knock, trust.

One place that it is really clear and that helps us understand what Ruth has done here, and what you can do, is in the book of Joel, one of the Minor Prophets.

In Joel, we are reading a prophesy, a future prediction about the Day of the Lord. Joel writes on a couple of variations of it, ready?; 

  • The day is past, being experienced in a plague of locusts and in a natural drought and famine in 1.2-12
  • The day is current or imminent, the day was to be carried out by an enemy military force in 2.1-11
  • The day is future: immediately in the salvation of Jerusalem from current problems, long term, in the giving of the Spirit of God on all people and the deliverance of all who call on the name of the Lord, and ultimate in the eternal holiness of Jerusalem, protected from its enemies in 2.28-32 and 3.

In the future day of great judgement (end of the world type stuff) God says to His people Israel look, 

return to me with all your heart,

with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

and rend your hearts and not your garments.”

Return to the LORD your God,

for he is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;

and he relents over disaster.

Later in ch.2 we read that at this time of universal judgement, those Spirit-empowered, faith-filled, Redeemer-trusting people will be saved, will be redeemed. Now, Joel 2 is not a blanket truth; we don’t need to pretend we are the people of Joel 2, because we are not the people of Israel, are we, but, the principle within that pledge is so applicable and true; 

call on the name of the Lord to be saved, ask, seek, knock, 

as Ruth said, “Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” 

See, no matter how much evil there is in the world, no matter how far from God we think we may be, no matter how desperate the situation may be in which we find ourselves, no matter if we are childless widows from a different country, no matter the current state of the world or your life, God has already provided the solution, God has already provided a way out.

This solution came, He lived, He died, He rose again, and He ascended, at which time He sent another solution, another solution of the same kind. The Holy Spirit comes alongside us, to abide in us, to walk with us.

Ruth called out and said

Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer. 

Joel says to God’s people of the OT

The sunlight will be turned to darkness

and the moon to the colour of blood,

before the day of the LORD comes–

that great and terrible day! 

It will so happen that

everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be delivered.

Paul says to the believers in Rome

…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

… because…

“everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

I’m saying to you today, now, that the same God who redeemed Ruth from a desperate and dire situation through the person and work of Boaz, is the same God who Joel says promises to redeem His people who call out to Him on the future Day of the Lord, is the same God who Paul is saying will answer the prayer of salvation from the believers in Rome, and is the same God that stands ready to redeem you if you call on His Name and take refuge in Him through faith in the person and work of Jesus. 


For more on the Minor Prophets, check out this daily devotional walkthrough!

https://books.apple.com/gb/book/the-minor-prophets-day-by-day/id1519395811