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How should we pray and ask God to make us holy?


How should we pray?

How should we pray and ask God to make us holy? Here we look at an example model prayer that reflects the priorities of Scripture.

Example Prayer

Father, You have raised us with Christ, so help us, we ask, to set our hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at Your right hand.

Do Your sanctifying work by the Spirit as we believe in the truth.

Father, sanctify us by faith in Your Son Jesus Christ.

LORD, it is You who makes us holy.

We need You.

We want to be made holy so that we will be useful to You and be prepared to do every good work that You have for us to do.

Help us, therefore, to put to death what belongs to our earthly nature.

We know that the blood of Christ cleanses us from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve You—the living God!

We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Father, we thank You that we have been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by Your Spirit.

We have been sanctified in Christ Jesus but we are still called to be Christ’s holy people.

Our old self was crucified with Christ so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.

So, help us to be holy not only positionally before You but also in practice.

God, You have done so much to bring us to Yourself!

You have provided Jesus who makes us holy through His own blood.

We know that by one sacrifice Jesus has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

So, don’t stop now!

Jesus has made us perfect forever!

But we are still being made holy.

So, help us!

We know that it is Your will that we should be sanctified.

We need You to help us and sanctify us by Your Spirit.

So, do that we plead as Your children through Christ.

We know as Jesus said, that no branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.

Neither can we bear fruit unless we remain in Your Son Jesus.

So, help us remain in Your Son and so bear much fruit.

Sanctify us by the truth; Your word is truth.

We want to be made holy.

And we know that without holiness no one will see the Lord.

So, help us!

Sanctify us!

God, we are confident of this, that You who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

So, may You sanctify us through and through. That our whole spirit, soul and body would be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is in His name that we ask all of this.


Explanation of Prayer

To write this prayer I read and meditated on a lot of New Testament passages connected to sanctification. So this prayer is replete with language and imagery from the New Testament. Here are the passages that there are direct allusions to or quotations of: Ex. 31:13; Jn. 15:1-4; 17:17; Acts 26:18; Rom. 6:6; 15:16; 1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11; Phil. 1:6; Col. 3:1, 5; 1 Thess. 4:3; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:21; Heb. 9:14; 10:10, 14; 12:14; 13:12.

*Photo by Ismael Paramo

An Imprecatory Prayer

God, You are good and You do all things well.
You are a God of justice and power.
Bring justice, we ask.
This land is full of evil.
People disregard people made in Your image.
People capture other people
and use them and abuse them.
O’ LORD, may that not be!
People plot and carry out senseless acts of violence
O’ God, bring justice!
Destroy the destroyers of the earth,
Destroy those who destroy Your good creation.
Pour out Your anger on those who have no regard for You and Your law.
Why should they escape?!
O’ Lord, regard and repay their wrongs!
This world cries out for justice!
And Father, Your sons and daughters,
whom You purchased with the blood of Your precious Son,
are disregarded
and slaughtered like lambs.
O’ God, regard Your servants, Your sons, Your daughters.
Protect, we plea!
For Your glory!
You deserve the nations crying out Your praise!
Bring that about, we plead.
Father, may all who refuse the salvation offered through Jesus,
who is the wrath-absorbing-sacrifice,
receive Your right and holy wrath.
And Father, we thank You for Christ!
Without Him we would be damned.
We are not better than those for whom we ask for justice.
It is but by Your grace and mercy that you have made us righteous and new.
Yet, even while we have Your grace and even Your Spirit,
we struggle with sin.
So, even as we call out for justice, Lord grant us grace and mercy for those who wrong us.
You are the Judge, vengeance is Yours.
And so, we trust You.
We trust that all those who do not receive Your grace through Jesus Your Son
will receive Your wrath from His hand.
So, Father, make us merciful and forgiving, even as we trust in Your justice.
It is through Jesus our Great High Priest that we come and bring these requests.

A Prayer Thanking God for Adoption in Christ

Father, we thank You that through Jesus Christ we can come to You as Father.
We thank You that we have been adopted through Jesus and are even fellow heirs with Him. Because if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.
We thank You that to all those who have believed in Jesus’ name,
You have given the right to become children of God.
And we acknowledge that we are born not of natural origin, nor of human will,
but we are born anew by Your will.
It is You God who chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world for adoption.
God, we thank You for sending Your Son,
to redeem us that we might receive adoption to sonship.
We thank You also for the Holy Spirit.
We know and rejoice that those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. We thank You that the Spirit we have received brought about our adoption to sonship.
And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
O’ God we thank You.
We are amazed that You God care for us and welcome us in through Jesus.
We are amazed that You, the Lord Almighty, say that You will be a Father to us,
and we will be Your sons and daughters.
You, the LORD, are the One who defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow.
And You are our God, and through Christ Jesus, You are our Father.
We confess together that we do not count on anyone or anything else to save us.
We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made,
for in You the fatherless find compassion.
God, we trust You.
You are the One who cares for us.
We trust You who we cannot see,
and not what we can see.
You God, are our good Father.
It is those who hope in You, LORD, who will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
So Father, we trust in You.
As Your children, we know we need You.
LORD, we know it is You that watches over us,
but You frustrate the ways of the wicked.
You see our trouble when we are afflicted;
You consider our grief and take it in hand.
And so, we commit ourselves to You;
You are the helper of the fatherless.
We come to You Father, in Jesus’ name.

“Dear God, I want to be very rich…” (and other prayers)

“Dear God, I want to be very rich. I would like a Benz or at least a new Honda Civic with a sweet spoiler and racing stripe…”

Do your prayers sound like that? Probably not. You might prefer a BMW.

Realistically, our prayers don’t very often sound quite like that but sometimes that is about the gist of what we pray for. Stuff, sometimes good stuff, is what occupies the majority of our prayers. I am not saying it is always bad to pray for stuff. I am not saying it is bad for us to pray that our dear Aunt Ruth will get over her cold, we should do that, please do, but we must also pray for other stuff; spiritual stuff.

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