As we step into 2019, I have one prayer and desire for Sovereign Grace Churches. My prayer is that God would give the members and pastors of Sovereign Grace churches opportunities to share the gospel with the lost and that He would help us to share the good news of Jesus Christ with clarity and boldness. That prayer request is similar to the way that Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for him;
…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak (Ephesians 6:18-20).
Paul could have asked the Ephesians to pray for him in many different ways, but he chose one; boldness to proclaim the gospel. Paul’s single, focused desire was to boldly proclaim the gospel to people who did not know Christ as their Lord and Savior. In the midst of our busy lives that are filled with constant distractions, may that be our single desire as a family of churches.
J.I. Packer in his book Evangelism & The Sovereignty Of God writes this: “We shall ask eagerly, and pray earnestly to be shown, just how much it is in our power to do to spread the knowledge of Christ among men; and once we see what the possibilities are, we shall give ourselves wholeheartedly to the task” (p. 79). In other words, to have a wholehearted desire to boldly share the gospel with the lost, we must see the possibilities that are all around us. Pray then, that God would show you the possibilities, and that He would give you gospel opportunities in your neighborhood, workplace, gym, and on your college campus during 2019. Be convinced that God Himself wants to use you to spread the knowledge of Christ to those who desperately need to hear it. And if you’re like me, who can get tongue-tied when sharing the gospel, pray Paul’s prayer, “that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19) believing that God will powerfully help you.
Sovereign Grace is a small family of churches who exist to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world for the glory of God. A year from now as we close 2019, may we look back and say that we were faithful to that task. More importantly, may God use our efforts to save many more men and women from different nations, ethnicities, and languages who will one day join us around the throne singing “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:10).
Mark Prater is the Executive Director for Sovereign Grace and serves as an elder at Covenant Fellowship Church. He and his wife, Jill, have three married daughters and a growing number of grandchildren.