Over the last number of years, the National Faith and Life Team has put together a Week of Prayer Guide for our national MB family. Our “2022 Week of Prayer Guide: BLESS!” was focused on seven days of actively praying and living out blessings for God, our neighbours, our enemies, our church, our families, our world, and our Creator. Our 2022 Prayer Guide is available here.
Since we want a prayer focus that is more than just a week but flows through all of 2023, we are introducing a Monthly Prayer Focus. It will be available on the first day of each month via email and social media. It will also be included in the MB Herald. Our prayer focus for 2023 will be on the theme of “Holy Spirit—Fill Us!” and will involve prayers for God’s filling us with the Holy Spirit so that we can participate in God’s mission in the world. lease join us across our national MB family as we pray for the Holy Spirit to fill us in 2023!
“Do not get drunk on wine…. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18-20 NIV)
“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 13:52 NIV)
January begins our Monthly Prayer Focus: 2023 and we look forward with a heart of gratitude and anticipation to each day that God gives us this year, knowing that we don’t truly know what 2023 will hold. We only know the One who has promised to walk with us through each day. Jesus said, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). But Jesus ascended and his resurrected bodily presence is on the throne at the right hand of God (1 Peter 3:22; Hebrews 1:3). How could Jesus be with us after he ascended in his resurrected body to the throne at the right hand of God?
The answer of course is that the Holy Spirit is how Jesus is present within each and every disciple. While we believe that Jesus is in us (Romans 8:10), lives in us (Galatians 2:20), and makes his home in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17), all of these are ways of describing the Holy Spirit’s presence. The Holy Spirit speaks only in ways consistent with Jesus. The Holy Spirit empowers us in the way of Jesus. The Holy Spirit moves us toward the purposes of Jesus.
So when we pray “Holy Spirit—Fill Us!” we are praying for more of Jesus. When we pray for the Holy Spirit to fill us, this prayer is not a selfish prayer so we can have a wonderful spiritual experience—but a prayer for transformation of us, our families, and our churches so that we can lean into what Jesus is doing in the world. This prayer for filling is a transforming prayer that begins with us but doesn’t end with us.
According to Ephesians 5:18-20, this Holy Spirit filling should lead to continuous expressions of worship and gratitude on our parts. As we pray for Holy Spirit filling, we should respond with expressions of worship and gratitude. That is part of what the answer to our prayer for Holy Spirit filling should look like. January is a wonderful month to welcome the Holy Spirit—and focus on worship and gratitude.
May God in 2023 grant us this prayer of filling us with the Holy Spirit—so that we can truly worship, give thanks, and seek first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness!
Pray words of invitation and welcome to the Holy Spirit for your own heart:
- Welcome Holy Spirit! Come and fill me today!
- Welcome Holy Spirit! Wash over me and flood my interior life with the presence of Jesus!
- Welcome Holy Spirit! Fill me with the loving power of Jesus!
- Welcome Holy Spirit! Fill me with passion for the purposes of Jesus!
Pray words of invitation and welcome to the Holy Spirit for your church family:
- Welcome Holy Spirit! Come and fill our church today!
- Welcome Holy Spirit! Wash over our church and flood our lives with the presence of Jesus!
- Welcome Holy Spirit! Fill our church with the loving power of Jesus!
- Welcome Holy Spirit! Fill our church with passion for the purposes of Jesus!