a prayer for the class of 2024

A prayer for the graduates of 2024 and their families: Romans 1:16-17, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it (the gospel), the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’”

Lord, in Jesus’ name and the power of Your Spirit, I pray for the graduates and their families and all of us in this community. I pray for the gospel in our hearts and minds and lives and homes. We are sore in need of the good news of the gospel. The bad news is sin in our hearts and these are wicked and evil times. We live in a culture of death, homicide, suicide, abortion, and murder. Abuse, trafficking, kidnapping, missing persons, racism, hatred, and violence are the norm. Today is a time of sexual immorality, perversion, and confusion. And it’s not just what’s on the outside, but what is in our hearts: we are wicked and evil and deceitful. We lie and cheat and steal and lust and rebel against You, We are dead in sin and lost in transgression and dark in heart and understanding. We are not righteous on our own, we are guilty of breaking your law and rebelling against You and what is good and right. We have no right to stand in Your presence because You are just and perfect and beautiful and lovely and holy, and we are not. We deserve your wrath and judgment and punishment and hell. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Who can stand in Your presence?

But the good news is the gospel! Thank you, Lord, for the gospel! “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” The gospel of Jesus is that He became sin who knew no sin. The good news is that we have redemption and forgiveness of our sins by His blood. We are bought with a price; what can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. We have been given a righteousness from God, a righteousness by faith and not good looks or smarts. There is no other name under heaven by which you can be saved – the pastor or priest can’t save you, and you can’t save yourself, but in Christ alone our hope is found. We in Christ are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a payment by his blood, to be received by faith. And we are free from sin and guilt and shame, to walk in new life before Him. We are empowered to live new lives in Christ, for Christ, and with Christ.

I pray for new faith for those who don’t believe, to repent of their sin and turn to Christ and say, “I am lost in sin, o Lord, please save me.” I pray for those who know Christ to have an increased faith, encouraged faith, to live by faith, applied faith, faith that gives rise to works. I pray these graduates and families and all in Christ will serve You, obey You, follow You, and proclaim You. I pray we live out the gospel in our homes, schools, communities, jobs, colleges, and military service. I pray we magnify Your name and make much of You and the gospel wherever we go.

Lord, it is by Your word alone, in Christ alone, by faith alone, your grace alone, and glory to You alone. You are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Father-Son-Spirit of the Bible, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. You are worthy of all our praise. I pray those that have ears to hear will hear. I pray you will unstop our ears and open our eyes and soften our hearts. Amen.