In today’s main Bible passage (Philippians 1:12-30), the Apostle Paul expresses his heartfelt desire that Jesus be magnified by his life or death (1:20). In line with that, here’s a helpful prayer for this new year that comes out of these words of John the Baptist: Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)

So, I invite you to join me in making this your prayer for 2023 —

“O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
When John the Baptist made the beautiful declaration in the text above about your Son’s public prominence eclipsing his, it completed his joy! His joy was full! And we know that this was only possible because in the secret place, where no one else saw, your Spirit disciplined him until he no longer trusted or acted on any selfishly ambitious impulse & the desires of his heart were aligned with yours. This is our desire too. Jesus must increase and we must decrease. To that end, we make this prayer to you as we begin this new year:

  • Increase our love for you as the greatest treasure of our hearts and decrease any idolatrous love of lesser things.
  • Increase our trust in your promises and decrease our trust in our perceptions (Proverbs 3:5–6).
  • Increase our passion for Jesus’s reputation and decrease our passion for our own.
  • Increase our faith in your power and willingness to provide our material needs and decrease our fear-fuelled efforts to financially secure our futures.
  • Increase our sense of the reality of the resurrection and decrease our fear of death.

Yes, Father! Jesus must increase! Jesus must increase! We must decrease! If Jesus increases and we decrease, our joy, with John the Baptist’s, will be full!

So this is our prayer for 2023: increase our love for you, our trust in your promises, our passion for your Son’s glory, our faith in your provision, and the realization of the reality of our resurrection.
We pray this in the name of Jesus, with the deep desire that he may be glorified more in us this year than ever before, amen.”

May this prayer become a reality in 2023 in your life and in our church.

(You can also read the full prayer at must-increase-a-prayer-for-the-new-year)