Praying the Gospel Every Day
From Scotty’s Smith’s Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-centered Faith (Baker, 2011), pp. 13-14:
Praying the gospel involves engaging with all three offices of Christ: Jesus as prophet, priest, and king.
Engaging him as our prophet, we listen to Jesus and we look for him in every part of the Scriptures (Luke 24:27).
Engaging him as our priest, we honor Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, the righteousness we have by faith, and our loving Savior and High Priest who meets and greets us at the throne of his grace.
Engaging him as our king, we submit to Jesus as the one who is making all things new—including us and the broken world all around us.
Praying the gospel involves “redemptive redundancies.” I intentionally always come back to who we are in Christ and who he is in us. Like Luther said, we need the basics of the gospel every day because we forget the gospel every day.
Praying the gospel also involves connecting with the grand meta narrative of the Bible, which runs through and connects all sixty-six books. This redemptive-historical way of praying helps us remember our calling to be characters in and carriers of God’s story. God’s story unfolds through the fourfold plotline of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation. Keeping this big story line in mind helps us consistently focus on the person and work of Jesus.
Indeed, the central and operative question in life is not “What would Jesus do if he were here?” Rather, it is “What is Jesus doing?” since he is right here, and everywhere else, right now. The two things that Jesus has “signed on for”—the two things that are central to the history of redemption and echo through every one of these prayers—are his commitment to redeem his bride from every nation and his commitment to restore creation and usher in the new heaven and new earth at his return. These two passions of Jesus are assumed in every one of my prayers.
Here are a couple of blurbs:
“All those of us who know Scotty Smith and his ministry know he’s a praying man as well as a great preacher, and therefore this book is full of rich resources for our own prayer lives.”
—Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City
“I want to be led in prayer by a man of God whose heart beats with the music of grace. When I read the prayers of Scotty Smith and pray along with him as I do, my heart sings of the glory of God–being soothed, strengthened, and challenged by the greatness of the gospel.”
—Bryan Chapell, president of Covenant Theological Seminary
“It has been a steady and sober joy and a constant encouragement to begin my day with Scotty Smith in recent months. He awakens me to my sin and need of grace and points me to the Savior every morning. Scotty brings a wealth of pastoral experience to his observations, ones that truly prepare us to walk with the Lord each day. Scotty’s thoughts are perfect for a daily devotional. With an image, a question, or a well-formed phrase, he engages us, but more than that, he leads us to engage our own souls, and to do so in the presence of the God of the gospel of grace.”
—Dan Doriani, senior pastor of Central Presbyterian Church, St. Louis; professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary
And here’s a word from Scotty to pastors on how they can foster prayer in the local church: