Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Prayers for the New Year

I originally posted these prayers 2 years ago for the New Year 2007, but with many new readers of this blog, I decided to repost them for this coming new year.

My prayer for you is, (from Isaiah 55:6) "Seek Him while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near."

If we can pray for you, please e-mail us.

Prayers for the New Year… 2009

(Personal prayer)
Father, as I pause to think about praying for a new year, I have to wonder, what is it about changing the date on a calendar that makes us think of “starting over.”? Don’t we realize that every day, yes even every moment is new with You? That at any moment we can surrender ourselves to You and start afresh? Why do we think a “date” must change for us to change?

Or, is it the “season” we’ve just gone through that prompts us to make changes? We have experienced the Advent and the celebration of the Day of the birth of our Lord. Is somehow, that “advent” so ingrained within us that we long for “something new”? That we subconsciously want to “prepare” ourselves to be, what, better? More ready for His coming?

I don’t know the “why” Lord. I just know that we do. My prayer is, as Paul said, “forgetting what lies behind, but reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on to the goal…” And what is my goal, Lord? To know Thee more clearly, to serve Thee more nearly, and to love Thee more dearly… this is my prayer.

In Jesus’ name - Amen.

(Universal prayer)
Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent God; our Creator, our Adonay, our El-Shaddai, our God Almighty, You are everything we need. You have created us for Your purposes and to glorify You, hear our cries; hear our praises this day…

We lift up to You this day, a new year; a turning of our earthly calendar. Do You laugh at that, God? For to You “a thousand years is as a single day” and yet we turn the calendar with such pomp and circumstance - with such celebrations and resolutions, that one would think that “we” had some control… but, it is all Yours.

We humbly bow at that admission and revelation. It is all Yours! Make of us, Lord, servants of the Most High God, make of us, Father, servants of Your children.

We pray, Father, for those for whom the turning of the calendar brings hope; for those who just want to forget last year and start afresh. We pray that they would come to know that “every” day is new with You.

We pray for those for whom the turning of the calendar brings despair, anxiety and fear; for those who just can’t see how things can get any better. We pray that they would come to know You in all Your fullness, and to recognize that “this world is not their home.”

We pray for those for whom the turning of the calendar brings excitement; for those who know You and just can’t wait to see what You’ll do next. God! That is so exhilarating - just to know the joy of the Lord! But even at that Lord, may we too, realize that “this world is not our home” either. Don’t let us get so caught up with “living” that we forget “life.”

We humbly lay this “year” at Your feet and ask what would You have us do? Where would You have us go? Who would You have us touch? And who would You have touch us?

And may all that we do, glorify You.

In Jesus’ name - Amen.

(My prayer)
My Father and my God, so order my steps in this coming year as to only bring honor to that Name I carry - “Christian.”

Lord, I know that means so many different things to different people - and some of it is not good. May I begin to change that!

John (our younger son) once said, “I keep tying my shoe, and it keeps coming untied - it must be something in my step…” Father, no matter how much I try to keep life together, no matter how often “I” tie my shoes, they keep coming untied. “Life” keeps coming unraveled, because that’s how “life” is. And as long as we live as humans, in fallen “containers” it will always be like that.

And so I pray, God, order my steps, control my walk, direct my path, that I may serve You and You alone this new year. That is my plea.

In Jesus’ name - Amen.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Scripture...

... is Galatians 4:4a. "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman..." (NASB)

"Fullness of time" - what does that mean? It means "perfect" timing.

It absolutely amazes me how God works, not only in the individual lives of men and women, but in "time" (past, present and future) as well. How He "works" everything together just boggles the mind.

The following is excerpted from a piece I wrote titled, "From Malachi to Matthew."

In speaking of the "400 'silent' years", I said:

"Yes, God may have been silent, but that does not mean He was not at work!

The Babylonians carried the Children of Israel into Exile, but it was during that period that the books of the Bible were compiled and the Synagogue system of worship created.

The Persians allowed the Israelites to return to their homeland. The temple was rebuilt and temple worship reinstated.

The Greeks (Alexander the Great) brought the Greek culture or Hellenization to the world. This brought a way of life, trade, diplomacy, and most importantly, the Greek language. It became the language of commerce and thus of the world.

The Romans (the Caesars) were geniuses at "movement" and engineering. They created a system of roads whereby the whole world could travel.

It is into this setting, at what Galatians 4:4 calls "the fullness of time" when the whole known world could travel and could communicate that we find (which, by the way, was written over 700 years before) "…unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace…"

At just the perfect time!"


I pray that you have a wonderful Christmas season. Watch and listen for God's perfect timing. Remember, God doesn't make mistakes!


Friday, December 05, 2008

Staircase to Heaven

Oh God, what a picture, what an image, to imagine that great chasm which lies between the man of sin and the Holiness of Your Presence… And then Lord, to picture a staircase, sure and firm though it be, to see that it is built out of “cross-wood”; rough, splintery, blood-soaked, cross-wood.

I see it rising, Lord, and winding past the petty sins of selfishness and greed, and ascending past princes and powers and principalities. I see it climbing up and circling the mount… the blood becomes mingled with gold as it passes angels and thrones and crowns.

It continues past prophets and priests and kings, to come to a throne-room where the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, reaches out His nail scarred hands and bids me come and pour out my heart to Him… He assures me that He has His Father’s ear…

God, I am breathless and awed and humbled to even think about and visualize such a staircase, and to know, that even if there were no other person, He would have built it… and climbed it… just for me…

I praise and exalt His Holy and precious Name… Amen.

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