31 Dec A Prayer for the New Year
What does 2015 hold for you? It’s humbling to know that while we may have a small idea of what the new year holds, ultimately it is only God who truly knows what will happen. While we make plans, He weaves the smallest intricacies of our world together. He knows the number of hairs on each of our heads and every motion of every planet within every galaxy of the universe. The size and scale of His grandness and grace are among the thousands of reasons for His praise and worship. We pray in the new year that everyone may experience the unfathomable love and grace of the triune God of all things! Please pray with us over several things as the new year begins.
Our mission to Swaziland
We have finalized which organization we will be working with in the beautiful kingdom of Swaziland, Africa. Our hope is to be in Swaziland by the end of 2015 for our work to begin. Please pray for the children whom we will have the honor of serving. There are over 120,000 orphans in Swaziland, any of which could potentially be children we get to serve. So many of the children of Swaziland have endured an abundance of pain in their lives and we pray they see that the hope and the goodness of God is never circumstantial. His love is never ending and transcends any and all of our momentary afflictions. Pray that as we move into the next season of raising financial support, that people will believe in our vision to love these hurting children and feel led to be an ongoing supporter of the work we are being called to in Swaziland.
The persecuted church
It is easy to forget about our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world who are being imprisoned, tortured, and killed because of their allegiance to Jesus. As broken as the United States is, we still live in extreme luxury and freedom compared to the rest of the world. Remember that the church is growing exponentially in places like China where it is against the law to worship Christ, but people are seeing His goodness and worth despite their painful circumstances. Let’s pray for the persecuted believers who still boldly proclaim the love of Jesus even unto death. Let’s praise God as their lives boldly show that despite any suffering, He is worth it. No one can take away the hope that we have in Christ. Let’s proclaim to the world what Paul said to the church at Philippi when he said,”to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Those who don’t know or deny the Messiah
Annotation~If you are reading this and you are not a Christ follower, know that the heart of this prayer is not one of arrogance or self-righteousness. It is because of the grace of God that any believer has been saved. Know that you are loved by God and by us, and that we as Christians don’t want anyone to miss out on the indescribable joy that comes from a relationship with Christ. Both in the present and for eternity.
Our hearts should break when we think of our loved ones who don’t know Christ as their savior. We should feel deep anguish when we think about all of the people in this world who don’t know Christ. Let’s pray that more people rise up who are feeling the call on their lives to share the love of God amongst the unreached or the unengaged. Let’s rise up in obedience and love our neighbors more effectively in the coming year.
An important and often overlooked prayer in the new year should be for those who are lost, but think they are saved. Let’s pray for those who are deceiving themselves by resting in false teaching and having their ears tickled. II Timothy 4:3 says,”For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.” If you reduce the faith to trusting in what you think God will bring you because of what you have done, rather than trusting in who He is and what He has already done, you do not know Him. If the only thing that is different about your life post-Jesus is: church attendance, tithing, praying rehearsed prayers, and simply saying you believe; you must read your bible and honestly ask yourself if that is what Jesus called us to when He said, “Follow me.” When we truly realize the gift that we have been given in the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ; our lives are forever changed. If we are born again, our lives don’t look the way they did when we were in the world. Our focus will be on eternal things rather than things of the flesh. We should weep for those who think that because they give a legalistic 10% tithe, that God will give them what they want in this life, or that the act of giving earns them more favor with God. This heresy fills huge church buildings with lost people who remain lost because their sinful desire for fleshly comfort gets disguised as “Christianity.” Let’s pray for these deceived people, as well as the deceivers who are leading them astray, and that they feel conviction and come to repentance in the new year.
Ashley and I will be praying continuously in the new year for the name of Christ to be glorified in all nations and people groups. We pray that more and more people will come to Him in awe and repentance. We are eternally grateful for His love and guidance as He moves us into a new season of life.
Let us not forget how Jesus told us to pray:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” – Matthew 6:9-13