Happy New Year!
May the Lord bless you in 2011.
By now many people are one day closer to not achieving their new year’s resolutions. There’s plenty of chatter around about why resolutions don’t usually work.
Instead I’d like to share four prayers I have for the year.
They’re things that have needed work for a long time. While I have prayed about them sporadically in the past, it’s time to get serious.
This morning when I was going to bed I started to earnestly pray about these. And over the coming months I know God will be faithful in helping me. I believe that, because Jesus promised it.
“Whatsoever you ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask Me any thing in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
Unlike all the resolutions that will fail, I don’t want to rely on my own strength. Yes, I’ll have to put some effort in. But the all powerful God will be helping me.
Your list of things that need God’s help with may be different than mine. But I encourage you to put Jesus’ promise to use, and ask for help in growing like Him.
Here’s my four prayers…
God has been so gracious to me. He has never treated me how I deserved. He pours love and mercy over me.
And yet the first time someone annoys me, I forget all that and feel completely justified in being upset with them. I want to give people what they deserve, but never have God give me what I deserve. And the offenses against me are usually so small.
My prayer is that God will give me graciousness. I want Jesus’ ability to overlook offenses and love the sinner. I want to treat people in a kinder, gentler way.
We’re awash in a world of complaints. We all love to complain. In fact if you’re standing around somewhere making small talk, the bulk of it is often little complaints.
A couple of years ago I heard someone share about complaining; how it was a sin, how we do it so much, and how good it would be to stop. I tried really hard for a week not to complain. I couldn’t believe how many times I was about to complain or stopped myself half way through a complaint. Heaps of them were not even things that really bothered me. After the week it just dwindled out. But it gave me a glimpse of how much it would change my thoughts and my attitude if I never complained.
Plus on top of all that, the Bible tells us not to do it.
“Do all things without grumbling or questioning…” Philippians 2:14
I know it’s going to take a lot of work to stop. There will be a lot of half said and chopped off sentences. I pray for God’s help with this.
God hates sins. I’m supposed to hate sin too.
Often I don’t hate sin. Too often it’s just something I’m not allowed to do. Sometimes it’s something I want to do, but I don’t do it because I know better than to do it. And sometimes I slip into “little sins” because I really put no effort into avoiding them.
I was recently reading about someone who had done something sinful, when I caught myself thinking it sounded like fun. Then I remembered the heroes in the Bible, like Paul and David, who were so horrified at sin. My sin is what made Jesus go to the cross, and I’m so flippant about it.
I pray God will help me see sin how He sees it. That I will be disgusted at my own sin. I believe this will help me to sin less and be more pleasing to Him.
What makes people do what they do? It’s fascinating to think about what motivates people. Much of my marketing study is about trying to understand that.
When I look at my own motives they’re not always very pretty. There’s a lot of times I wouldn’t want anyone to see the real reason why I’m doing something.
I want God’s help to be motivated purely to please Him. I don’t want to be scheming up plans to get the most I can out of something. I want God’s glory to be the number one priority when I’m making decisions. I want my motives for being godly to not be seen as being godly. I want the motive to be just the fact that God is worthy of everything.
There’s a long way to go.
So that’s what I’ll be praying for me this year. If you’re someone who prays for me, I would appreciate prayer for these things.
Like I said earlier, you probably have a separate list of things you could really focus on and ask for God’s help. I encourage you to do that. And, if they’re not too personal, you can share them here with us. Then we’ll be able to pray them for you.