Friend, our days are numbered and once they are gone, they are gone, there's no going back. Thankfully God doesn't want us to live with regrets, but He does expect us to learn from mistakes. So this year what changes do you want to make? How will you use the 365 days 2015 holds?
Philippians 3:13-14 says, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Friend, the past is past...in His Word, God instructs us to forget it, but He also directs us to strain and press on.
I'm not sure how many people are heading into the the new year thinking about straining...that word takes me back to New Year's Day early morning basketball practice over 20 years ago. It was the practice we all dreaded, but as an athlete driven to succeed it was something I did. Oh, to approach my walk with Christ with the same discipline, dedication and desire. Friend, may 2015 be the year you and I press on. May it be the year we don't just set lofty goals and dream big dreams, but one where we commit to straining, to doing the work that growing in faith requires.
There's no 3 step program to accomplish this, but seeking God, starting our day with Him and staying focused will help. A few years back, Wendy Blight shared her New Year's prayer and it's become something I do as well. It's a simple way to start the year, but also a powerful tool as we walk in faith. As the year goes by I pull it out and pray it from time to time and when the year is done it helps me reflect on all God has done.
Yesterday I started thinking about the prayer I would write and 4 M's came to mind - myself, marriage, mothering and ministry. This morning as I wrote my New Year's Prayer, I gave the 4 M's to God and shared what He put on my heart. I trust this prayer will be answered and know it will be a tool He will use in the year to come. Friend I encourage you to visit Wendy's site to learn more about this (click HERE) and I pray you will consider writing your very own prayer as well. If you want to live the year with God and for Him, we must start it by praying to Him!!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Lord, You are good, You are present and You are working. Thank You for walking with me, equipping me and using me in the year that has passed. As 2015 unfolds, I pray that I would keep my eyes on You and continually renew my mind so that You would continue the work You’ve begun. Thank you Father for being the One who is always there…Your Word says You will never leave or forsake me and You haven’t. May I trust in You with all of my heart; take away my desire to lean on my understanding.
Lord, I know you are again drawing me out of my comfort zone and I ask for focus…help me tune out the lies and dig deeper into Your Word. May it be a light unto my path. Help me be like Mary and respond with obedience and do the good works You’ve created me to do. Help me be like the wisemen and seek You. Help me be like the shepherds and share Your good news. As I walk the path You’ve planned may I do so while praying continuously. May this be a year that I draw closer to You and allow You to do more through me. Help me run the race with endurance, perseverance, purpose and discipline. Open my ears to hear from You and tender my heart to receive all You have for me.
Father, I also lift up my marriage to You. Continue to draw Job and I closer to You and one another. May we truly desire to be a picture of You and the church. Help me lay aside my selfish wants, humble myself and put him first. Unite us with a passion to follow You, love You and serve You.
As another year passes, my kids have grown older and mothering changes and in ways gets harder. Lord, I ask for wisdom…help me be the Mom that each of the kids need. Give me patience and help me be consistent. Give me eyes to see them the way You do and equip me to help them grow closer to You. Help me be an example who walks the walk and a teacher who points them to You. I long to encourage them to be the people You created them to be. Draw us closer to You and strengthen all the relationships that exist in our house.
Lord, I also pray for the ministry You’ve called me to. First and foremost I pray for priorities…help me always remember my home is where it all begins and matters most. I also ask for wisdom…help me know when to say “Yes” and when to say “No” so that I can do what You call me to do. Lord when I do step out I ask You to give me the words, whether I write them or speak them, and the courage to share them with passion. As I share my story, may I encourage others in theirs and equip them with Your’s. Help me remember Lord that I serve an audience of One and help me strive to please You, not man. Father, like Joshua help me be strong and courageous and do what You’ve commanded me to do trusting You will not leave or forsake me.
In the year to come may the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart please You Lord and may they also build up the body and bless those who hear. Lord thank you for drawing me closer to You, breaking down some walls and helping me grow in my faith in 2014. Your love is incomprehensible, but I’m grateful for how You give me more and more understanding as I walk with You. Help me embrace it and share it Lord. Father, I give this year to You and boldly ask You to do more than I could think or imagine. I love You, I trust You and I need You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen