What dreams do you have for the new year? What do you wish would be different about you, your marriage, your family, your job, or your ministry?
Some of us may have been thinking about this since late last January when our shiny new resolutions had already grown stale and started to mold. Why do our good resolutions seem to go bad faster than a quart of milk and carton of eggs?
Far too many resolutions fail because we fail to pray. We set out with courage, ambition, and even some exhilaration. We might pray over our resolution(s) on that first day of January, like praying in the driveway before a long car ride. But before we’ve even made it out onto the highway of another year, we’ve already left prayer behind, and with it, the power needed to persevere in any new habit or pattern.
Without prayer for God’s help, our most meaningful resolutions will either fade and fail altogether, or even worse, seemto succeed, but fail to say anything significant about God. Before you make any new resolutions, resolve to pray. If you don’t resolve to do anything else this year, resolve to pursue change and growth through prayer, and not through your own resolve.
With only a few hours left in 2016, and a new year coming quickly, I’m thinking less about what I will do differently, and more about all that God might do in me and through me. The changes I need most in my life — my devotional life, my marriage, my eating, my exercise, my ministry — can’t start or end with me, so I must pray.
My new prayer, over every other prayer for next year, is this:
Lord, teach me more about yourself than I already know, humble me again with all that I do not know, and make what I do know more alive and real in my heart and life.
Lord, help me see more of you than ever before.
Every new day, and every new year, begins with the same prayer, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 1[19:18]). With the Spirit in us, and the infinite wonders of the very words of God himself before us, we never have any reason to be content with what we already know. Without a doubt, we should expect to see and understand things about God this year that we’ve never seen before.
We never stop praying that God might “give [us] the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of [our] hearts enlightened,” that we might know more of him — his hope, his wealth, his power (Ephesians [1:17]–18).
Satan spends every second of every day lying to us about God (Revelation 12:9). We expose and defeat him with “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit” (Ephesians [6:17]–18). Ask God to show you more of himself in his word this year than you’ve ever seen before.