I’ve had some time alone this morning and have been thinking about the passing of one year and the start of another. I’m not into making New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to look back at the past year with gratitude for what was good and to make peace with the hurts and disappointments. This helps me move into the New Year with the past being a springboard for living fully in the present.
The prayer guide I wrote for our church for this past week has helped me meditate on 2009 and look forward with anticipation to 2010.
“One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3: 13-14
New Year’s resolutions rarely seem to result in lasting change, yet the start of a new year seems like an ideal time for evaluating and redirecting ourselves. We don’t have to be stuck in our pasts. We have a goal to strive for, which us gives purpose, direction, and motivation every day. This week let’s seek to come to peace with this past year so that we can leave it behind, and let’s realign our focus on Jesus so that we can follow him more faithfully. If we get our past in perspective and our goal clarified, our actions should fall in line more effectively.
Daily Prayer Suggestions
Monday: Take time today to reflect on the past year. Thank God for his love and many blessings. Entrust the disappointments, hurts, and concerns to his loving care. Ask for mercy where you have fallen short and gratefully accept his forgiveness. Joyfully thank him for the abilities he’s given you and the ways he’s worked through you.
Tuesday: Allow God to strengthen you and fill you with his peace as you continue to leave the past with him. He redeems our brokenness and brings good from it, and he strengthens us where we’re weak, if we allow him to.
Wednesday: In many ways we can’t know what lies ahead, but we do know that God is in charge and that our lives are in his hand. Reflect on what it means that God is sovereign, and entrust your hopes and dreams for this coming year to him.
Thursday: What is your goal in life? While we have many intermediate goals, God calls us to seek first his kingdom, to set our eyes on Jesus and live for his glory. Commit yourself to wholeheartedly seeking God and living for him.
Friday: Ask God to give you such a passion for him that you will eagerly strive to know him better and follow him in your daily life this year.
Saturday: There is a prize; God promises to bless us when we follow him. Rejoice in God’s goodness and his promises.