Spending more time with family, getting into shape, quitting a bad habit and getting out of debt top the list of New Year’s resolutions. We make our resolutions with the best of intentions. Early in the new year we are like runners at the start of a race: excited to begin the quest toward the finish line. However, several months into the year, our enthusiasm wanes as motivation diminishes, distractions divert us, pressures and time constraints weigh us down, and apathy overtakes us. What started as a noble endeavor, often becomes just another New Year’s resolution that will have to wait until next year to be achieved.
So, too, in our Christian walk we start out with the best of intentions. We are enthusiastic in our faith and motivated to enhance our relationship with Jesus Christ. But if we do not nurture this desire and goal, in time motivation and enthusiasm begin to wane as trials and temptations take their toll. Many give up, beaten down by guilt, struggling to get back on track spiritually. As in other areas of our life, spirituality becomes just another resolution, indefinitely postponed.
Instead of waiting for another New Year, re-evaluate your priorities and goals right now. Rather than merely making a New Year’s resolution, make a New Life resolution – a lifetime commitment, through the power of God’s Spirit, to make Jesus Christ the center of your life. The following are some simple, but profound, principles to help you:
Live a life of prayer (Colossians 4:2).
Devote yourself to the study of God’s Word:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success (Joshua 1:8).
Be authentic in your walk with Christ (Ephesians 5:1, 2).
Commit to Him with your whole life:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37).
Take on this challenge of a New Life resolution – begin today, and keep the passion burning throughout the year. If you notice the flame burning low, rekindle it and keep on going – until the very end!
God is looking for men and women who will
inspire others. Those who will show, through the way they live, what it means
to be totally committed to Jesus Christ regardless of the cost. This will only
become a reality by those who devote themselves to prayer and Bible study.
An important principle for having a powerful and effective prayer life is to seek God’s will and not our own. This is taught by Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer:
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prays in
the following manner:
“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
The essence of Jesus’ life reflects His willingness to humble Himself and submit to the will of His Father (see Philippians 2:5-11).
The apostle John reiterates that we should
pray according to God’s will:
“This is the confidence that we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).
John could not have stated it more clearly:
If we want God to hear our prayers, then we must seek God’s will and not our own.
Our prayer lives will be ineffective if we approach God on our own terms and in
accordance to our will. However, they will become powerful and effective if we humble
ourselves before the Lord and submit to His will for our lives.
Praying the Promises
Praying the promises in God’s Word, having a
powerful prayer life, and living by the truth and principles in the Bible are great
ways to keep one’s life in submission to the Lord.
I looked at the sky on a cloudy day – Feeling so lost for I had lost my way. For some reason and I don’t know why, I felt that I was living a lie.
I reflected on my life and where I had been – I thought, could I go back and start over again. I’d make everything right of this mess I was in – All my mistakes and all of my sin.
I felt so empty – way deep to the core – I didn’t think I could take any more. I found myself kneeling, speaking a prayer – Not knowing where from, the words were just there.
They weren’t mechanical, for they came from my heart, Not sure what it was that made me start. I found my head bowed as I started to pray Not really knowing just what to say.
But the words, they were coming as I prayed aloud And looked up as a sunbeam pierced through a dark cloud. This ray of sunshine; this bright beam of light Awakened God’s wonders, displaying His might.
This instant awak’ning filled my whole being – Not just the shaft of light but some Thing unseen. I closed my eyes and prayed harder still, Asking forgiveness, as was His will.
Then I thought about Jesus and the stories I’ve heard; Vowed to read the Bible and bathe in His Word. Two weeks passed; I’d been deep in the Book – Was I unsure of something? I gave a re-look.
My Bible’s now tattered but I’ve been made whole – And I prayed and thanked God and gave Him control. Now I walk with purpose – He’s shown me the way; In all of His righteousness I plan to stay. To this day I’ve found peace that comes from above Bestowed only in grace with His blessings of love.
(We are grateful to Delilah for allowing BRM to use a portion of her prayer.)
Heavenly Father, Creator of Life – I thank You for the children You have entrusted into my keeping: those You have brought into this world through my womb, and those that You have blessed me with through adoption.
I ask Your protective hand upon each one of them. I know Father, they do not belong to me, but are only on loan from You. My job is to do the best that I can to raise them and nurture them and guide them. We live in a dangerous world God, and I fear for my children. Please keep their bodies safe, and even more, protect their hearts, their minds, and their souls. Do not let those that are bitter, perverse, prejudice, or rage-filled hurt them or harm them in any way.
I know that You have endowed each of my children with special gifts and talents. Help me Father to understand, appreciate, and nurture these gifts that they might find the path that You have chosen for them in life. I pray God that each child would be able to reach their full potential, understanding that every life you create is different and unique and every child has their own dream, their own path to discover.
God, I have a million hopes for my children’s futures. I hope that they find true love and I hope they never have their tender hearts broken. I hope they are able to overcome the obstacles in their lives, and I hope they never know the sting of racism. I hope they live to be very old, with children and grandchildren of their own. But above all else, I hope and I pray that they know You in an intimate way. Even if they should walk away from Your amazing love and grace, I pray You would not allow them to stray, but that You would lead them back again.
And God, for all the children of the world, I pray a prayer of protection, of love and security. I know there are thousands of babies that will never know the joy of their mother’s arms, thousands that will go to bed afraid, or hungry or lonely tonight. Please Father, be there to care for them. Send Your angels to hold them and watch them, and above all else, let them know that they are precious in Your sight. Amen.