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New Year's Prayers 2011

 1.1.11



O LORD,

Length of says do not profit me except the days are passed
in thy presence, 
in thy service,
to thy glory.

Give me a grace that precedes,
follows,
guides,
sustains,
sanctifies,
aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart fro Thee,
but may rely on thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every note of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth thy praise,
testify thy love,
advance thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father, as my harbour,
thee, O Son, at my helm,
thee, O Holy spirit, filling my sails.

Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me thy grace to sanctify me,
thy comforts to cheer,
thy wisdom to teach,
thy right hand to guide,
thy counsel to instruct,
thy law to judge,
thy presence to stabilize.
May thy fear be my awe,
thy triumphs my joy.


The Valley of Vision


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A Prayer About the New Year and the Gospel


“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14-15
     Gracious Father, as I sit in my favorite “perch”, sipping fresh coffee and watching flames dance in the fireplace, it’s early into the first day of a new year. 
Tons of confetti cover the streets of Manhattan and gratitude fills my heart.
     I’m thankful I’m beginning this year with a little better understanding of the gospel than I had last year… and the previous years. 
I’m already praying that I’ll be able to say the same thing this time next year. 
For the gospel is not just good news for people getting ready to die. 
It’s good news for people who are now ready to live.


     In the gospel you lavish us with your love, liberate us by your grace and launch us into your transforming story of redemption and restoration. 
What more could we possibly want or hope for, in life or in death?


     Because the gospel is true, I don’t respond to Joshua’s bold charge with a list of New Year’s resolutions—promises of what I’m going to do for you. Rather, I begin this year resolving to abandon myself to everything Jesus has done for us. Jesus is the promise keeper, not us. He’s the one who has promised to make all things new, including me.


     Father, that’s why serving you is much more than merely “desirable,” it’s the greatest privilege conceivable and the purest delight imaginable. 
For Jesus is our Joshua—the one has saved us… is saving us… and one Day will completely save us. Without any embarrassment or fear of cliché, I gladly affirm, JESUS SAVES. 
What other savior died for us that we might find life in him?
What other god sacrificially serves us that we might gratefully serve him?


     Because of the gospel, throwing away my idols feels less like a painful sacrifice and more like a liberating dance. 
For all my “empty nothings” have ever given me is momentary pleasure and lasting regrets. 
Remind me of this all year long when I lose “gospel-sanity,” and am tempted to think otherwise.


     Father, may this be a year of considering our lives worth nothing to us, if only we may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given us—the task of testifying (by word and deed) to the gospel of your grace (Acts 20:24). 
So very Amen, we pray, in Jesus’ name, with great anticipation and much thanksgiving.




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Becky
If I am happy it is because of God! God, in His sovereign grace, has called me out of darkness into His Admirable light. He has opened my eyes and has shown me the way to Eternal Life. He has set my feet on a journey, and now I am walking Daily on My Way to Heaven. I did not find Jesus, He found me. I did not seek Him, yet He called me. I did not love Him, yet He loved me. I deserved death and He gave me Life. This is the place where I keep a journal of my life under His sun and by His grace!
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Borrowed Words

"It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven... to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?"

Jonathan Edwards

"I am still pondering God's greatness in His creation. I have so many questions that I would like to ask the Lord about the universe, creation, the fall of man... But when I'm in heaven, I wonder if I will even remember them. At that time, being in the presence of God will be enough. I'm thankful that I can look forward to that day."

-Persis

“Heaven is not here, it’s There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.”

- Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart



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