Sunday, January 1, 2017

Prayers For The New Year

Before beginning my time of prayer this morning, I read my daily Psalm, which helps prepare me for my time of silence and stillness. It often offers up a word to focus on when my thoughts begin to wander or be distracted. Today's Psalm was the Twentieth and as I read these lines:

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May he grant you your heart's desire
and fulfill all your plans.

my spirit began to stir and as I prayed, I found that, as a way to start this new year, I wanted to use this time to let love speak loudest and that it was to be a love for others. So I posted on Facebook and tweeted the offer that anyone who liked the post or the tweet, I would pray for them every day this year. It was not an empty offer and they did not even have to tell me what they wanted me to pray for them. I am trusting that God will lead in me in these prayers. There will be days that He may give me a word to pray over each person such as joy, peace, wisdom, guidance or health. He may provide a specific reason to pray for someone. Prayer is a form of love and, like all acts of love, the heart must be willing to be broken. I want to be broken before God on behalf of others. And I am praying that God's love be poured out on each of those who responded. I will pray that each of them understand that God calls them "beloved."

I will be silent and let God lead me. I will come to this daily prayer with no preconceived ideas of what I am to pray but will trust solely that the Spirit will work through me on behalf of those I am praying for. For me, this is an act of joyous obedience. It is being open to God's will for me and for them. I will pray God's will be done in their lives. 

Julian of Norwich wrote, "Prayer unites the soul to God, for though the soul may be always like God in nature and in substance restored by grace, it is often unlike him in condition, through sin on man's part. Then prayer is a witness that the soul wills as God wills, and it eases the conscience and fits man for grace."  

I look forward to my times of prayer, though I know all too well, that such times are not always easy. There may be times where the prayers I offer up are joyous ones. Still, I know that there will be those of brokenness and sorrow. What prayer requires of me is complete unguarded honesty and trust. Yet I know these prayers will see fruits in the lives of those I am praying for. As 1st John 5:14 reminds me, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."

If you would like me to add you to my prayer list, just comment your name and I will pray for you daily as well. 

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