Seeking to be transformed into the image of Jesus

A Prayer for 2012

In recent years, I have used a lectionary to guide my daily Bible readings.  The lectionary I use lays out readings in the psalms, Old and New Testaments, and Gospels each day.  It follows the rhythms of the church calendar to tailor readings to fit the church season.  During Advent (the beginning of the church calendar), for example, readings focused on the return of Jesus as well as his first coming.  I was regularly encouraged and challenged by the hopeful, expectant readings.

This morning, the last day of 2011, the readings were especially apropos for the end of a year and the beginning of a new one.  The Old Testament reading was 1 Kings 3:5-14; the New Testament reading was James 4:13-17 and 5:7-11; and the Gospel was John 5:1-15.  Three verses struck me as I read those passages:

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you” (1 Kings 3:5).

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for that person it is sin (James 4:17).

Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast.  You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11).

As I reflected on these verses, here is part of what I journaled.  It is my prayer for the New Year.

The last day of 2011! So much has happened this past year!  From finishing our ministry and saying good-bye to Jordan…to moving to Knoxville and beginning a new one.

If, as I look toward 2012, God asked me what I want him to do for me, I think what I would choose would be similar to Solomon.  Solomon asked for a discerning heart to know what is best.  But I would want more than that.  I would want a heart not only to discern what is best, but to choose what is best.  I would want the courage to say no to my selfish desires and yes to the very best things.  I would want the heart to avoid the path of least resistance or the easy way in favor of a heart to do the hard thing that invests in eternity.

In 2012, I want to be a person who knows what is right – who can enter a situation and discern what is going on and what the needs or answers are – and then does it.

In 2012, I want to be a man who remains steadfast – faithful – no matter what my circumstances.

In 2012, I want to draw ever closer to Jesus; deepening in my intimacy with Him; being transformed even more into His image.

Even as I write, in some ways such general desires, I realize such lofty goals come through daily choices.  Jesus was certainly right that faithfulness in little things leads to faithfulness in big ones.  To see these things happen in the coming year I desperately need 1) the power of the Holy Spirit; 2) daily rhythms that allow the Spirit space to change me; 3) grace, grace, and more grace!

May it come to pass!  Amen and Amen!

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