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Flourishing Under God's Grace

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2018 New Year's Prayers

Posted on January 1, 2018 at 7:55 AM

As I sit here looking out the window on a very cold Jan 1st morning, I am contemplating the year ahead. The sky is transitioning from black to dark gray to light gray with streaks of orange from the rising sun. Transition. A word the Lord spoke over me last year and I believe is an important part of this year as well. My life has been and continues to transition from black, to dark gray, to light gray and finally to the vibrant colors of orange and red and yellow, and finally into the blinding sunshine that is God's plan and purpose for my life. A song comes to mind and I sing it slowly and worshipfully, meditating on every word, and adding a few for emphasis.

"The sun comes up, it's a new year dawning. It's time to sing my song again. Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, may I be singing when the evening comes. BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL, O MY SOUL. WORSHIP HIS HOLY NAME. SING (all year) LIKE NEVER (never ever) BEFORE, O MY SOUL, I WORSHIP YOUR (Jesus) HOLY NAME!" 

Oh I'm praying for a year that will be experienced like never before. The my soul will reach new heights of worship and intimacy with the Lover of my soul, Jesus. I'm praying for a saturation of the Oil of Anointing of the manifest Presence of God ike never before. I'm praying for RESTORATION of all things broken, unfinished, diseased and stolen from my life. I declare a year of RESTORATION for me and all attached to me. If you come near me this year, it's likely I'll lay hands on you and pray for restoration in your life. 

Enough about me, I'm getting carried away here, now back to YOU! Are you taking some time to write down RESOLUTIONS, goals, plans, wishes, dreams, prayers? It's easy to make that list in the same manner you have before. 1. Lose weight, 2. Exercise more, 3. Eat healthy, 4. Pray more, 5. Read Bible more ... or whatever your list looks like. But may I suggest a different approach because sometimes, that old way didn't prove to be very effective.

Instead of writing the things that YOU are going to attempt to do, how about writing a prayer about it. Instead of lose weight, eat right and exercise more; write, "Lord Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit that is within me, give me the desire to do all of the things that I need to do to be more healthy. Change my 'want to,' change my heart in such a way that it will give me the courage and the steadfastness to make those changes."

If you want to pray more, read the Bible more, don't just make a resolve to do so, ask the Lord to create a hunger for Him and for His Word in such a way that you MUST have time with Him. And that the Word would come alive in ways you've never known, thus creating an excitment for His Word that you've never known. 

If you think that you want to be a more kind, generous and benevolent person, don't just make a plan for giving, but ask Jesus to do a work in your heart that causes you to see others as He does. Ask Him to increase the compassion in your heart. 

I think you get the picture. Making a list of resolves, changes or goals is great, but the reason most of us don't follow through for long is that our hearts just are in the change. We are trying to will ourselves to make changes and let's face it, our wills change on a whim. But when we get the Holy Spirit involoved in changing our hearts, then our deep desires (the thing that really drives us in our core) change. When we are changed at the heart level, our thoughts and actions are changed, really changed. We will see the results that we desire to see. We are changed for the better. And, most importantly, God gets the glory!

I pray for you and happy, healthy, transformed and restored 2018! In Jesus' Name!

-Dana Stout

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