HUNGRY FOR THE LORD
As 2022 comes to a close, we make New Year's resolutions in an attempt to want to improve our lives. While there's nothing wrong with self-improvement, the most important area of our lives that can always use improvement is our spiritual life. Instead of New Year's resolutions we often make and fail to complete, what about making 2023 the year we revitalize our prayer life?
LORD, HUMBLE ME
One of the biggest sins we can easily fall into without recognizing it is the sin of pride. We read our Bibles, bow our heads in prayer and attend church regularly. But if we're not careful, our spiritual growth based solely on our behaviors can lead to comparison and, eventually, pride. Let's live our lives like Jesus with a posture of humility. Let's seek to give grace-filled responses to those who oppose us politically, personally, or spiritually.
LORD, GIVE ME PEACE
As we round the corner of a global pandemic, mental health issues are on the rise. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders plaguing people today. And Christians are not immune. Just as our bodies break down in this broken world, our brains sometimes break down too. There is no shame in getting professional help or using medication if needed.
LORD, GRANT ME GRACE
As we struggle to surrender our pride and become humbler, it is easier to treat others with kindness than to treat ourselves. Sometimes the hardest person for us to forgive is ourselves. The more grace we grant ourselves, the more grace we grant to others. Let's ask God to give us an extra measure of grace as we process through past pain, forgive ourselves, and move forward into becoming the examples of Christ God desires for his people.
LORD, HEAL OUR LAND
As the world continues to be an uncertain place, and large corporations make it more difficult to speak about the gospel freely without fear of persecution, the world is more divided now than ever. To regain our voice within society, we must be a people who are willing to reach across the aisle and unite with people who are diametrically opposed to our viewpoints. The Lord desires unity for his people, not division. Let 2023 be the year we achieve unity in America and around the world.
LORD, HELP ME TO SEE
Although we may see the circumstances around us, do we really see people the way Jesus would want us to see them? May God grant us new ways to see the world around us.
LORD, MAKE ME MORE LIKE YOU
The best way we can be examples of Christ is to demonstrate the fruit of the spirit in our lives. Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot claim to know God. Therefore, our actions should be evident in the holy spirit's presence in our lives. Pray and ask God for ways to cultivate these fruits every day in your life.
LORD, SEND ME
We sing the hymn "I Surrender All" in church, then go home and try desperately to cling to all the things of the world that are most important to us: our health, and finances, to name a few. Are we serious about dedicating our lives to God's will? Let's assume a posture of being willing to go, minister to others, and do anything the Lord chooses to do with our lives.
Instead of settling for the same old stale resolutions, let's resolve to have the best prayer lives. Let's give over every area of our lives to Him and make 2023 the year we need revival not only in our hearts but in the world. Let's be a nation hungry for more of the Lord instead of hungry to exalt ourselves.
On this Feast Day of St. John of the Cross (December 14), let us reflect on one of his writings, “Advent Poem.” Each of us is called to be pregnant with Love, with Light, with Mercy that we give birth to in our neighborhood: “each of us is the midwife of God.”
If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the Holy and say,
“I need shelter for the night.
Please take me inside your heart, my time is so close.”
Then, under the roof of your soul,
you will witness the sublime intimacy,
the divine, the Christ, taking birth forever,
as she grasps your hand for help,
for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us.
Yes, there, under the dome of your being,
does creation come into existence eternally,
through your womb, dear pilgrim,
the sacred womb of your soul,
as God grasps our arms for help:
for each of us is His beloved servant never far.
If you want, the virgin will come walking down the street,
pregnant with Light, and sing!
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."