Thank you for getting us through another year. It’s been tough for most of us, but I’m grateful for Your guidance and comfort throughout. My family has seen life, death, happiness, joy, sorrow, depression, laughter, deep empathy, teen struggles, victory and a whole lot of fellowship through it all with our church family. (We wouldn’t have made it, otherwise!) Thank you, Lord, for our Small Group, who has been the backbone of our church life and prayer support. The tears flow even now as I write thinking of each of them… Bless each family represented and bring them closer to You in this new year.
Father, this past year had frustrations and disappointments. Help us to learn from them and to move on in a positive way toward Your priorities, not ours. Help us to continually stop to listen to that still, small Voice that calls us to look beyond what we can see, to listen past what others hear.
Give us the strength to make it a priority to read Your Word regularly, Lord. If not daily, I want it to be as often as possible because that’s how I learn to be more like You. As it says in Romans 12:2…
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)
Give us a new year not controlled by fear, anxiety or stress, but by Your will, Your hand and Your direction.
Give us a new year full of new ministries and opportunities. As we get into the political battles of primaries, beginning with the state of Illinois in February, Father I ask specifically that Your hand be upon these races and the contenders. Let everyone involved see Your hand in the decisions. Let state after state fall to their knees and acknowledge You, confess their sins and ask forgiveness, because we as a nation have sinned and need Your Providence once again in order to be the “shining city upon the rock.”
Let the Patriots arise and band together with righteous leaders of godly might! The third verse of the hymn “Faith is the Victory” portrays the attack-phase of the battle. The foe stands in dread array, also poised for the fight. The prepared troops attack without hesitation, with a well-formulated battle plan.
On every hand the foe we find. Drawn up in dread array: Let tents of ease be left behind, And onward to the fray! Salvation’s helmet on each head, With truth all gird about: The earth shall tremble ‘neath our tread, And echo with our shout.
This recalls the entire nation of Israel marching round Jericho, blowing trumpets, people shouting and the walls came tumbling down (Joshua 6:20). We have the same Commander-in-Chief as the Hebrews did as well as the same access to His mighty power. All we need do is have contrite hearts, seek His direction and put on the armour to withstand the upcoming battles (Ephesians 6:13-17). Faith must be faith in the truth and each warrior, saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8) obedient to the Commander, is assured of overwhelming victory.
So Father, give us this new year filled with new love for you and for each other. Help us to look forward with confidence, courage, humility and gentleness. Help us, in this New Year to completely surrender to You and what You have planned for us. Thank You, Lord, for all Your blessings. In Jesus’ most precious name,
Prayer for the New Year: http://wp.me/pzfHB-pr
I read about it some time ago and I still shake my head every time I think about it. I almost can’t believe it. St. Catherine’s Monastery, which is located at the foot of Mount Sinai (also called Mount Horeb or Jebel Musa meaning “Mountain of Moses”), is built around what is thought to be the site where Moses spoke to God for the first time at the burning bush. The monastery is surrounded by a granite wall measuring 8 to 35 meters high. This wall defended it from numerous attacks in the 1,400 years it has been standing. It belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church and most of its monks are of Greek origin.It is also home to a unique collection of artifacts, including some of the world’s oldest Bibles. Although it is set in a desert-like landscape, the lush gardens and cypresses provide a pleasant contrast. Today, it is one of the oldest monasteries in the world.
St. Catherine’s monastery is home to an ancient library containing 5,000 early printed books, 3,500 manuscripts, and 2,000 scrolls (in Greek, Coptic, Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Slavic, Georgian and other languages). The age and diversity of the collection is only equaled by that of the Vatican.
While I find all of that interesting, none of that is what makes me shake my head. What bewilders me is a strange pair of caskets that have been preserved in the monastery. Several centuries ago two young men, who were a part of the monastic community, took a vow. They pledged to one another, and to God, to devote their lives to perpetual prayer and adoration.
It was their intent to spend every moment, of every day, of every week and month, for the rest of their lives in praise and prayer. To help each other accomplish this vow, they were assigned adjoining rooms and were fastened together at the wrist with a length of chain.
The plan was for one to pray and the other to sleep and then vice versa. From the moment they began, they never again saw each other or spoke to each other. The only contact they had was the chain that ran through the wall.
When one finished praying, he would tug on the chain and awaken the other. A tug meant that the other had begun and the first could rest. Back and forth for decades this went on until they died.
To honor and remember their devotion and dedication, their remains lie side by side in caskets, still untied by the same chain.
That’s an incredible and strange story of commitment, devotion, and determination – but it’s also a sad story that shows that people can some time miss the point of prayer, devotion to God, and what it means to worship and praise Him continually.
It’s absolutely true that God calls us to a life of devotion, obedience, worship, and prayer. We have been created in such a way that our chief goal in life should be to glorify God. But that goal is not meant to be a chain that binds us.
The life we live today is meant to be as much an act of worship as what we do on Sunday mornings. The words we say to another should reflect our praise of the Lord. The way we treat those who live in our homes, and the person we stare at across the dinner table, all should show our love for God.
How we celebrate Christmas should also be a reflection of our love, commitment and devotion to Him. It is so easy to get stressed out at this time of the year; it’s so easy to forget why we give gifts to each other; it’s so easy to think “Ugh, I have to go to another special service or another party at work, or another home to visit” – and we become chained to traditions that carry no meaning for us, and stress out.
Let’s make sure we don’t forget the reason why we celebrate, and why we get together with friends and family, and give gifts to each other. (I’m not sure why we eat too much. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a pig in the stable. That wouldn’t have been kosher.) Let’s do our best to make every day of every week, a reflection of our response to a God who loves us so much that He jumped into the skin of a Jewish baby – so we could know Him.
Don’t allow Christmas, and all you have to do, and all the places you have to be to become a chain that enslaves you.
A Chain That Enslaves: http://wp.me/pzfHB-mz
Spiritual battles going on, folks. We know we are way over our heads and fighting His battle. It has to be fought God’s way and we need to stop fighting each other and come together. PRAY. Gain Conservative control of the GOP. “Guard your hearts and minds…” “Do not be afraid.” Fear is due to a lack of faith. Remember that we don’t fight against flesh and blod, but with principalities… The Dems aren’t our enemies! FOCUS.
Remember what happened in NJ & VA — sound conservative principles will serve Conservative Principals well! Stay True! Bobby Jindal’s LA is successful! You can do it and we will support you!
Thanks to JimmyZ:
Show Notes • Linkage • Audio/Video
• Dick Morris: Ft. Hood attack was terrorism
• Telegraph UK: Fort Hood gunman had told US military colleagues that infidels should die
• Fox News: Lieberman announces Senate investigation into Fort Hood shooting
• YouTube: Senator Lieberman on Fox News Sunday
• WND: Muslims say ‘America’s chickens have come home to roost’
• Rush Limbaugh homepage
• Main Justice: House panel backs Patriot Act amendment that removes ‘lone wolf’ provision
• NY Daily News: Fort Hood gunman Hasan tried to contact Al Qaeda and US intelligence knew
• YouTube: Lt. Col. Ralph Peters with Bill O’Reilly
• AP: Homeland chief warns against anti-Muslim backlash
• Right Pundits: Bush visits Fort Hood, Obama to Camp David
• Fox News: George W. Bush secretly visits Fort Hood victims
• NY Times: Bounce back in Westchester in Nassau
• NY Post: GOP senators claim ObamaCare legislation is DOA
• AP: House health care bill has nowhere to go in Senate
• CNS News: Democrat who voted ‘no’ says the bill will ultimately lead to single-payer system
• YouTube: Abby Johnson with Mike Huckabee
• YouTube: Joe Lieberman says he will not allow the current bill to come to a final vote
• Facebook: Sarah Palin’s piece on Pelosi’s health care bill
• The Gouverneur Times: Owens breaks 4 campaign pledges in first hour
• Michelle Malkin: What GOP Rep. Cao got from Obama
• Dick Morris: ObamaCare endorsements, what the bribes were
• House.gov: Blue Dog coalition members
• Clerk.House.gov: Final vote results for health care bill
• The Jimmy Z Show Blog: Blue Dogs (& contact info listed) who voted for health care bill
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