I wanted to tie 2012 up in a nice bow, bid it a fond goodbye, wax poetic about lessons learned and new beginnings and such. But my heart keeps turning away from all of that, bidding my mind to stop chattering long enough to just listen. And the weight of what I hear bends my heart, bowing it low. Voices from this past year. Conversations I’ve heard, words I’ve read. And I feel the Holy Spirit in this little room, this prayer room. I feel His weight on my heart as He reminds me to step out of my small story. And so I enter yours, with prayer…
For those who spent this year hanging on by a thread. Maybe it’s a thread of hope. Maybe a thread attached to the hem of His garment, but a thread nonetheless. For you, I pray you will stop trying to trust Him. Trust is not something you try, it’s something you choose. He wants so much more for you than a thread of hope, a thread of trust. He wants handfuls for you. I pray that you will not be content with a thread in hand, but that you will let go of His garment and grab onto Him, and find your hands overflowing, unable to contain what you hold. For you, the thread holder, I pray ~
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
A year of both hands full of Christ, holding on to all of Him with trust and confidence, and hope that overflows. Both hands, beloved, grab onto Him with both hands, and let go of the thread.
For those who suffered great loss and spent time in the ash heap of mourning. For you, the one now familiar with great sorrow and what surely feels like unquenchable pain. I pray you will know His comfort, like a balm, for that pain. I pray God opens His hand and pours forth joy, like oil over your mourning heart. I pray that at just the right time, His time, He will invite you to dance. Yes, beloved, you have known the time to mourn, but there is still a time to dance. I pray that this year you will receive grace to comfort others with the comfort you have received. I pray for all of your pain, all of your grief, every tear to be used, nothing wasted. And I pray that His promise will strengthen you on those days when grief attempts to hijack your heart ~
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
I pray that you will emerge from the ashes, steadfast and sure that all of this, the pain, the tears, the death, are all temporary conditions. That you will know and give others the hope that a reunion will happen, a holy hand will wipe away the last of the tears, and never again will you know this pain.
For those who spent the year afraid. Afraid something will never end, or perhaps that nothing will begin. Afraid of too much or not enough. Afraid that you didn’t hear Him right, or that you did. Afraid of what you feel, or of the fact that you feel nothing and maybe you never will. What if nothing changes? What if everything changes? For the one tormented by fear, I first pray peace for your wildly beating heart. I pray that this year He will lead you on a journey of letting go of fear. A journey of cliff jumping into faith, arms wide, heart fully expecting to be caught by His hands. I pray that you will know that He is with you, always, and that He will not drop you. I pray that your heart will come to know perfect love in the deep places where fear often hides. For you, the one who lived this year full of fear, I pray you will hear the voice of your Savior ~
“Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
I pray that this will be a year of increasing faith for you, the year where belief in the power and love of your God leaves no room for fear.
For the one who lived with disappointment. Unmet expectations that took the wind out of your sails throughout the year. Hopes and plans and dreams that fell apart. Your heart grows weary. I pray for you, dear one. I pray that this will be the year of renewed hope in God, and lower expectations in people. I pray that all of your hope, every last drop of it, will be in God and God alone. I pray for strength to hold on, and strength to let go. To let go of people and hold firmly to God, where your hope will find no disappointment. I pray that this year will find your prayers being answered, for God knows what hope deferred does to our hearts.
“But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love…”
Hoist your sails again, friend, and lift your voice in prayer with confidence that your God hears, your God sees, and your God will answer. His love will not fail.
For the one who tried. You tried being good enough. Tried praying, tried church. Tried to read the bible full of words you don’t understand. Tried to be nicer. Tried saying the right things the right way, tried fitting in. You followed the list of do’s and don’ts. You tried, but your life is still a mess. Your heart is still empty and so are your pockets. Your addiction still rages, and your marriage is still broken. And you just don’t get it. For you I pray that this was the last year.
The last year that you remain pinned to the ground by the enemy. The last year that you live unaware of Love. Unaware that there is a Father in heaven who created you, longs for you, and gave up His Son so that you could know Him.
I pray someone will be brave enough to walk up to you and tell you the truth; that what you need is grace and trying isn’t currency to buy it with because grace is free, and only grace can put us back together and Jesus has the grace to give if you will just come. Come, while you are yet a sinner. While you are yet broken and messy, with all that rages in you and against you…come. I pray they tell you that trying won’t save you, it takes dying and Jesus did that dying for you.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
For you, my messy, broken friend, I pray that this was your last year of trying. I pray this is the year you cry out to Jesus in faith that He is who He said He is…the only One who can save you. I pray this is the year you find freedom in Christ, and you find out just how loved you really are by Him. I pray this is the year someone tells you.
To all my friends, family, and those I encounter through the written word…I pray for you, and for me…
Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Happy New Year!
Romans 15:13; Ecclesiastes 3:4; Revelation 21:4; Ephesians 3:17-18; 1John 4:18; Mark 5:36; Psalm 33:18; Romans 5:8; John 14:6; Matthew 6:9-13