McMinnville Seventh-day Adventist Church


A Radical Prayer for the New Year

What does a new year mean to you? What will be new about it? Are you planning to make a new friend this year? Are you planning to read a new book, or to write one? Are you planning to travel to a new place or country? Will you buy a new house or a new car? This is one scenario. Let’s look at another, very different possibility.

Will you be faced with a new, frightening diagnosis: fibromyalgia, lupus, cancer, or something worse? Will you be in a car accident and be paralyzed? Will you be a robbery victim? Will you lose the one whom you love most? These are not things you plan or hope for. I pray that God will prevent any of these to be part of my or your new year’s experience. And yet, if I pray for a new commitment and make new resolutions to have a closer walk with God, how will that happen? Or will 2016 simply be same-ol', same-ol'?

So, here’s my question. Do you believe in Romans 8:28? Do you believe that all things work together for your good? If you pray for a new spiritual commitment, a more regular devotional prayer and Bible reading habit for 2016, then how will it be realized? What will ensure that you will succeed? And if you fail, whom will you blame, God or yourself?

God’s will is for you to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). So, if you also want that, then how will that happen, when you seem so weak and your follow-through record of your resolutions so poor? Sometimes the only way for God to get your attention is through some form of suffering that you did not have on your new year’s resolution list. Are you ready to face whatever it takes for God to get your full attention and full commitment?

Sometimes we bring suffering upon ourselves, by simply reaping the consequences of our poor choices, but at other times we suffer from causes that are outside of our ability to control. Ellen White says, “He permits us to come in contact with suffering and calamity in order to call us out of our selfishness; He seeks to develop in us the attributes of His character – compassion, tenderness, and love. By accepting this work of ministry we place ourselves in His school, to be fitted for the courts of God” (Christ’s Object Lessons, 388).

Are you ready to be done with same-ol', same-ol'? Are you ready to pray the radical prayer of “Whatever it takes, Lord! Do Your good will in my life, even if it hurts”?

Come, 2016! Come, Lord Jesus!

- Pastor Jerry Joubert