2013 is almost upon us and many think about New Year’s Eve plans and resolutions. Last year I spent an exciting New Year’s Eve in Ecuador celebrating their many rich traditions and watching copious fireworks, but this year I plan on staying at home for a quiet evening. For what purpose? I want to light some candles, spend time reflecting and praying and hopefully set up a prayer journal for the upcoming year.In general, these are goals very different than that of the average American. Most want to celebrate and spend time with friends, an admirable goal on one level, but one that often spirals down into drinking and eating too much.This year I do not want to indulge myself (as I have this Christmas Season), but instead desire to start the year praying for this country.
We are in great need of prayer. Not only are we on the edge of a fiscal cliff, but a moral and cultural cliff.You can read the papers and many commentaries on the fiscal cliff and even the decline in the moral standards of this country. Yet it doesn’t take a saint to see we are at a cutlural crossroad. Perhaps we’ve already stepped over the line, for cetainly we are experiencing the effects of the moral decline, but I beleive there is still a small remnant of Christains who beleive in the basic message of the Bible: we are in need of a Saviour. Some have not fallen completely over into the abyss, but we’re heading in that direction. What can save us?
The realization that we need God to intervene and save our children, our marriages, our families, even our finances and economy.We need to understand the basic tenants of Christianity and walk in the fruits of the Spirit: love, peace, joy, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-contol.But how we approrpate these qualities takes wisdom. Wisdom which comes from Bible study, a relationship with God and prayer.This is the battle front of the cultural war. Can we believe the Bible and apply it to our everyday culture? This was the struggle that Bonhoeffer engaged in during his lifetime in which he struggled against an increasingly hostile government to Christianity.It is a struggle that we need to recognize today and apply as much grace and resistance as Christ did.
This is where much prayer comes in and my goal for the New Year–to set up a daily prayer journal that targets prayer for our government, officials, local and federal leaders, the Christian church at large, repentance, revival and enlightenment, while also looking abroad to our brothers and sisters in the persectuted church. All of these will take priority as well as prayer for individuals, family members, schools,children, career and coworkers. It could be a daunting task for a New Year’s Eve, but I will not be alone. I know there is One who will lead and guide me and you (if you are so inclined) in this worthwhile endeavor.Will you not join me in your own manner?
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