Thank you, O Lord, for the love that is evident among this body of believers. I rejoice to hear again and again from visitors of how warm and welcoming this congregation is. Continue to enlarge our hearts to find joy in demonstrating Christian love toward fellow believers. And may this love be a means of drawing others to Yourself and into our fellowship.
We thank You, Father, for the hope that is laid up for us in heaven. Let us fix our eyes on that great prize! From this hope will flow faith and love.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5, ESV)
In this new year, we ask You, God, for wisdom. As individuals, and as a church family, we voice our need for Your guidance and help. Our perspective is so limited. We are finite. You are infinite. We are ignorant. You are all-knowing. We are foolish. You are all-wise. So we beg for Your help! In the many decisions that face us today, and will face us throughout 2014, please grant Your people wisdom. We trust in You to be faithful to lead us.
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” (James 4:13–16, ESV)
As we seek to be diligent in making wise plans, we hold these plans with an open hand. It is ultimately up to You whether we will live and whether our plans will come to fruition or not. Please grant us humility in our perspective on the future. We acknowledge that You are the One who is in control, not ourselves. You know and ordain what will come to pass. So let us plan wisely and humbly. When Your providential plans come as a surprise to us, or as a great disappointment to us, give us grace to persevere and eventually to see the goodness in what You have brought about.
We commit our lives to You, in this new year. May 2014 be a year of revival among Your people. And, if You would be pleased, we ask that 2014 would be the year of our Lord’s return!