Thank You for remembering. You remembered Noah in the ark and You sent Your wind to dry up the water so they could come out. Likewise, when we turn to You in faith You remember Your promise to forgive our sin and accept Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf; then just as at creation you breathe Your breath into us, giving us Your Holy Spirit to help us live a new way - Your way.
Please send a fresh wind of Your Spirit into my life to dry up all the mud and muck of sin, worry, discontent; the flood waters of living life my way, trying to make things happen in my power instead of patiently waiting for Your will, Your timing, Your voice saying, "It's time to come out." Forgive me. Forgive me for trying to rush Your promises, for trying to make things happen in my way and my time; forgetting that Your blessings come in Your way and in Your time. So, Holy Spirit, breathe new life into me this year. Breathe on me breath of God, fill me with Your fruit of patience and self-control to wait for Your timing in fulfilling Your promises.
Father God, thank You for remembering Your promises. You set the rainbow in the clouds - yes, so we would remember Your promises but even more - You put it there so You would remember. The rainbow is part of Your glory; its what surrounds You on Your throne. When You placed it in the clouds You were giving us a glimpse of Your glory. And You put it there so You would see Your reflection and remember Your promise. As You look at the earth, populated with sinners, filled to the brim with evil, in Your holiness You must be ready to destroy it all again. Then You look at that rainbow, the reflection of Your glory, and You remember Your promise and You are patient once again. You desire for all us sinners who populate this earth to come to You for salvation, so You remember and You wait. Thank You for remembering.
Father, there are those in my own family who have not yet accepted Your gift. Please keep remembering. Please continue practicing patience. And please keep drawing them to Yourself. Wind of God, blow strong and dry up the flood waters of doubt and disbelief; dry up the mud and muck of self-reliance snd selfishness. Where they are stuck in the boat of sin and all the stinky aftermath of wrong choices, soften their hearts and cause them to hear Your voice calling them out of that lifestyle, calling them into the abundance of life with You. As they come to You cause them to build an altar in their hearts and lay their lives down so Your Son can come take up residence there. May their lives become a pleasing aroma to you as they learn to let Jesus live through them.
Father, may all our lives be a pleasing aroma - a fragrant offering to you as we all allow Your Spirit to access more and more of our hearts and minds and lives. May we begin to decrease so Christ in us can increase. May we live this year in such a way - Your way - that others see You and desire a relationship with You. We know we won't do this perfectly. Just as Noah with the wine, we will sin and those bad choices will affect, not just us, but also those around us. Holy Spirit, when that happens we pray for sensitive consciences that are quick to recognize Your conviction. May we keep or confession current by quickly turning back to God. Keep us aware of the enemies tactics of condemnation - telling us we aren't good enough, that we can never change, that Your way of life is too hard. We know all of that is true - without You, without Your Spirit living in us, so we ask for renewal of Your Holy Spirit in us to strengthen us. When those times of temptation come, enable us overcome but when we fall prey, enable us to come quickly back to You.
And Father, You know sometimes we build towers in our lives. Towers of accomplishments and human accolades. Towers of possessions, stuff we accumulate to show others how successful we are. We even turn occasions and things that are supposed to be about You into celebrations of our own abilities, Oh Father! Forgive us! As 2019 rolls along make us aware of the towers we are trying to build. Open our eyes to the places we are trying to gain our identity and self-worth from accomplishments or what others think of us or what type of home we live in or how many possession fill that home. We know these things can be destroyed in a moment, in the blink of an eye. You tell us where our treasure is our heart is. So this year we pray for hearts focused on heaven. We ask for minds filled with thoughts of You. May we find our identity and self-worth in Christ alone. May we build towers of love - love for You and love for others. May we build towers of trust, towers of faith, towers that bring us and others into closer relationship with You.
And Lord, as we walk through this year may we continually seek You with our whole hearts. May we listen well for Your voice calling us out, guiding us to Your perfect place. When we hear You may we respect Your authority in and over our lives and be obedient. Help us remember You do indeed hear and answer our prayers - in Your time and keeping with Your will. Holy Spirit, endue us with knowledge to know Your will, understanding to realize Your will may come in stages, and patience not to run ahead, trying to make things happen in our power, our way, our time. Help us remember Your timing is always perfect. Give us the wisdom to wait and the insight to see the lessons in our wait. May 2019 be the year we learn to truly listen and obey.
In Jesus' name, Amen.