As we enter 2017, millions of us will be making New Year’s resolutions that we will probably break before the end of January. Some promise themselves to lose weight, to exercise more, or to break a stubborn habit. Others, weary of broken promises, won’t make any resolutions at all.
But there is one resolution we all should make: that we will not begin a single day in the New Year without giving ourselves to God, meditating on one chapter of God’s Word, and praying “Father, glorify yourself in my life today at my expense.” For years I’ve been praying that simple prayer before I get out of bed in the morning; if I miss praying that prayer or miss my devotions, I do not give up in discouragement, but am determined to follow through the next day. Let failure drive you to do better the next time. Someone sent me this motto: Go for the gold, don’t even think about wood, hay, and stubble!
And here are some matters I’m already praying about as we enter a new year:
- That the political, racial, and economic division in this country may be healed. I pray that we might be “one nation under God.” That includes prayer for all of our politicians, both local and national.
- That the church (in my case The Moody Church that seeks a new senior pastor) might represent the Gospel well in a world that is increasingly broken. I pray for holiness; boldness in witness; and personal sacrifice in giving, witnessing, and “being the church.”
- That this year’s 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation might generate discussions about the truths that made the Church great. Pray that even secularists will come to grips with this history, and with the central questions: how can a sinner be saved, and can we be sure of eternal life? And pray for me, as God wills, as I will be speaking about the Reformation in various churches here in the US in the coming months.
I end with a little jingle I was taught as a child:
The future lies before you like a path of driven snow
Be careful how you tread it
For every step will show.
Let me repeat: Go for the gold, don’t even think about wood, hay, or stubble!
My wife, Rebecca joins me in wishing all of you a most blessed New Year!
Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer
Pastor Emeritus, The Moody Church