2014 is almost gone.
For some, this will be a bridge to another great year: “2015? Bring it on!”
For some, this will be a welcome end to a difficult time: “2015? Please be better!”
For most, there will be a mixture of joy and fear: “2015? Help me be ready!”
For all, we have an opportunity to change, to start again: “2015? Help?!”
One way to start is find a way to praise and thank God.
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his heavenly dwelling; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the trumpet; praise him with the lyre and harp!… Let everything that lives sing praises to the Lord!” -Psalm 150: 1-3, 6
What a way to end the year – praising the Lord for his mighty works, his unequaled greatness. This psalm also called the last hallelujah, invites us to join the praises to God in the holy place. The praise is not half-hearted; it is full-force praise with musical instruments-tambourine, stringed instruments, the lyre, the cymbals – and dancing, praise from everyone. When we offer God praise, we’re doing what we were created for, even if we’re not the best musician or dancer. All of us can raise our voices singing hymns, choruses, and new songs to the Lord. How has God blessed you, your family, friends or church this year? What mighty works has he accomplished? What progress have you made in an area in which you’ve struggled? What prayers has God answered? What new attributes or aspects of God have you discovered or experienced in the past year? Lift up your voice or whatever instrument you play, and praise the Lord for these specific things as you pray the psalm aloud. -Praying Through the Bible
How has God blessed you, your family, friends or church this year?
What mighty works has he accomplished?
What progress have you made in an area in which you’ve struggled?
What prayers has God answered?
What new attributes or aspects of God have you discovered or experienced in the past year?
As you answer these questions for yourself, you can’t help but see God at work.
How will you let God shape your future?
How will you be the person, God has uniquely called you to be?
That answer can only come from God.
Here is a prayer to guide your time of holy preparation for 2015.
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fall. – Isaiah 58:11
God revealed in so many ways —
The beauty and magnificence of creation,
The words of prophet, priest and servant,
The life, death, resurrection of Jesus,
The power and constant presence of your Spirit,
The witness of your servant saints, and
Your sustaining grace that gives me life —
I bring myself into your presence
Not to tell you what to do
But to invite you to be my honored guest
As I offer to you all that I am,
All that I hope to become,
And invite your transforming presence
To shape me more and more into your
Beloved and faithful child,
For I am yours and I belong to you,
My faithful Savior and Guide.
Silence: Step back from the inner and outer noise of the day. Dismiss every interruption of sound or thought about what’s next on your calendar and bring your whole being into the presence of God, who is already present to you. Sit in silence as you quiet your soul before God, inviting the Spirit’s guidance to form your prayers and shape your life.
Today I will…
Pray for the world, its leaders, and its people
For those whose lives touch mine today
For myself and those placed in my care
The prayer Jesus taught us.
God of promise, power and presence,
Be my ever-present Companion and Guide
So that this day and always
I may be your faithful servant child.
— Bishop Job “Listen: Praying In A Noisy World”