We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in service and generosity.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
It is a new year, God. A brand new start.
I stand in awe of your love that always gives a new beginning, the chance to start over with you with a clean slate. Forgiven. As far as the east is from the west, so far do you remove our transgressions from us. Thank you, God, and you know how much I want to live life for you.
But God, you also know how much I want to control things. At the very same moment I recommit to you, I decide to plan out every step forward I will make.
God, I think this new start is not so much a chance to resolve to be a different person, but a chance to head off on another year’s new adventure with you.
I won’t decide that this is finally the year that I will do the things I need to do. I won’t plan out my progress as if I were in charge.
No, today is like pulling out of the driveway on a road trip with you, waiting on you to show me the way we are going.
It is going to be fun. I am leaning forward into this new adventure.
I’m ready to go, God.
And we’re off!
In the name, the character, of Jesus Christ, I pray.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you…”. Genesis 12:1
Read the whole text here.(Genesis 12:1-4, Genesis 13:14-18)
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
Where have you experienced the problem of entropy in your life? What must you release to get started? What does the finish line look like for you?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
A happy new year to all of you. Since the time of John Wesley, the people called Methodist have gathered at the New Year to renew their covenant with God. There was a time when they gathered on New Year’s Eve for a watchnight service, and the worship would go on for six hours or so. Wesley was inspired by a group of Moravian Christians with whom he had become connected, and wanted to capture a bit of their enthusiasm, joy and peace, so he imported elements of their New Year’s Eve service into a time of gathering for Methodists. This Sunday, at St. Luke’s, we will join as we always do on the first Sunday of the year and say the Wesley Covenant prayer. The focus for our service will be “A New Direction,” and we will take a look at God calling Abraham to set out on a new journey with him. I sure hope you will join us as we start the year right.
Sunday, January 3
Faithful God, you guided the Israelites through the wilderness in a pillar of cloud during the day and in a pillar of fire by night. You set the star in the east to guide the Magi to the newborn Christ. Please guide me and direct my steps to your pathway for my life. Ignite a passion in me to serve you. Amen.
Monday, January 4
Lord, we have just left the season of Advent and are starting a new year. Please help me to be more cognizant of the 5 Inside Out Habits and make them a normal part of my life. Amen.
Tuesday, January 5 – Personal Prayer Day
Students and teachers across the city are starting back to school this week after Christmas break. Pray for the students, teachers, staff, and administrators whom you know by name. Pray for God to bless them with a great Spring Semester and to grow them.
Wednesday, January 6 – Scripture Prayer
“You have kept your promise, Lord, and you are good to me, your servant. Give me wisdom and knowledge, because I trust in your commands.” Amen.
-Psalm 119:65-66, TEV
Thursday, January 7 – Personal Prayer Day
God gives us a fresh start and a new beginning in Jesus Christ. Our sins are forgiven, and we have a new life. People all around us are in need of a fresh start or new beginning for lots of reasons. Pray for the people you know who need a new beginning. Pray for them by name, and ask God to bless them this year.
Friday, January 8
Father, we thank you for the gift of St. Luke’s UMC. You have blessed us with a great community of faith, and we want to give of ourselves fully to serve you. Please help us to serve you with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. Please prepare our minds and our hearts to worship you on Sunday. Amen.
Saturday, January 9
Heavenly Father, open our eyes to see what lies right in front of us. Opportunities to serve and be served by our church and community are within our reach. Help us to see and seize the opportunities to serve you. Amen.