HOW TO PRAY AS WE ENTER 2021

Asking God for vision in the new year should be a solemn act. It should also be specific, personal, uncomfortable, and riddled with challenging questions. It should involve more than a half-hour of brainstorming hyper spiritualized resolutions. More than praying for God to help you kick that pesky habit or finally read the Bible from cover to cover. It should probably involve less asking for blessings and more asking to be transformed into his image. Attempts to map out our destinies and polish our illusions of control should be replaced with humble submission to God’s sovereign plan. Less “we will” and more “if the Lord wills” (James 4:13-17). Not only must we ask God for vision, we must ask him how to ask for it.

So this new year, let us ask God to prepare us for the unknown and grant us the grace to accept the unexpected. Let us pray for our hearts’ desires to more closely reflect his own. Let us seek conformity to his likeness, that in circumstances we hoped we would never face and never dreamed we could handle, we would respond in humble obedience. Come what may, we know God is faithful. In 2021, may He give us faith in return.

Ultimately, instead of writing a liturgy which asks, “How can we hack into God’s vision for our future?” perhaps we should ask, “How should we respond when our personal ‘vision’ is shattered by God’s divine interruption?” The biblical figures were blessed with grace-filled opportunities for growth. When our biblical heroes responded with trust and obedience, they experienced God working in and through them in extraordinary ways. When they clung to their shortsighted expectations and entitlements, as in the case of Jonah, they brought unnecessary grief on themselves and those around them. But in the end, God’s will was achieved despite their obstinance.

Let us ask this year for God to prepare us for the unknown and grant us the grace to accept the unexpected. Let us pray for our hearts’ desires to more closely reflect his own. Let us seek conformity to his likeness, that in circumstances we hoped we would never face and never dreamed we could handle, we would respond in humble obedience. Come what may, God is faithful. In 2021, may he give us faith in return.

This excellent article is taken largely from a post by an unknown guest contributor “10 Ways God Might Ruin Your Plans for 2021? on the website http://www.patheos.com

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