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Devotional - New Years Prayers For 2014

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Jan 4, 2014.


  1. For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified youto share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. - Colossians 1: 9-14 (NIV)




    The Body of Christ continues to be fed a different Gospel than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Between hyper grace, prosperity and the seeker friendly drivel that passes for church these days it is no wonder that so many are so deceived. Instead of a Gospel that is about God and brings glory to His name we have gospels designed to be about us and and what God can bring us here on earth. Too harsh you think? Let's take a look at three New Years Facebook posts from two of the leaders in false preaching.



    Make room for something new this year. Go out every day expecting blessings, divine connections & unprecedented favor. - Joel Osteen



    This is your time. This is your moment. God has equipped you, empowered you and anointed you. No weapon formed against you can prosper. - Joel Osteen



    See every single day of 2014 loaded with God’s blessings and benefits. It’s God’s promise to you (see Ps 68:19)! - Joseph Prince




    Expect blessings every day. Expect divine connections every day. Expect unprecedented favor every day. This is your time. This is your moment. See every single day of 2014 loaded with God's blessings and benefits. It would be comical if it were not so sad. What makes it sadder however is that this is the message every single week. Every week hundreds of thousands of people cram into steepeled buildings to meet with a God of their own creation. A God who is there to serve them. A God who is just bursting at the seams to pour out blessings upon their lives. He is a make believe God. As Paul Washer once preached - he resembles Santa Claus more than Jehovah. Because he is a god of our own creation he has no power. No power to change lives. No power to overcome this world. No power to save. Jesus has warned us before:



    “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’- Matthew 7: 21-23 (NLT)



    Do we truly understand the gravity of these verses? That people who clearly felt they had spent their lives serving God will come to the final day only to discover they did not know the real God. They will discover their candy coated god was never real. Realize here too that these people even did miracles in the name of God. They cast demons out in His name. The Bible is clear that there will be false signs and wonders in these end days beloved and our discernment is sorely lacking. And look who it is that Jesus says away from me to! You who break God's laws! You know; the very laws hyper-grace swears don't matter anymore. The very laws that are never discussed anymore in seeker friendly circles. The very laws that do not exist in the prosperity gospel. Comical if not so profoundly sad.



    So when I wanted to write about prayers for the coming year I went back to Scripture to see what God was saying. I did not find any verses extolling the virtues of earthly prosperity. I did not find any verses propping up cheap grace as a way to dismiss the laws of God. Instead He led me to the Book of Colossians, where we find the Apostle Paul praying for the congregation at Colossae. Let's take a look today and bring this as our prayer for our lives as we enter 2014.



    For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, - Colossians 1: 9 (NIV)



    The first thing we need to realize is that our prayers need to be continual. The world treats New Years Day as an opportunity to resolve to change things in their lives. Unfortunately, these resolutions often end in failure and usually quicker than we ever would have thought. See what Paul says here. He has not stopped praying for the Colossians. We need to be more persistent and consistent in our prayers. Jesus tells a parable of a persistent widow who continually demanded justice from an unfair judge who finally relents because he realized she never would stop. Here is how that parable ends:



    And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” - Luke 18: 6-8 (NIV)



    Yet will we be found crying out to Him day and night and will He find faith when He returns? There is more however in verse nine for us to realize today. The first thing Paul prays for the Colossians is that God would fill them with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the spirit gives. I guess as the world values things this is not as sexy as praying that every single day will be loaded with the blessings and benefits of God. In that blurb from Joseph Prince he even references a verse to prop up his selfish prayer. Of course Psalm 68:19 has nothing to do with what he claims:



    Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,who daily bears our burdens. - Psalm 68: 19 (NIV)



    Only in the mind of the Prince of Hyper Grace can a statement from God about bearing our burdens be twisted into justifying the belief that every single day will be loaded with the blessings and benefits of God. No beloved. We need to put down our carnal earthly desires and instead pursue this first prayer from the Apostle Paul. We need to pursue God to fill us with the knowledge of His will. We have the Holy Spirit inside of us! He leads us into all truth if we would just seek it! Unfortunately, seeking the will of God these days has also become an exercise in in pursuing what we want instead of what God wants. We usually get some idea in our head about what we want and then "pray for confirmation." Suddenly every little happenstance that comes our way we read confirmation into and hallelujah! God has agreed with our will. Then when it all falls apart at some point in the future we do not understand. There are three types of God's will beloved. One is is permissive will, or what He allows to happen. The second is His revealed will, which is the Word of God. Lastly, there is His decretive will for our lives, which is unknown by us and generally, God has no intention of revealing. The secret is simple. The more we study and know His revealed will, the closer we will be to His decretive will. If we would only pursue His revealed will with the same zeal we pursue our "confirmations", we would know that we know that we know - what sayeth the Lord.



    so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, - Colossians 1: 10 (NIV)



    Do you notice the stark difference in the motivation of the prayer Paul says and the wishes of our false teachers from today? The object is not for a bigger house and better car in the driveway. The object in fact has nothing to do with us at all. I know that is a tough pill for many to swallow today because the church teaches the opposite. The actual goal of our prayer life here is to live a life worthy of the Lord. To please Him in every way. To bear fruit in every good work. To grow in the knowledge of the Lord. If you are looking for prayer points tonight, there are four that we can write permanently in our journals. When was the last time the point of the sermon was to promote these as our prayer goals? When was the last time that was expounded on from the pulpit or even in our prayer closet? I say these things beloved from a complete place of lack. Of these I am the least and I too must make a concerted effort to make my prayers about Him and what He can do through me instead of what I think He can do for me.



    being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, - Colossians 1: 11 (NIV)



    We have the what and the why and now Paul gives us the how. We need to be praying for the strength of God, His power, according to His glorious might - so that we might have great endurance and patience. The first thing that stands out to me is that God realizes how difficult our walk can be sometimes. He is always an understanding God. He is always a merciful God. He realizes how desperately we need patience and endurance. This walk is not a sprint; it is a marathon. We will have many valleys and mountaintops, despite the promises from charlatans who sell the ridiculous notion that every day will be rainbows and unicorns. If you think about people you know who fell away from the faith it was probably due to a loss of patience or a lack of endurance. We need these and we need to be praying for them in advance. We cannot seek them when we have already sunk to the lowest part of the valley. Just like our prayers need to be consistent and persistent, they also need to be bathed in foresight. God has given us His foresight in His Word. He has said we will have great tribulation in this world and we need to be preparing for such in our prayer life. The power of God is not needed if this is our best life now. We need it because God knows that at times it will be our worst life now.



    and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. - Colossians 1: 12 (NIV)



    Our prayers for the new year also need to be saturated in thanksgiving. We are generally not a thankful people. The false gospels preached today are not geared to make thankful sheep. They are designed to make greedy goats. How can we be thankful if we are constantly looking for what God wants to do for us next? Go back and read the quotes from Osteen and Prince. Expect blessings. This is your time. Really? How about I have already been blessed and it is always God's time! And what here do we see as the primary reason we need to be thankful always? Because those who are truly saved have already been qualified to share the inheritance of God in heaven! When we focus on earthly prosperity and carnal blessings we automatically lose sight of what is more important. We have been translated into eternal life already! If God did nothing else for me my entire life He has already done everything! Beloved one day Jesus will return and He will separate out those who are in Him from those who are not. Eternity has been placed into the hearts of men. Being thankful for this puts whatever earthly trials we face into their proper perspective and reminds us of who we serve. If the same spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead now dwells in us of what should we be afraid?



    For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, - Colossians 1: 13 (NIV)



    I have said it before. Self righteous Christians forget where God found them. The key to humility is remembering where God found us. As such it needs to be part of our prayer life. We are thankful not only for where God has saved us to - but where He has saved us from. We were once in the kingdom of darkness and were bound for an eternity in hell. A subject rarely preached about from the seeker friendly pulpit. We just came out of the Christmas season. Who did the angel say was born unto us this day? A friend? A buddy? A philosopher? No - a Savior! Here is today's deep theology. If we needed a Savior, then we need to be saved from something. Which leads us to the final point from the key verses:



    in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. - Colossians 1: 14 (NIV)



    The absolute last thing preached about today is sin. Sure some lip service may be made to it but overall preachers are taught to not scare away potential churchgoers by discussing the very reason why they need Jesus to begin with! I am starting to see "sinners prayers", which is horrifically bad theology to begin with, remove any mention of sin at all! Just invite Jesus into your heart and voila! You are in the kingdom of god. But that is god with a small "g" because it is not the one true God. It is a god of our own creation and he has the power to save no one. So the final point Paul makes to the Colossians is to remind them of our natural fallen state before a holy God. It is the final point for us today as well when we look forward into 2014 and want to take inventory on what we need to be praying for.



    We need to be continually praying:



    1) For the spirit within us to lead us into His will.


    2) That we pursue His revealed will to find ourselves closer to His decretive will.


    3) That our motivation always be to live a life worthy of God.


    4) That our motivation always be to please Him in every way.


    5) That our motivation always be to bear fruit in every good work.


    6) That our motivation always be to grow in the knowledge of God.


    7) For a greater portion of patience and endurance in advance of trials.


    8) With a thankful heart for God has qualified us for eternal life.


    9) With a thankful heart that remembers where God found us.


    10) With a thankful heart the remembers we are sinners before a holy God



    Forget the trappings of this world and the promises that are rooted in this life. May every day of 2014 be filled with these prayers in our lives to provide greater glory for God and eternal rewards for His servants. That is real friendly. That is real grace. That is real prosperity. In Jesus Name; amen.





    Reverend Anthony Wade - January 3, 2013
     

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