Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:19).
“This is getting old.” How many times have we heard this statement? How many times have we spoken it — or at least thought it? This is especially true over the past couple of years.
God’s Word says we can experience more than just the same old thing. The key to this is faith-filled prayer that sincerely and expectantly asks for new things in our lives and our world. Hebrews 11:6 says it plainly: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” It is so simple. We believe, we pray, and God rewards our faith with answers to our prayers. Let us look at a couple of things we should be praying for in this new year.
Firstly, we should be praying for new levels of God’s righteousness in our lives. As our society becomes more and more permissive, it is easy to get caught up in the wave of unrighteousness that prevails. Yet we know that our righteousness is never enough; His righteousness is what we need.
Look closely at the writings of the Apostle Paul concerning the righteousness we should seek: “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith”(Philippians 3:8-9). No matter how we look at it, God’s righteousness always exceeds our righteousness. His Word declares our righteousnesses to be as filthy rags. Therefore we must raise our standards to His level instead of lowering them to the level of this present world. After all, God is holy.
Secondly, we should be praying for new levels of closeness to Him. Scripture says that if we draw nigh to Him, He will draw nigh to us. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” He desires that we be close to Him. All we have to do is open the door!
Finally, we need to pray for new ways to reach out to the lost. During this COVID-19 pandemic this statement has been prevalent; “The church has left the building.” Obviously, this was in reference to such things as parking lot services and on-line services. The truth is, we should have reached out beyond our church walls way before this.
In Matthew 25 Jesus said, “If you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me.” The “least of these” includes the homeless, the desolate, the hungry, the incarcerated, the lonely and the hurting. They were out there before the pandemic ever came. Now that we have “left the building” we need to ask God for new ways to present the gospel to those who need it the most.
If our situation is getting old to us, we can improve our situation. Let us ask the Creator of all things to do what we cannot do alone. Let us believe Him and ask Him for new things in this new year.
Dave Snyder is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God – Cleveland, Tennessee. Before entering the ministry on a full-time basis, he was a school teacher. He also coached middle school basketball for eight years.
Dave and his wife, Sara, have two children — Craig and Karen. They also have one ten year old granddaughter — Breanna.
Dave and Sara pastored in West Virginia for thirty-six years. Sara is now retired from the banking industry, and Dave is retired from pastoring. However, Dave currently serves as prison Chaplain for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Writing essays, articles, and devotionals is a real passion for Dave. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and singing.