How is it possible that my heart is overflowing with gratitude, but still beats with desperation?
Why does my mind count and measure every blessing, yet still tally each unmet need?
Where do I see my many prayers answered and yet, still contemplate the countless prayers which remain?
When will I be content and at peace with myself and my work when there is so much I still desire in life and feel ready and able to do?
I feel confident, yet uncertain.
I feel ready, yet held back.
I feel joy, yet tears of sadness surface.
I feel purpose, yet weakness and insecurity linger.
I feel blessed, yet wonder about future provision.
What is happening to me???
Looking over my 2017 prayer journal, I am in awe of how many specific prayers were answered by my God this year. His mindfulness and care of my family, my friends, my ministry team, my ministry work, my neighbors, my community, and the world-at-large is evident. The Lord answered again. And again. And again. My heart bursts with gratitude.
And yet, as I begin to transfer and record the many unmet, unfulfilled prayers to my 2018 prayer journal, I am cognizant of my desperation and need.
Honestly, I need my God to do it all over again.
My new prayer journal is clean, crisp, and ready for new prayer requests. But, I confess, my heart is seeking long-awaited answers to prayers that have been recorded in my prayer journals year after year.
When will these answers finally come?
I call upon my Lord.
Do it again. Answer again. Do it all over again, Lord. Please answer me again in 2018.
Heal the sick.
Provide for the unemployed.
Encourage the disheartened.
Mend the broken-hearted.
Offer hope to the despairing.
Embolden the fearful.
Strengthen the weak.
Unite the divided.
Foster the neglected.
Assure the anxious.
Transform the stagnated.
Comfort the sorrowful.
Forgive the transgressor.
Inspire the forsaken.
Befriend the abandoned.
Love us, Lord.
Keep loving us. Do it again. And again. And again.
We need you, Lord.
We need you today.
We need you for Christmas.
We need you for the New Year.
We need you for each day of 2018.
Do it again, Lord.
We’re counting upon you.
Your word says:
I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.
New International Version, Jeremiah 32:40
Even as my feelings juxtapose one another – joy and sadness – confidence and insecurity – blessing and neglect – purpose and weakness – I seek my God. I cannot turn away.
I seek Him for answers that I cannot produce.
I seek Him to fill my insatiable appetite for peace and contentment.
I seek Him for joy and gladness when grief and sorrow descend.
I seek Him for new opportunities in spite of feeling over-looked and forgotten.
I seek Him for insight, for discernment, and for purpose as I follow Him into the future of 2018.
I seek my God for all that is next….
And I will continue to seek His will, His guidance, and His leading with every prayer.
Yes, Lord. Do it again.
We are depending upon you. Do not turn away from us as we seek you for all that is ahead in the New Year. We praise you and honor you for your continued care and mindfulness of us.
Yes, Lord. Do it again.
This is my Christmas prayer.