As we enter a new year, it is so easy to set goals and make plans according to what we think is best. But as I enter 2013 my heart’s desire is that we each know what is in God’s heart in 2013. Who does God want to be for each of us in 2013? What part of His character does He want to reveal to us in both the joyful and painful circumstances of our lives? This devotional is an invitation to ask God, “What are You saying to me for the new year? What are You doing in my life? Give me a verse or a prayer for the year. Who do You want to be for me now in this season of my life?”
God is longing to show us more of himself. CS Lewis wrote in The Weight Of Glory, “…like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” What is the bigger, deeper, wider, higher place of God’s love that He wants to take you to in 2013?
In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 we read of a man who was not going to be satisfied with anything less than all that God had for him. “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers… Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.”
In 2013, may you be extravagantly blessed as God expands your borders through your own heart’s cry for more of God. Journal your own Jabez evidences of God at work in your life and write more Jabez prayers in your own words. God delights to hear and answer this prayer.
1. Bless me indeed. You are the Blesser from whose hand every good thing comes. I want a front-row seat on a life of Your miracles (Mark 16:20).
2. Enlarge my territory. I boldly ask that You expand Your kingdom through me. Thrust me into the mainstream of Your plans, way beyond my ability, and accomplish them by the exhaustless energy of Your Holy Spirit and in the freshness of Your holy Word (Acts 1:8). Make my prayer life and my life in Your Spirit match my assignment.
3. Be with me. I am totally dependent on seeing Your strong hand on everything that touches me. I see before me human impossibilities, which is the realm of incredible blessing in which You specialize (Mat 19:26).
4. Keep evil far from me. Help me stand confidently against the enemy when I have stirred up the hosts of darkness with Kingdom invasion. Keep me relying on the sharp weapons of Your warfare (Eph 6:12-18). Help me give no quarter to the enemy. Free me from ground I have given him. It is said that a bigger love will quench a lesser. With passion for Jesus, quench my pet sins of pride, judgment, anger, and impatience. Spirit of the living God, cleanse me of insensitivity, hardness, indifference, ignorance, and shallowness.
5. God, answer my request. Live in me a life that is totally explainable only that it’s You (Isa 65:24). In Jesus’ name, amen.
Introduction © 2013, by Sylvia Gunter. Day 12 prayer, taken from the 31-day prayer calendar, Praying Like Jabez, © 2001 by Sylvia Gunter. www.thefathersbusiness.com