Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, on this first day of the New Year of 2024 we thank you for your goodness that has led us this far. It has been a long year, of upheavals, highs and lows, but your devine hand has led us to cross on to the New Promise! And as we enter the New Year we pray for the release of a floodgates of blessings. “Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it” ( Malachi 3:10). In this New Year we refute any evil hand hand that rises up against us. “If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways..” ( Psalm 91:9-11). We make a declaration of success for the New Year. For you say, “I will go before you and will level the mountains, I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name” ( Isaiah 45: 2-3). You also say, “You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country” ( Deutronomy 28:3). We foil all the plans of the foe against any of our lives. For “The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven” (Deuteronomy 28:7). We pray for health through the year: “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” ( 3 John 1:2). We pray for abundant joy and life, holding to Numbers 6:24-26 that says, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Where we are anxious we commit our lives to Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 6-7 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ." so we pray that this may this be a New Year of unimaginable blessings and fullfilment of all our dreams and hopes to your glory. All we pray in Jesus’ name!
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!