Monday, January 01, 2007

Genesis 17:1-16; Psalm 103; Colossians 2:6-12; John 16:23b-30

As I look back on the past year it is impossible to deny the work of God in my life and how I rely on God through prayer. Prayer has been an important part of my life, from the rote prayers I learned as a little girl to the conversations that I have with God now. My prayer life is a big part of what keeps me connected to God.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have experienced times in my life when I haven’t been so sure that God was doing anything with those prayers. But as I look back at those periods of difficulty, I realize that God was at work in ways I would have never considered at the time. Such an instance would be the friend who arrived just at the right time to listen to me when I could not carry a particular burden alone any longer, a circumstance that changed the course of a career and made family life so much better. I believe those things that we sometimes chalk up to happenstance are not coincidental. I look on them as my God moments. Each one comes as a gift and a glimpse into the future of what life is going to be like when we are fully and finally home with God. That is my hope.

Today’s reading does not promise a life free from hardship or pain just because we are followers of Jesus. However Jesus tells us that, if we ask in his name, we will receive and our joy will be complete. It does not say our every wish will be granted, but our joy will be complete when God’s promise is fully realized in the second coming of Jesus. God hears and answers our prayers. I am convinced of this. He may not answer them the way we want or when we want, but Christ promises us that God does and will answer. If God can raise his Son from the dead, then in him all things are possible when we believe.

My resolution this year is to involve God in all aspects of my life and ask that his will be done. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, I pray, Lord, that you help me remember to spend time with you each day and begin each day asking that your will be done, not mine. Peace and God’s grace to all you in the New Year.

- Ann Ritonia

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