Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.
In God’s creation, the passage of time is marked by days, months, seasons, and years. We experience each interval, whether it’s twenty-four hours of a day, thirty days of a month, or several months of a season, without interruption.
Yet when the year begins to wind down, we often feel surprised and wonder where the days went.
We lead busy lives, and it can be easy to simply let the year come to an end without much thought or feeling. But setting aside a special time for personal prayer with the Lord helps us conclude the year in a meaningful way and prepare ourselves for the new year.
Time for reflecting on the year
Taking time to reflect on the year we’ve just passed through is more than worthwhile. As we consider the many ways the Lord cared for us, both materially and spiritually, a sense of thankfulness will arise in our hearts. We’ll realize that in both our difficult circumstances and joyous occasions, the Lord has been constantly caring for us.
A verse in the Old Testament describes God’s faithfulness to us. Lamentations 3:22-23 says:
“It is Jehovah’s lovingkindness that we are not consumed, for His compassions do not fail; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Whether we were conscious of it or not, every morning, God’s tender compassions met us afresh. Reflecting on the details of our year helps us see His great faithfulness toward us, in matters big and small.
Allowing the Lord to shine on us
Setting aside time this way also gives the Lord the opportunity to speak to us concerning any unconfessed sins. Sin always disrupts our fellowship with the Lord; this is why we need to confess our sins to Him.
In 1 John 1:9, it says:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
We don’t want to carry over anything that negatively affects our walk with the Lord into the next year. Dealing with any unresolved sins will allow us to begin the new year in a positive way.
Being refreshed in the Lord’s love
As we spend time to consider the Lord’s lovingkindness to us, His compassions, and His faithfulness, we’ll surely realize how great His love is for us. His love even caused Him to die for us so we can be forgiven and washed from our sins.
As we reflect on all the ups and downs of our year, we’ll realize He never stopped loving us. This realization will cause us to love Him even more, and spontaneously we’ll tell Him, “Lord Jesus, I love You.”
Offering a fresh consecration to the Lord
This time of intimate fellowship with the Lord is also when we can offer a new consecration to Him. With a new year before us, we can give every aspect of ourselves and our lives to Him. By consecrating ourselves to the Lord, we can be kept walking in the Lord’s way, grow in His life, and allow God to work in us. Our consecration also brings us into a fresh enjoyment of all that God is.
We can consecrate ourselves to the Lord by praying something simple like this:
“Lord Jesus, Thank You for all You’ve done for me. Thank You for your faithfulness and Your love. Lord, I love You. I offer myself to You again. I give the new year to You. I want to grow in You each day. Keep me in Your way. Lord, I allow You to work in me this year.”
Learning to number our days
In Psalm 90, Moses spoke of the brevity of human life. In verse 12, he asked God:
“Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
May our fellowship with the Lord about this past year make us realize the preciousness of each day. Each day of the new year before us is full of fresh opportunities for us to know Him, grow in His life, enjoy Him in His Word, and experience Him as the One who lives in us.
We pray that each of us would have a good conclusion to this year by spending time with the Lord, and that in the new year we would all start with a fresh consecration to the Lord.
An excellent way to begin the new year is to start reading the Bible consistently. If you live in Australia , you can order a free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version here.
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