Tag Archives: Jesus

A Week full of Victory!

The Holy Week, as we know begins with the well-known “Palm Sunday”, which is nothing but the “triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.” Yes, triumphal entry because all the people received Him with joy, excitement, offering palms, spreading their coats for the King to enter the city. “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;
Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9) Hosanna is truly a plea for salvation, as it is said in Psalm 118: 25: “O LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity!”

The people longed for salvation. But, what kind of salvation? Probably, salvation from the conflictive social state of those days. But Jesus came to bring us even deeper salvation, salvation to our souls. A week later, Jesus dies on the cross. The acclaimed one is insulted, mistreated and reviled. Hope dies. The Man dies.

Yes, Jesus died in His human essence; but, His divine power was revealed 3 days later, when He rose in victory. When He overcame death, because Jesus Himself is the giver of life, He is the Life itself!

Jesus Christ is the only one who can rescue you from death, from the spiritual death that is the most serious! Do you know where you will spend eternity? Do you think that when you physically die, everything is over? Jesus tells you, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20) Do not wait longer. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. There is no other way to ensure a life full of peace here on earth and of hope of eternity in the very presence of the Creator of the universe, where there will no longer be crying or pain. Where Jesus Himself will wipe away our tears and give us eternal peace on his lap, as a true loving Father.

For many, the Holy Week began in victory, but ended in despair, in pain, in tragedy, in death. But, the Holy Week began in Victory and ended in even greater Victory. Because Jesus Christ rose from the death and lives forever and ever! God is not dead, and He can transform your life…open your heart to Jesus today!

 

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The Only Reason for Christmas!

Christmas…

Over 2,000 years ago, humankind celebrated the first Christmas in history. ¡The only and true Savior was born! The one whose main purpose was to release this planet from the worse exterminator…sin.

The wages of sin is death. But, Jesus, the Savior came to give us life and life to the full.

“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.                (Romans 10:9-10)

 

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A Blessed Christmas and an Extraordinary New Year!

Matthew 2:5-12  (ESV)

5 They [the wise men] told him [Herod], “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

 

 

Have you ever experienced walking along an endless path?

“There was something that moved us not to stop or discourage us, but to continue despite the hurdles and perhaps the fatigue we experienced …”

 

Recently, I shared some outdoor activities, in which I had the opportunity to take short and long walks on trails in the middle of natural forests. It was a unique experience, so I incredibly enjoyed it despite the complexities that arose at certain times.

Eventually, one of the trails was much more complicated than the others, not only more complicated but also longer, almost endless. And in addition, many obstacles appeared throughout the tour.

Endless slopes for climbing; some sections downhill, slippery with mud; suddenly some ditches to jump; and in some cases, small streams or mud pits that demanded some impulse to cross them.

 

 

To the rhythm of the spectacular twittering of the little birds that fluttered in the middle of the forest and suddenly accompanied by a pair of friendly canines that joined the group as if they took the role of guides, the walk along the road suddenly acquired a different nuance. Some were losing strength; others, with a short break in the middle of the path and a little water was enough to regain the strength; others found it tremendously common, they knew they would face obstacles and were ready to face them.
But for everyone, there was something that moved us not to stop or discourage us, but to continue despite the hurdles and perhaps the fatigue we experienced … a single, but powerful thing … our goal: to reach one of the majestic waterfalls of the area.

And so it was, after almost two hours, our eyes could not believe in front of us, one of the most wonderful spectacles, the Cascada de Cóndor Machay, fruit of the thaw of the Cotopaxi snow-capped mountain, located in the Ecuadorian province that bears the same name.

How refreshing it was to stand in front of this spectacular landscape, not

At Cascada Condor Machay

only by the breeze that threw the force of the fall of the waters of the Condor Machay, which definitely brought freshness to our faces and bodies; but also because it brought refreshment to our souls, upon knowing that we achieved our goal, we discovered the beauty of Condor Machay, more than 3,000 meters high. Amazing! What an extraordinary live stage!

Walking along these roads and in particular this one that took us to Condor Machay, at times seemed a myriad, endless and irresistible path, but our eyes were on the finish line, the inestimable goal that was finally achieved and enjoyed.

 

Have you ever experienced walking along an endless path? Have you ever thought that the path of life sometimes seems to be an endless and overwhelming path?

Many times, walking through life may seem like a path whereby we walk without reaching the finish line. We certainly face many obstacles, but unfortunately we do not reach our goal. Now, what is your goal? What do you want to achieve at the end of life?

Perhaps, having a successful marriage, children fulfilled both as persons and as professionals, a highly respectable professional development, businesses that reach their maximum magnificence; and all this can be valuable and if achieved, it will be truly worthy of admiration. However, even if all this seems stately and invaluable it remains purely physical and emotional. But, what about the spiritual realm?

Do we think perhaps that after all the innumerable hurdles overcome and the success achieved on this planet, everything ends there once we leave it?
Well, absolutely not, God, our Creator according to His Word, “… and has set eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are eternal beings, once we leave this earth, we will live – our spirit will live forever. The question is, where?

And while our life does not have a clear and transcendent purpose, all success achieved even in the midst of huge obstacles becomes transient, temporary, fleeting achievements and even futile. Why? Because very often everything we do, and with great effort, is simply done to bring about recognition to our own name.

The writer John Piper, in his book, “Don’t waste your life” states: “It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man. God made man small and the universe big to say something about Himself.”

The moment we recognize that we are creatures of God, the creator of the heavens and earth, of the human being, of the entire universe and of everything in it; our perspective will change completely. We are beings created by the great Almighty God and we are made in His image and likeness and we are created for good works; as His Word states: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Then everything makes sense. It’s not about us, it’s about who made us and what He created us for. God is the one who gives purpose to our lives, He is the one who will fulfill His purpose in each one of us (Psalm 138: 8), of course if we turn to Him, if we seek His direction, if we long for His purpose in our lives.

The journey of life is complicated, exhausting and confusing at times; but if we are clear about our purpose and we set our eyes on it, we know that every obstacle will finally be overcome. Jesus said: “I have told you these things so that you may find peace in me. In this world you will face afflictions, but be encouraged! I have overcome the world (John 16:33). And He also said: “In my Father’s house are many rooms; If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14: 2).
Today may be the day you find true peace and salvation. Surely, you may have been walking on seemingly blind alleys, endlessly. And perhaps, without any major achievements. But Jesus Christ invites you to leave all the burden at His feet today, to confess your sins before Him, to let go everything that troubles you before Him. Jesus today listens to you, He listens to your heart and invites you to release everything that overwhelms you. He is your Savior, your Healer, who forgives all your evils and is ready to welcome you with open arms.

You have tried to jump or evade so many obstacles but without any luck. If today you open your heart completely, without regrets, if you repent of all sin, Jesus promises you eternal life in His presence, and also to walk with you the path of life. At the end of the path, the majestic inexhaustible source of living water will surely await you, Jesus Christ Himself who will receive you with open arms, who will wipe away your tears, who will refresh your soul!

His Word indeed states: “The LORD Himself goes before you and be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged”                                                                                             (Deuteronomy 31: 8).

Photos:  Courtesy of CI colleagues.

In the Home Stretch …in the End of Times!

“God chooses a nation to become the geographical point, where the attention of the world will concentrate mainly in the end of times, and chose the nation of Israel.”

Dr. Armando Alducin

Dr. Armando Alducin, Founder of "New Life for the World."

Dr. Armando Alducin, Founder of “New Life for the World.”

Nearly 36 years ago, Dr. Armando Alducin had a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
After having studied and experimented with various philosophies and religions he became an atheist, because according to him, no absolute truth could exist in any system of thought.
Happily, through his brother Alejandro and the missionary Emilio Aandereud, Dr. Alducin came to the knowledge of the truth and began his life in the Christian walk.
In 1982 he founded “Vida Nueva para México” [New Life for Mexico], which later on would change its name to “Vida Nueva para el Mundo” [New Life for the World], an organization that is currently bringing the Gospel to more than 55 nations. In fact, along with his brother Alejandro, Dr. Alducin has founded more than 40 churches in different parts of Mexico, the United States, Europe, South America and Israel. His ministry also sustains several missionaries around the world.

Dr. Alducin, how do you see the current picture in the geopolitical framework in relation to the so called “the end of times” stated as such by the Bible?

It is a great blessing to know that 2,600 years ago the Hebrew prophets in the Bible, in a chronological-supernatural way were able to draw us a map, a guide for us to know –those who have reached these times in the 21st century, that we are actually in the end of times of human history.

The prophecies mainly of the books of Ezekiel and Daniel are amazing in the light of the prophecies of the Apostle John in the book of Revelation. The Bible has chosen Israel to be a thermometer, thus, through Israel we can measure the temperature of the world; and we know that the Middle East started the beginning of civilization in Iraq and what is now Syria, which was Mesopotamia back then, and it was not yet divided, and civilization was going to end there.

It is incredible that now in the 21st century, we are right in this moment, in the month of November 2016, where the Middle East is a boiling pot. Now, the civil war in Syria is about to bring about an international social outbreak, in which many nations will have to be involved. It is wonderful, that this does not infuse us Christians any fear. Why? Because we know that these are signs that Jesus anticipated us, signs that were going to be manifested, that we really are in the end of times and we should rejoice. And Jesus said, “When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

So, I think it is the time when the Church and those who are Christians be aware that there is a day of judgment approaching, and that the Lord created us as free and responsible moral agents, and that we have to repent of our sins to stand before the judgment of God some day.

In fact, we are living wars, rumors of wars and natural phenomena like tsunamis, among others. But many people assert, “There has always been the same thing.” What is the answer to that statement: “there has always been the same”, as we are now living that “end of times”?

Wars have always been there, ever since Cain killed Abel, there have been murders and wars; but not ever before the 20th century, the past century, had all the nations of the world been involved in the First and Second World War. And Jesus said in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13, that there would be wars and rumors of wars, and that nation would rise against nation. And this has never happened until the 20th century. We realize that this was the beginning of what Jesus in Matthew 24 proclaims, as the beginning of sorrows. In the First and Second World War, the United Nations was formed to try to prevent a Third World War and we know that since the Second World War up until now, the 21st century has seen more than 283 revolutions and coups d’État. Now, with all the technology that we have and with all scientific advances, we are on the brink of an international social outbreak of war in the Middle East.

Throughout history, we know that Israel has been hated by certain groups or nations. In fact, they wanted to exterminate Israel. In that perspective, how should we understand that Israel is the “thermometer of God”?

Many people say to me: “well, why did not God choose the Italians, the Spaniards, why not the Mexicans or the Ecuadorians”? This is the answer:
God chooses a nation to become the geographical point, where the attention of the world will concentrate mainly in the end of times, and chose the nation of Israel. God chose the nation of Israel, because the Messiah was born there, and this is proved by the genealogies of Jesus Christ in Luke and Matthew. Christ is the only person born in history, from whom his genealogy can be traced, from Adam or from Abraham. No other man, no matter what monarchic ancestry he may come from, not even the kings’ origins can be traced.

Jesus Christ proves that by being descendant from King David, from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He was really the Messiah that God had chosen.

Romans 9: 3 – 4 states that God chose Israel so that through the Jews, we obtain the Book of the books,

Dr. Armando Alducin, San Antonio, TX

Dr. Armando Alducin, San Antonio, TX

which is called the Bible. The book that was written in Hebrew and Greek has the earliest record of history, archeology, cosmology, anthropology, psychology, literature, poetry, among others. With respect to this book, I have always asked people and it is one of the questions whereby I like to challenge the scientific, political, philosophical, writers’ audiences, I always say: “tell me,” –and I have 35 years of preaching this message – “Which book do you know is better than the Bible?”; and up until this moment, after 35 years of standing before all kinds of fora and auditoriums, there has not been a single person who has dared to tell me that there is a book better than the Bible.

This is why God chose Israel. And I repeat, to be the point of the prophecies. Right now we realize that Israel is precisely surrounded by 22 million Arabs who are trying to exterminate it, and since 1948 when it became independent as a sovereign nation, 22 million Arabs have not been able to remove or push them to the Mediterranean.

This is to be fulfilled in the prophecy of Amos 9, which states that “they shall never again be uprooted out of their land,” and these are the evidences that the Bible leaves us, history shows that God exists.

Along these lines, there are other sacred writings such as The Quran of the Muslims, the Tripitaka of the Buddhists, and other religions whose followers claim that they are the sacred books through which their god speaks to them and conducts their lives. What should we say to them in the face of the Bible?

When we confront them with the Bible, let us remember the Hindus, they did the Vedas; The Maharani Nasutta; The Muslims, the Quran; The Tripitaka, the Buddhists; and so we can go through sacred books and none of these sacred books contains prophecies. None of them predicted when its founder was to be born. Buddha, for example, before dying, said: “seek the truth” to his disciples, he never said that he was the truth. Hindus have millions of gods. Buddhism is an atheistic religion, because Gautama Buddha did not believe in God; [speaking] of the Quran created by Muhammad, and here, this man’s moral profile is terrible upon marrying a 7 year-old-girl, for God’s sake, psychologically, he tells us that he was a psychopathic man!
No founder of any religion can even compare himself with the person of the Son of God or with the Holy Scriptures!

To conclude, what is your final message in the framework that we have discussed? Your message for our Christian audience and for those who do not necessarily identify themselves with the Christian Faith!

Firstly, I would like to remind all my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ who we have experienced the new birth, about the words of Christ in Luke chapter 21, which states that when we see all these things, let us remember the following: “Let our heart not to be filled with carousing and drunkenness, and the anxieties of life, and come suddenly upon us that day. Because as a snare, Jesus said: ´it will come upon on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man´[at his second coming].”

Dr. Armando Alducin & Cecilia Yepez, at the moment of the interview

Dr. Armando Alducin & Cecilia Yepez, at the moment of the interview

The Church has to understand something, we have a mission: to win souls and to disciple them. Every Christian has to seek a person, someone with whom they can share the Word of God and talk about Christ, to all the people we can, because time is up!
For the people who do not know Jesus Christ, the Bible states that the human being is a sinner and that these sins cannot be eradicated or erased with religions, and that by good deeds we could never obtain our salvation. The Bible asserts that there is a barrier between God and man, which is called sin; and only through the blood of Christ, only through His sacrifice on the cross, it was possible for this barrier to collapse.

This is the message of the Bible given by God to us, He offers us salvation without having to do anything but believe, what Jesus did in our place, on that cross. So, invite Him as your Lord and Savior, repent of your sins; believe that after 3 days He rose from the dead, and from then on, begin to feed yourself spiritually with the Bible, because that is the nourishment of the Spirit of the Lord.

It is important for us that during these times that we are going through, we take God seriously, people must repent in their lives and learn that there is a God who loves them eternally, and that this is perhaps the only opportunity you may have in order to determine the Eternal destiny of your soul!

Do you celebrate Christmas?

In the midst of chaos, there is HOPE…
There is a reason to celebrate Christmas!

Towards Excellence wishes you Merry Christmas and a very fruitful New Year!

 

111 – Preprayer for the NEW YEAR

By Anne Graham Lotz

Anne Graham Lotz

Anne Graham Lotz

Let us join Anne…Preprayer for the New Year!  Let us intercede for our nations, families and ourselves!

* Please click here  to listen to Anne pray this prayer.

*****

The unmistakable sound of the Shofar could be heard coming from the wall surrounding Jerusalem, echoing across the sun-scorched valley. The blowing of the trumpet heralded great public distress and was used to summon the people. It was the first century B.C. and a severe drought was threatening the very existence of the city. So the city elders called for the people to gather outside the city walls. Then they sent for Honi.

Honi was an old man who, after this day, became known as the Circle-Drawer. Because when he was summoned, the elders asked him, “Pray that rain may fall.” Honi prayed, but nothing happened. So he drew a circle around himself in the dust of the ground, and prayed again, “O Lord of the world, Your children have turned their faces to me… I swear by Your great name that I will not stir from here until You have pity on Your children.”

The rain began to fall, one large drop at a time. But Honi protested, “Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill the cisterns, pits, and caverns.”

In answer to his prayer, the heavens opened and the waters descended in a violent gully-washer that threatened to flood the city. So once again, Honi pleaded, “Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of goodwill, blessing and graciousness.” It is said, and recorded by the Jewish historian, Josephus, that in response to Honi’s third prayer, a long, soaking rain began to fall that ended the three-year drought. [1] Honi had prevailed in prayer.[2]

As I look ahead into 2016, I feel compelled to draw a circle around this city, this state, this nation… and pray! Until God answers. Do the same. Please. On this first day of the New Year, draw your own circle. Then pray for everything that’s inside of it.

…Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate… Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing. Joel 2:13-14

O God of creation. We bow before You acknowledging Your greatness and Your glory. No one compares FB_IMG_1451701190863to You. No one is Your equal. We look at Your creation and marvel at the infinite power and wisdom that are Yours. Nothing is beyond Your reach. “You bring out all the starry host one by one, and call them each by name. Because of Your great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing…You pitch a tent for the sun…It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat…Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.” [3] There is nowhere in all the Universe where You are not. Surely Your arm “…is not too short to save, nor [Your] ear too dull to hear.”[4]

I acknowledge You as ___________________

Yet we honestly confess: when terrorists randomly kill; when women and children detonate themselves as suicide bombers; when innocent people are grabbed from behind and stabbed in the back; when floods, tornadoes, and storms ravage our land; when our national leaders don’t lead; when our business leaders lie; when our political leaders put their own interests before the people’s; when our spiritual leaders contradict Your Word; when our social leaders divide; when our allies become our enemies and our enemies become our allies…what’s going on? Where are You?

We are tempted to think You are…
Distracted…disengaged…disinterested,
Inattentive…inactive…impotent,
Out-maneuvered…out-moded…out-classed,
Unable…unaffected…and even unaware…
of our fear… our helplessness…our confusion…our outrage. Why do You seem so small while our problems, disasters, and enemies seem so large?

Why ___________________?

Help us to regain our focus.

God of our fathers. Lord of the nations. You are the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. No one can understand Your ways. But we turn to You. We return to You. Now. “Are You not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.”[5]

Did we not establish our nation as one under God? Have we not pledged, “In God We Trust”? But now we find ourselves constantly bombarded with the shrill voices of those who demand we distance ourselves from You; that You are just one of many gods, if You are a god at all; that we cannot risk offending each other by calling on Your name. We hear the enemy insinuating that You are “not fixing this” because You can’t fix this. Our faith is being assaulted.

And so our spirits rise up within us and throw off the smothering cloak of spiritual oppression and political correctness. We shout Your Name. You are Yahweh. Jehovah–the personal God. The great I AM–the eternal God. The All-mighty–the Powerful God. You are Jesus. Savior. Immanuel. God with us, never to leave or forsake us. Your power has not been diluted or depleted over the ages. You are just as powerful…just as much in authority…as You were in Creation; in the deliverance of Your people from Egypt and in the parting of the Red Sea. You are the One who sends down the fire.[6] Who fells the giants.[7] Who makes wars to cease.[8] Who raises the dead![9]

I shout Your name: ___________________

As we look ahead into the New Year, we choose to place our trust in You. If “…the kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord,”[10] we trust in You. If “…the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging,”[11] we trust in You. Though …”nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall…,”[12] we trust in You. When …”the wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright…,[13]” we trust in You. We trust You. We trust You!

I trust You when ___________________
I trust You for ___________________

We are told that we can worship You in our own churches, but we cannot bring You into the marketplace or the workplace; into the State House or the school house; onto the battlefield or the football field; into the courtroom or the back room or the bedroom. As though the God of gods can be contained, boxed in, restricted, bound, hidden. We laugh at such foolishness and exalt You as the Most High God who strides the winds of the earth. The clouds are the dust of Your feet.[14] The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain You.[15] How much less any local church building. We invite You to have Your way in our lives. In our state. In our nation. Within our circle.

I invite You into my ___________________

Now arise, O Lord God. Look on us, Your people who are called by Your name. Listen to us, as we cry out to You on behalf of our nation. Do not reject us. Have pity on us.

We feel the encroaching evil. Darkness and gloom are descending. Those who hate us are infiltrating us. Those who are dedicated to destroying us are all around us. Are You at the head of this army? Is this the beginning of the Day of the Lord? Have we tried Your patience and crossed the line into Your judgment? Are You holding us accountable for our sin and rebellion and defiance, for our profanity and blasphemy and idolatry? “You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before You when You are angry?”[16] Are You?

Most Holy God. As we draw a circle around ourselves, we want to make everything right with You within that circle. So we confess our sin. You are righteous. We are not. You always do the right thing. We have done wrong. We are covered with shame because we know better. We have had generations of blessing and prosperity, yet we have refused to thank You, and instead give ourselves credit for what has come from Your hand. We have agreed with those who contradict Your Word. We have turned away from Your truth, and believed lies. We have treated life casually. We have destroyed our environment selfishly. We have passed by the needy uncaringly. We have demanded entitlements defiantly. We have not listened to those who have warned us of the consequences of drifting from You.

I confess my sin of ___________________
I will stop ___________________
I will turn away from ___________________
Thank You for forgiving and cleansing me of ___________________

And now, as we look into 2016, we come face to face with a mess. What can be done to save us from ourselves? Even as the question reverberates in our minds, the answer is given: the solution to our spiritual and moral meltdown—to the restoration of the crumbling foundation of our nation—is not politics, nor the economy, nor health care, nor welfare or immigration reforms, nor free higher education, nor the court system, nor corporate or Wall Street regulation. You are the Answer. You are the Solution. Yet instead of turning to You, we seem to be turning farther and farther away from You. But not now. Now we turn back. We turn around. We re-turn to You. We run to You. We cling to You. We plead with You…

Turn to us! Draw near to us![17] If You do not help us, we will be defenseless. If You do not protect us, we will be exposed to danger. If You do not deliver us from evil, we will be overcome by it. If You do not have plans to give us hope and a future, we will slide into the past tense as a nation.[18] Into oblivion.

Father of all mercies. You have said that our land is a land that You, the Lord our God, cares for; that Your eyes are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.[19] As You look on our nation from this day forward, from January 1st to December 31st, 2016, we ask for what we know we don’t deserve. We ask for Your blessing. Please…

  • Bless our national and local elections. Raise up men and women who will lead us back to you. Raise up another Asa, who was fully committed to the Lord all his life.[20] Raise up another Jehoshaphat who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.[21] Raise up another Josiah who renewed the covenant of his people with You—“to follow the Lord and keep His commands.”[22] Raise up leaders of moral and spiritual integrity who have a strong faith and a healthy reverence for You and therefore the wisdom to make right decisions. Put Your choice in the Oval Office.
  • Bless our homeland security teams. Give them eyes to see the bad guys, ears to hear the evil chatter, minds to understand the tweets and codes, and the will to act before the enemy does. Protect us from evil.
  • Bless our policemen and firemen, our armed forces and border patrol—all those who risk their lives to keep us safe. Restore to them the respect they deserve. Protect their lives and their families. Bring to the light of justice any corruption and abuse so that we can trust those in uniform. Guard those who guard us.
  • Bless our judges and prosecutors. Cause them to serve faithfully and wholeheartedly, remembering that they are accountable to You.[23] Punish those who do wrong. Encourage those who do right.
  • Bless my ___________________

You are the Fountainhead from whom all blessings flow. The list of our needs and our requests is endless. Please. Bless our doctors. Our lawyers. Our bankers. Our teachers. Our commissioners. Our farmers.

  • Bless our preachers, Bible teachers, and seminary professors. Like Ezra of old, stir their hearts to be devoted to You first, then to the study and the preaching of Your Word.[24] When they preach or teach, compel them to preach the Word, not books about the Word. Motivate them with holy fear of standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ to give an account for the way they have impacted others by their words and by their deeds. Remove those whose lives are out of sync with their lips. Raise up a generation of spiritual leaders that You approve of as workmen who do not need to be ashamed because they correctly handle the word of truth. [25] Fill them to overflowing with Your Spirit.
  • Bless our families. The unloving spirits of infidelity, dishonesty, treachery, hypocrisy, immorality, pornography, and adultery are sweeping through our homes. The enemy seems to be attacking us on every level, on every front. A vast army of evil seems to have been unleashed against the home. Especially the homes and families of Christ-followers. “We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”[26] We plead for Your divine protection. We plead for Your divine wisdom to counter the attacks so that our families are strengthened in their relationship with You. Be the center of our homes.
  • Lord of love, we pray for You to bless our enemies. Yes, we do. Open their ears to the Truth. Open their minds to understand the Gospel. Open their hearts to long for Your love. Draw them to Yourself as moths are drawn to a flame. Your Light is stronger than their darkness. Bring them into the Light. Save them for all eternity. BUT if they reject You, we ask that You turn them on each other. Distract them. Destroy them. Prevent them from continuing to attack and persecute the righteous.
  • Lastly, O God our Father, bless us. Bless me. Make me into a vessel of honor, an instrument “…for noble purposes, made holy, useful to our Master and prepared to do any good work.”[27] I know the night is coming when work for You will cease.[28] Help me to redeem the time. Use me now for Your Kingdom and Your glory. Open my lips to boldly and fearlessly make known the Gospel:[29] the Good News of redemption for the past…hope for the future… joy for the present regardless of circumstances… love that is unconditional, boundless, and eternal[30]…found at the Cross. Open my lips to just give Jesus to a world that is increasingly desperate. Use me as an ambassador of peace on earth by first leading people into a right relationship with You, then with each other. When the world around me unravels, help me to stand strong on my faith in You. And when people see me standing strong, help them to see You.
  • Bless me.

Make me into ___________________
Help me to ___________________
Use me for ___________________

And now, God of grace, as we preprayer for the New Year, we ask bottom-line that You fill our circles with Your glory. Send down Your Holy Spirit in fullness. Ignite the fire of revival in our own hearts. Protect us. Defend us. Comfort us. Empower us. Equip us as we put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes…so that when the day of evil comes, we may be able to stand our ground…taking up the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God…and pray. With this in mind, we remain self-controlled and alert while we keep on praying until we prevail in prayer.[31] And we keep on watching expectantly. Is 2016 the year of Your return? We hope so! Come Lord Jesus…[32]

For the glory of Your name…

Amen.

* Please click here  to view the PDF version of this prayer.

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[1] I first read the story of Honi in the introduction to Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker. The account I’ve shared in this book is based on the writings of Josephus, a first-century scholar and very credible historian who was born in Jerusalem shortly after the first coming of Jesus Christ. His writings are held in high regard, and have been used by the secular world as the primary source for both Jewish and Christian history.
[2] Taken from The Daniel Prayer; Chapter 7; Anne Graham Lotz; by permission Zondervan Publishing; May 2016
[3] Isaiah 40:25-26, Psalm 19:4, 6; 139:7-8
[4] Isaiah 59:1
[5] 2 Chronicles 20:6
[6] 2 Chronicles 7:1
[7] 1 Samuel 17:1-50
[8] Psalm 46:9
[9] 2 Kings 4:1-37; Luke 7:11-16; 8:40-42, 49-56; Ephesians 1:17-21
[10] Psalm 2:2
[11] Psalm 46:2-3
[12] Psalm 46:6
[13] Psalm 37:14
[14] Nahum 1:3
[15] 2 Chronicles 6:18
[16] Psalm 76:7
[17] James 4:8
[18] Jeremiah 29:11-13
[19] Deuteronomy 11:12
[20] 2 Chronicles 15:1-17
[21] 2 Chronicles 19:4-20:32
[22] 2 Chronicles 34:1-33
[23] 2 Chronicles 19:8-11
[24] Ezra 7:10
[25] 2 Timothy 2:15; 4:1-2
[26] 2 Chronicles 20:12
[27] 2 Timothy 2:21
[28] John 9:4
[29] Ephesians 6:19
[30] Ephesians 3:14-19
[31] Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Peter 4:7
[32] Revelation 22:20

Copyright © 2016 Anne Graham Lotz (AnGeL Ministries) Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved http://www.annegrahamlotz.org