The start of a new year is a reflective time.
Many of us take a few moments to cast our minds back over the months past; remembering, with thankfulness, both the many good things that the Lord has done in our lives and the many ways he has comforted and refined us in the things that have been desperately hard.
Frequently we discipline ourselves to think about the months ahead. Conscious of our call to follow the Lord, we might shy away from formulating concrete plans. But most of us want the coming year to be one where we pray more, exercise more or spend more time with neighbours, family and friends. At the very least, we usually know what we would like to see happen in our lives in the next twelve months – we know what we are likely to ask God for.
But let me start the year by asking you a wider question: what would you like to see happen in your city in 2019?
Maybe a list of things springs to mind: an end to knife crime, seeing divided communities come together, the relief of poverty, or young people having more hope might be good places to start. Perhaps your desire is to see rough sleepers know real security, or to see addicts know true freedom. And then there is the biblical mandate to pray for those in authority, whether national or local – after all, we do so desperately need them to have wisdom as they rule our land.
Of course, there are eternal considerations too: what a joy it would be to see many more people come to Christ and grow in Christ in the year ahead! What a delight it would be to see more Christians reaching out to those who have yet to hear!
How could our city change for the better if all these things came to be?
At LCM, we’ve started each year for nearly two hundred years with the same set of questions. And we start everything in prayer.
Arguably, the more important question than what you would like to see is: will you pray for those things to come to pass?
The Lord who is ruling, sustaining, leading and equipping his people loves to hear our prayers. He is our Heavenly Father, answering our requests in the ways he knows best. There is no reluctance on his part to act. So, this year, why not commit yourself to join us in praying regularly for London – or whatever your nearest city happens to be?
To help, we want to recommend a resource: ‘5 Things to Pray for your City’. It is available for purchase here. We would love it if you could join with us in praying prayers that will bring real change to your church, community and culture.
Together, let’s work toward a faithful and fruitful 2019.