Welcome to the January 2020 Prayer Vigil!
In this first prayer vigil time of the New Year, 2020, it will be good to reflect and pray over what we have learnt in past years on how to set goals for a purposeful life that is pleasing to God our Father. Let us look again at Pastor Will’s first sermon in the beginning of 2019 to guide us in our prayer at this time.
As Pastor Will described in his sermon, the person who does not set goals will be like a person on a sail boat who allows his boat to drift wherever the wind takes it without steering, while the goal setting person is one who uses the power of the wind to reach his destination. The person who drifts will be wondering, by the end of the year, what he did with his life and whether he has done anything meaningful.
Pray now to God our Father to help you not to drift in the coming year but to focus on and be intentional about some important aspects of your life. Ask Him now to show you –
- What He wants you to do with the life and blessings that He has given you. Think about the blessings you have received e.g. your family, your friends, your job, your knowledge, character, abilities, talents, your role in family, church, society etc. and note them down.
- What areas of your life does He want you to bear fruit in so that He will receive glory and so people will know that you are Christ’s disciple?
John 15: 7, 8 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
In setting your vision and goals for the New Year, Pastor Will suggested considering the 4 major aspects below (the Spirit may point you to more as you pray) –
A. FIVE CATEGORIES TO CONSIDER.
i. Relationship with God.
Pray now to ask God to show you which particular areas of your relationship with Him you need to set a goal to work on. Is it more discipline in the study of His word so that you will know Him more and have a closer walk with Him? Is it allowing Him to be sovereign over all of your life and not just part of it? Are there areas of your life that will dishonour His name and harm this relationship?
Pray and ask God what particular change or changes that you need to focus on in the coming year to make a difference in your relationship with your family members. Is it a simple action you want to do for your spouse, as Pastor Will mentioned, like opening the door for Val whenever she gets in the car or some other act of service to show love and care? Is it more time spent with your kids so that there is better bonding and joy in the family?
iii. Work and School.
Pray to see what aspects of your work or school life you need to focus on so that you can bear fruit and glorify God. Is it, as Pastor Will mentioned, to earn the respect of your boss so that he will eventually ask you about Jesus?
iv. Ministry or Calling.
Pray and ask God where He wants you to be or how to participate in His work so that your will bear fruit for His glory. Is He calling you to participate in a particular outreach activity for the gospel? Does He want you to focus on a particular ministry in church? Is there someone He wants you to mentor?
Pray and ask God to reveal to you what area or areas of your personal life He wants you to focus and work on. Is it to forgive certain persons or to ask for forgiveness? Is it to develop patience and perseverance, to deal with your anger, or to be more able to show appreciation or encouragement to people?
B. THREE IMPORTANT
POINTS TO CONSIDER.
Pray and ask the Father to show you which area or aspect of your life you need to change or do away with because it keeps you from achieving your goals or being fruitful. It can even be a “good” thing but which has the potential of harming your relationship with God.
John 14: 12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will be with all who believe in him and will enable them to accomplish his work. Pray and ask the Father to help you trust in and believe all that is in His word, being confident that He will make use of your sincere efforts, no matter how small, to produce fruit for His glory. See John 6: 1 – 13.
iii. Be Strong and Courageous.
If you are just drifting aimlessly then there is no need to be strong and courageous. But if you set goals to bear fruit to bring God glory then the enemy, the devil, will become upset and attack you. The enemy can bring about temptations such as fear, uncertainty or busyness to keep you from glorifying God. Pray for God’s protection and strength and courage to face a goal which may appear to be a big challenge.
C. MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
In setting your goals put down what is attainable and not something out of fantasy. However, the goal should be challenging and make you depend on God. Pray for the Holy Spirit to show you.
D. SEEK WISDOM.
It is wise to share your goals with brothers and sisters in Christ or your spouse or other family members. That will put you in a position of accountability especially if you share with a mentor or someone who can give you prayer support and Godly advice. Pray and ask the Father to show you who you should share your goals with.
Towards the end of Pastor Will’s sermon, he showed a video where Anny Metz shared about her goal setting and how God used them in her life over the year. A few examples of her goals were –
- To bring one person to Christ. God used her participation in the Ling Oi Drug Rehab Centre outreach to bring two people to Christ. God did more than that because one of those inmates who became a believer became a staff at the centre to help other inmates know Jesus.
- To do exercise to help her skin ailment. God healed her skin ailment through the exercise.
- To listen to the whole Bible. She found that she was behind but she found that she could eradicate some unproductive idle time in her life so as to listen to more chapters each time.
One of the goals we can set would be to set aside more time for regular prayer to intercede for others. Please spend some time praying for –
- God to guide the different ministries in IBC to make plans for the coming year for His glory.
- Pastor Will, our deacons (John, Frederick, Kenneth, Samuel) and their families.
- Our children, youths and young adults and those who are teaching them and ministering to them.
- Our children who are studying abroad, for the Lord’s protection and guidance.
- Families and individuals who are having troubled times in work, health or relationships. Continue to pray for Beatrice, Y.M. Chen, Lena Lam, Veronica Tso, James Paul, Herald Lau, Samad Hashmi, Uncle Ip and others as they face various health issues.
- Ask the Lord to protect Hong Kong from darkness and evil and from Satan’s work of deception and for Jesus to be made know even in these troubled times.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139: 23, 24.