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A New Year’s Prayer
“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.” — Psalms 86:11
There is no better way for us to begin the New Year than by earnestly seeking the will of God in it. It is certain that God sovereignly accomplishes his will, his eternal purpose, in all things (Isaiah 46:9-11). Nothing comes to pass in time except that which God purposed in eternity. Yet nothing is more important, and nothing more difficult to a believer than seeking the will of God in making responsible choices and decisions about his actions in life.
We know by painful experience that it is possible to make the wrong choices. We rejoice to know that God graciously overrules our errors in judgment for our spiritual, eternal good and for the glory of his own great name (Romans 8:28). And we praise him for that. But when a believer walks contrary to the will of his Lord, he brings grief and trouble to himself. Be wise, therefore, and seek grace both to know and do the will of God in all things.
“Teach me thy way, O Lord.” — Do you desire to know the will of God in all things? Then ask God himself to reveal his will to you, by his Spirit and by his Word. He alone can teach you his way, and he will if you are willing to walk in it.
“I will walk in thy truth.” — In essence, David is saying, “Lord, if you teach me your way, by your grace, I will gladly walk in it. If you will mark out my path in providence, I will stick to it.” This is the attitude of submission and faith before the Lord our God. And where there is true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and submission to his will, there will always be an acknowledgement of weakness and sin and the need for divine grace.
“Unite my heart to fear thy name.” — We can walk in God’s will only as he gives us grace to do so. When we do make errors concerning the will of God, it is either because we have not earnestly sought his will, or because we are rebellious to it. Of this one thing we can be sure: God always reveals his will to the person who is willing to do his will. — “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Oh, lift our hearts to Christ exalted high;
As the new year begins, Savior, supply
Father, Your grace, Your mercies rich and rare,
Should flood our souls and conquer every fear.
Oh, give us grace, each day by faith to see,
Your mercies new, Your love and grace so free!