For each of the past five years or so, the Lord’s given me one special word on which to focus. Beyond a doubt, my word for 2016 is “great.”
At the outset of 2016, I receive great in this context:
- Pray for great things this year.
For starters: healing of broken relationships, a financial breakthrough in our ministry, more Canadians to say yes to God’s call to career missions (the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few), healing for my sister’s body, a publisher to issue a contract for my next book, a volunteer team of women to come alongside me to help carry my workload as God expands my writing/speaking ministry, God’s favor on my family, God’s power to be recognized throughout the nations.
- Expect great things this year.
James 1:5-8 tells us that when we pray for wisdom, we’re to expect God to answer. If we don’t believe He’ll answer, then why should He respond? The same principle applies to our prayers for other things.
And so, I choose to expect God to answer my requests. I will pray believing and hoping and persevering. I will pray trusting that He is working even when I can’t see visible proof.
God’s response to my prayers probably won’t look like what I think, nor will they necessarily come when I think they should. I’ll leave those details to the One who knows best, but in the bigger picture, I will expect Him to answer in the way that brings Him the greatest glory.
- Ask God to reveal His greatness this year.
Scripture repeatedly tells us that God is great, His name is great, and His ways are great. I suspect that, although I’ve seen Him do some pretty incredible things, I’ve understand only a fraction of who He is and of what He’s capable.
Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.” I want to experience God’s mighty power in 2016.
Interesting thing—experiencing God’s mighty power might mean experiencing some very dark times. For it’s in the darkness that God’s light shines brightest, is it not?
Here’s a quote that I came across a few days ago. It helped to confirm that “great” is indeed my word for 2016. Jack Hayford gets the credit for this quote:
“We have a GREAT SAVIOR. Therefore, we are encouraged to expect great victories, knowing that great battles are necessary for conquest but confident because He is leading us.”
How about you? Do you have one special word for 2016? If so, what is it?