By Robert White

Dr. Robert White was raised in central Florida and completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida. After college, he completed the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees at Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. For more than 40 years he has served as pastor of churches in Florida and in Massachusetts. In October 2016, Dr. White joined Care For Pastors as a Pastoral Counselor/Coach. Robert currently resides with his wife, Kaye, in Leesburg, Florida.

    10 Spiritual Essentials to Pray for This New Year

    Wednesday, January 03, 2024

    All of us sense the magic and mystery of a fresh start. I have been reflecting on the things I am most proud of from 2023 and all of them can be found in this profound prayer from Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Consider these timeless truths. They seem to sum up my hopes and dreams for the New Year. I am praying for these things in my life in 2024. I want these things for your life too.

    1. Filled with the knowledge of God’s will. Yes, I want to know and do God’s will in this New Year. This reminds me of the prayer Jesus prayed in Gethsemane. “Not my will but Yours be done.” It also reminds me of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.” To have a successful year, I must be surrendered to the will of God.
    2. Wisdom and spiritual understanding. If there was ever a time when we need wisdom and spiritual understanding, it is NOW. Why now make this a daily prayer? “God please give me Your wisdom and spiritual understanding.” For every situation I face in this New Year, let me have the wisdom of God and spiritual understanding from the Holy Spirit. I do not want to be conformed to the world’s thinking. I want to be transformed by God’s wisdom.
    3. Walk worthy of the Lord. In my daily activity; in my relationships; in my responsibilities; in my treatment of others; I want to walk worthy of the Lord. If I claim to be a Christ-follower, then let my behavior reflect His presence and influence.
    4. Fully pleasing to the Father. As I pray, I can ask, “Will this be pleasing to the Father?” This should be the question I ask about everything. I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 5:9, “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him.” As a Christ-follower, it is my desire to please the Father in everything I say and do.
    5. Bearing fruit in every good work. This is only possible as I yield to the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. My prayer is that I would be yielded to Him and bearing good fruit that will glorify His Name. What kind of fruit? Leveraging all that I have and all that I am for the sake of the gospel.
    6. Increasing in the knowledge of God. In the New Year I want to know God better. I want to get to know Him in a more intimate and personal way. This is only possible as I am daily saturating my mind with the Scriptures.
    7. Strengthened with His power. I need His power. My own power is not sufficient. I cannot live the “Christ life” in my own strength. It takes the power of God, the power of the Holy Spirit.
    8. Enduring trials with joy. In the New Year, I do not know what trials I will face but I do know that I want to face each trial with joy. This is a joy that cannot be produced on my own. It is the result of daily cultivating a relationship with the Father. I do not want to just get through the trials. I want to have joy. I want to thrive. I want to honor HIM.
    9. Giving thanks to the Father. Gratefulness is a quality I want in my life continually. There is so much for which I can give thanks. I am commanded to give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and for everything (Ephesians 5:20). Let gratefulness become my lifestyle.
    10. Remembering your heritage. In the New Year, I want to remember my heritage. I am a child of God. I have the resources of heaven at my disposal. I must remember my true identity. Here is a statement that has helped me immensely. We use this here at Care for Pastors. “My Identity in Christ” – “Because of Christ’s redemption, I am a new creation of great worth. I am deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing to the Father, totally accepted by God, and absolutely complete in Christ.” I suggest you make this part of your daily quiet-time for at least the next 30 days.

    Pastors, you are not alone. We are praying for you. Let us help you navigate the unique challenges of pastoral ministry. Reach out to us at careforpastors.org.

    Help us continue providing resources of care for pastors and their families.

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