Happy New Year
By Bill Street, Minister of Evangelism, Discipleship, and Prayer
2020 is in the rearview mirror, and 2021 is finally here. I am sure that I can hear you shouting “glory” right now! One of the reasons we all love a new year is because it marks a new beginning full of fresh possibilities and opportunities. But each year is also accompanied by its own set of challenges. And with the lingering impact of COVID-19, the uncertainties of 2021 are weighing on all of us.
Recently, I was praying with my friend and Bellevue deacon, Vernon Stafford, and he prayed something that has stuck with me ever since. He said, “Lord, we’ve never seen this day before, and we will never see it again.” Think about that. Hope and responsibility are both woven into each new day. Now, apply that prayer to the next 12 months. “Lord, we’ve never seen this year before, and we will never see it again.” There is hope for this new year, “We’ve never seen it before.” And, there is responsibility for this year new, “We will never see it again.”
So, how do we approach 2021 with hope as well as an awareness of our responsibility? The answer is prayer.
As we advance into the next 12 months, there is a verse that I believe will radically energize your prayer life. And if you are like me, it will motivate you to fall to your knees frequently and passionately. The verse is found in Romans when Paul is talking about Abraham. He makes this declaration about who God is, “God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist” (Romans 4:17).
What do you need to do as you enter into this new year? I imagine that you can raise both hands and say, “I need something that does not exist!”
- I need health, wisdom, a mate, or a child.
- I need hope, strength, self-control, joy, and peace.
- I need the ability to see life differently AND for people to see me differently.
- I need a job, clients—I need business.
- I need more money and less month!
God is in the business of creating something from nothing. In fact, out of nothing, He created everything, so your need is not too big for Him.
In 2021, our hope is in God—not in our abilities, our spouses, our friends, our wisdom, our experience, our knowledge, our money, our job, our health, or even our church. “God [and God alone] calls into being that which does not exist.”
And so, what is our responsibility? Our responsibility is to pray. Nothing can take the place of prayer. No amount of determination or hard work. No self-help book or goal-setting exercise. E. M. Bounds said, “No learning can make up for the failure to pray. No earnestness, no diligence, no study, no gifts will supply its lack.”
2021 is a new year. We have never seen it before. We will never see it again. Will this be the year when you see God, “call into being that which does not exist”? It can be—if you will just pray.
For helpful resources from Bellevue's Prayer Ministry, visit bellevue.org/prayer. In 2021, we also encourage you to be part of our monthly prayer focus: A Day of Prayer and Fasting. This takes place on the third day of each month, beginning January 3. Learn more online and join us in prayer for a spiritual awakening in Memphis and beyond.