By Toni Ford
Happy New Year! I would think that most of us are happy to see 2020 come to a close and a new year begin. Here at the beginning of a new month and a new year, many of us take time to reflect upon the previous year with what we have learned and what we are thankful for, while at the same time looking forward to setting new goals for the incoming year.
As I was reflecting on my own life and setting my own goals for the coming year, I began to think about what people would need the most for this coming year. Honestly, the only thought and word that kept coming out of my mouth were, “Jesus.” People need Jesus more than anything else. Our world is not headed in the best direction, and scripture tells us that the closer it comes to His return, we will see more and more evil. Therefore, the greatest wisdom, gift and prayer I could share with anyone as they begin a new year would be to make sure they know Jesus.
One does not just need to know about Jesus or know of Him; they need to know Jesus personally. The Truth which is God Himself cannot just be perceived with one’s mind. Rather, He must be received with one’s heart. Some may ask of how one receives the Truth. It is the same way a bride receives her bridegroom – you simply receive Him. Scripture tells us in John 1:12, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.”
There are many things going in this world today and in our lives personally. In the end, however, it all comes down to one of two eternities – eternal life. One eternal life is heaven, with God for eternity, and the other is hell, eternal separation from God.
Many believe that there is no way a loving God would send someone to hell or that good works or going to church is all that is needed to get one to heaven. The truth is that God does not send anyone to hell, for He created us not as robots but as humans with free will, which means we are free to choose life with Him or without Him. One can only enter heaven if one is born of heaven, and so you must be born again. This can begin with a simple prayer and as a result all that is yours, your burdens and sins, becomes His and all that is His, His salvation and His blessings, becomes yours.
I have included a prayer below that you can pray. I encourage you to pray it out loud. The prayer itself is not a formula but rather serves as a guide, a guide for a prayer of the heart, a decision, a consecration and a new beginning. Anyone who is not absolutely certain as to where you will spend eternity, or if you have never received Him as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to make that decision today so that you can have eternal life.
“Lord God, I come to You now, and I open my heart and my life to Your calling. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for giving Your life, dying for my sins, rising again and overcoming death that I could be forgiven and have eternal life. Forgive me of my sins. Wash me, cleanse me and make me new. I turn away from my sins. I turn to You. From this moment on I make You the Lord of every part of my life. To You I place my faith and commit my life. I will follow You as Your disciple and go as You lead me. I receive Your love,
“Your forgiveness, Your cleansing, Your salvation, Your presence, Your power and Your Spirit. I receive You into my heart and life. You are my God and I am Your child. You are mine and I am Yours. By Your Word and by this prayer, I can now say I am received. I am forgiven. I am new. I am blessed. I am free. I am born again. Thank you for eternal life with You. Lead me on as I follow You from this moment forth and all the days of my life. I thank You and I pray this prayer in the name above all names, the name of the Messiah, Jesus, my Hope, my Redeemer and my Salvation.”
If you prayed this prayer today, I would love to know so I can be praying for you as you begin a new journey with the Lord. Congratulations and Happy New Year!
If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!