A blog post is as a good a place as any to make up words. The title’s made up word is simply a combination of “requests” and “resolutions”. The point of combining the words is recognizing that this time of the year is typically when this pattern follows: 1) People make resolutions 2) People make fun of the idea of making resolutions because no one keeps them 3) Believers in Christ caution others about the impossibility of doing anything apart from God and thus suggest resolutions are dangerous 4) Arguments ensue about God’s responsibility and ours regarding our change and growth 6) Resolutions are forgotten. 6) Repeat the cycle in 2016.
I have both a cynical and hopeful view of resolutions—we are not strong enough to keep them on our own, but at the same we all resolve to do things every day, so obviously resolution has some role in our life. Thus I want to suggest instead of simply making resolutions, we acknowledge what we want to see, be, and do in 2015 and ask God to do what He does to strengthen our resolve to please Him in 2015. Thus I am going to offer some “Requestolutions 2015” that I am going to be praying and I hope all at Agapé Chicago will join in praying that God will do for us this year.
These requestolutions will be based on a prayer that has been called “The Model Prayer” from Matthew 6 and has lasted through a few thousand years of resolutions. I will address the rest of my blog to God that you may choose to pray along if you like.
Requestolution #1: God make your name “hallowed” in and through us: God we don’t want 2015 to be a year where we consume ourselves with our names and our fleeting interests. Nor do we want to be consumed with whatever celebrity’s name seems most worthy in pop culture this year. We are all dust, yet you have made us all in your image and you have adopted those who have received your son to be eternally yours. What more could we need? Let me, let us, be consumed with making your name great, with having the whole world see that you are better than any pursuit that will drive us in 2015. Also, could you use us that others might think and feel this way about your lovely name? Our goal, "Inviting Chicago to feast on the love of Jesus" has not changed for you have not changed. Can you give us our heart's desire this year?
Requestolution #2: God let your will be done on earth like it is in heaven: God, people talk of “changing the world”—yet I have a hard enough time changing my own heart. I don’t want to change the world for that is a fool's errand, but I know you can change the world for the good in ways I probably would never invent or conceive (see: salvation through the cross of Christ). In Chicago and in your world, can you make our world more like the heavens where Jesus sits at your right hand, where peace dwells, where love is the common language, and you are revered? God, please do this for us in 2015.
Requestolution #3: God provide for us: God we have been told that we cannot relate to the first prayers for daily bread like the disciples who lived in a world where droughts and plagues could seriously endanger one’s ability to eat. That does not mean we don’t worry about what we will eat, wear, or whether we will be provided with income for rent or how you will provide for others. So I pray for those who are worried or hungry that you would provide and that we would rest in the promises of your provision. We ask that we would trust you in abundance, being thankful for your gifts, and in scarcity being thankful for discipline.
Requestolution #4: Forgive Us And Drive Us To Forgiveness: God forgiveness is hard, but I guess since You forgive most completely, You know that better than us. Help us to recognize the grace we have spurned, the holiness we have disregarded, and the Son we ignore. I ask this that we might turn back to you in thanks and in so doing learn our need of your forgiveness that we can forgive those whose harms, though they feel great to us, are but trifles to how we have disregarded you.
Requestolution #5: Deliver Us From Evil Inside and Outside: God we live in a world of evil around us that is only equaled by the evil inside of us. Both of these seem to conspire to lead us to harm others, hate ourselves, and most importantly lead us to walk away from you. Protect us from the evil, the wickedness and the defiance that dwells within us. Protect us from this evil that so easily follows after the evil powers around us, whether those powers are spirit (demons) or flesh, that we might follow you in 2015.
Requestolution #6: Help Us To Remember Your Authority: We are told to pray recognizing that you own the Kingdom, the power, and glory forever and ever. I know that means that I am not to pray as if you are some weakling that cannot answer, but to pray with hope in 2015. Jesus, because you are on the throne ruling the world since your ascension and will rule forever, help us to pray as if we are asking the most powerful being imaginable to answer instead of throwing prayers to the wind. Help me to see who you are and who I am, that prayer would be the most basic practice and one thing I cannot neglect in 2015.