This week, a good acquaintance of mine asked this question at a post-Christmas dinner. How do you need God to be Emmanuel in the New Year?
In 2012, I see Emmanuel, God with us, being a driving prayer of mine in Thailand. We want the Thai people to see God as real and accessible. We example Jesus to them in our life, but we want them to have an encounter with God. As I think toward 2012, I cannot help but be captured by the prayer I made when we took over Our Home Chapel, the Foursquare Church in Bangkok, Thailand.
When we stepped in, we found the church in a difficult situation with a lot of moving parts. I began praying with a fervor like never before knowing that there was no way for me to succeed unless Jesus met us in this place and time. I know strategy has its place, but I purposed to clear my mind of ideas or tactics. I began to ask for nothing but Jesus. I made the Fernando Ortega song, “Give Me Jesus” my theme song as it helped me guide my prayer time. I had no grand ideas of success, but merely wanted us as a church to get back to the basics and cling to Jesus in the midst of everything, including a flood that displaced many including us.
As we look toward 2012, I cherish the sense of how a new year allows us to turn the page on the old. We can open to a new chapter, blank and ready to be written in by the author of our life and all creation. The new beginning brings hope and anticipation for a new future God has for us.
Even in a nation where less than one percent of the Thai people know God, we are hopeful for the good things God will do in and through this church.
We want to see Jesus be Emmanuel with us in drawing this church together to be family. A family centered on Jesus that grows in the way of God together.
We need Jesus to be with us, present in this time to make us renewed and reborn into the church he has designed us to be. We want him present with us in power.
We hope to see miracles of changed lives, healings, and wonders in this city that draws people to know God. We hope to see many more people this year see that God is real.
Finally, we need to see God real in our life regarding the ministry to children in the nearby slum communities. We want to see long term, sustainable help to give these children a hope and a future.
How do you need God to be Emmanuel with you this New Year?