Saturday Dec 31, 2022
Saturday Dec 31, 2022
Saturday Dec 31, 2022
Well, hey there! So good to be with you today on this episode of The Burt (Not Ernie) Show. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are trusting fully in the Lord as we move toward 2023. My prayer for you is that you will know God better, hear the voice of your Good Shepherd more clearly, have more joy and peace and faith than ever before, and see the miraculous happening all throughout the coming year. Is that a big, bold prayer for me to be making on your behalf? Perhaps. But isn’t that what makes it a prayer worth praying from the very depths of my heart? Definitely.
You’re listening to The Burt (Not Ernie) Show podcast, part of the Spark Network, now playing in the Edifi app. This is episode number 130.
Recently I have been reading through the later chapters of the book of Genesis, along with 1 Peter and Hebrews. And every single day it seems like the Holy Spirit shows me places where He wants me to yield more, trust more, believe more, grow up more. Looking at the life of Joseph in Genesis, from his childhood to his difficulties with his brothers to his betrayal to his time in Egypt that was anything but sunshine and roses, to be honest, I have been encouraged, convicted and challenged. That’s not always the most fun place to be in my walk as a disciple of Jesus, but it is always a healthy, good place for me to be. And so, as it says in chapter 4 of 1 Peter, I am finding joy in the hard things (that’s a very, very loose paraphrase, btw).
I’d like to read a verse from the NLT out of Psalm 18. Let me read verse 3 aloud to you.
I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and He saved me from my enemies.
Here it is from the Amplified:
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; and I am saved from my enemies.
Very small differences between the two versions, but the Amplified Bible changes the tense a bit. From called in the NLT, past tense, to CALL in the Amplified, present tense. And the last portion - and I am saved from my enemies.
Right now is the moment we can call upon the Lord and be saved from our enemies. We have enemies, like it or not. The devil, of course, is our ultimate enemy. But so often, in my own life, I am my own enemy. I fear failing at some new thing so I sort of put it off, do some other stuff, work on this, fiddle around with that. But fail to do that thing I should get going on, fail to do it because I don’t want to fail in doing it. Anybody else?
I know that failure is not fatal, that failure is actually not doing anything. Trying at something, learning and growing and slowly at times taking baby steps forward, that is actually a part of success. Failure isn’t as big a deal as I give it credit for, when I frame it correctly. Failure when I am doing what the Lord calls me to do is falling forward, toward His good and perfect and pleasing will for my life. Failure is falling backward when I do nothing, try nothing, attempt nothing for God’s glory or for His Kingdom or for other people’s benefit. Failure, according to the book of James, is when I know the good I ought to do but do not do it.
So as I live out the last couple of days of 2022 and step toward the new year, which feels new even though technically it is simply turning the page on the calendar and not one single thing beyond the date change may be even remotely new at this point in time - as I live in this moment and move forward into the next moments of my life, I am choosing to remember this truth about failure. Because there are some things I need to work on, some prayers I need to pray, some tasks I need to be about, some people I need to love better, some dreams I need to dream with the Lord, and some nonsense and baggage I need to drop right here and never pick up again. And I am thinking you may need to leave some stuff behind too. Maybe you need to redefine failure for the new year. Maybe we need to, collectively, give each other ample grace while also extending that grace to our very own selves.
Back to Psalm 18, I’m calling on the Lord today and have plans to call on Him as often as need be in 2023, and I am believing He will save me from my enemies. Even if the biggest enemy is me at times.
I’d like to take a moment and pray a blessing over you for the New Year.
Lord, my prayer for each listener is that they will wholeheartedly, with fervency and devotion, love you more in 2023 than at any other time in their life. Would you be their strength, and not only when they face trouble or trials or difficulties or stress, but every single day. Be their strength as they parent their children, as they grieve losses, as they do their job week after week, in their finances, as they face what may feel like difficult economic times that are heavy and hard to bear, in their family relationships and in their ministry roles and even when they lie down to sleep each night, would you be their strength in those times to rest fully in you and be able to sleep and get the rest You want them to have? Be their rock, fortress, and rescuer in this new year. May they turn to you and take refuge in you as often as they need to. Be their shield, their high tower where they will be above the stresses of daily life and able to see things from Your point of view. Be their stronghold, a very certain help and comfort in their time of need.
You are worthy to be praised, Lord. May they praise You often and with great adoration. Save them from their enemies, whomever and whatever those enemies may be. Hear me as I pray today, and keep this prayer before You all year, one You will answer on their behalf again and again. Open dry paths for them to walk on when it seems as if deep waters are hindering their way. Where You lead, may they follow, and may they be blessed in that following of Your daily leading. Reach down from on high, rescue them, delight in them, bring them out into a broad place. Enable them to live clean lives before You, honoring You in public and in private, keeping the ways of the Lord. Help them to remain in Your Word, to spend time in prayer, and to be part of the local church that blesses them and is a blessing through them to other believers. Show yourself kind to them, and may Your kindness spur them on to kindness that overflows onto others. Save Your people who are afflicted, and remind them of the need to remain humble before You. Keep them from arrogance, foolishness, and haughty behaviors or thoughts. By Your power, Lord, they can crush a troop or scale a wall. As they do great exploits spiritually for Your kingdom, may You receive all the glory and praise. Bring them healing in every area that it is needed - emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually, relationally, and every other way that healing will bless them. Encircle them with strength, be their rock, make their way blameless.
Make their feet like hinds feet, stable and sure and able to climb on the heights - because we know that the high points of life require sure footing so we don’t forget You or Your blessings in the good times, or think we caused the good things of our own accord, or focus so much on the good life that we stumble due to not caring for those around us who may not be in a good times season of life. Make us able to stand firmly and walk safely in the midst of trouble. Set us securely on the high places You have ordained for us. Train our hands for the battles we fight, and to be in the fray and in the fight by praying for those You lead us to pray for. May we be able to bend a bow of bronze and see the prayers we pray through to fruition. Uphold and sustain them with Your right hand. May Your gentleness, Your gracious response to them as they pray and on their behalf as I pray this over them today, may Your gracious response make them great, for Your kingdom and Your purposes in this world that needs You so desperately.
Enlarge the path before them and make their steps secure so that their feet will not slip. They will pursue their enemies and overtake them this year. They will not turn back until their enemies are consumed. Satan will not have the final victory, and I am asking that he will not win in the battles they are fighting in 2023. Lord, with humility I am making this request on their behalf. Lord, do not deny me my requests today. May I be like the woman in Luke chapter 18 - like that parable You told about praying and not giving up, I will ask and ask and ask again like the persistent widow. Do not withhold from me answers to this prayer. Answer it again and again on their behalf, all throughout the next twelve months. May their enemies fall wounded under their feet, as it says in Your Word. Encircle them with strength for the battle, strength for whatever comes in 2023. Subdue those who come against them in ways that will not grow them, sanctify them, or honor You through them. Rescue them from contentious people, place them as the head and not the tail, may they be positioned for service among those who are Your people, Lord, and those who are in need of You in their lives. May they live in obedience to You, to Your will and Your call on their lives. And may they see the fruit of the Spirit in their life again and again and again, all year long. You, Lord, live. Blessed be Your name! May You, the God of our salvation, be exalted!
Rescue these ones for whom I am praying today. Life them above those who attack them and rise up against them, whether those are people attacking, circumstances attacking, or satan attacking. Deliver them from men of violence. We are Your people, we are a people of peace, and may we live in peace and at peace as far as it depends on us. We choose today to honor You with our lives all year long. We set this year before You and offer it to You before it even begins. And we give You our worship, our love, our adoration, our hearts. You are good, and You cannot be otherwise. You do nothing apart from Your lovingkindness for us. We give thanks to You, we praise You, O Lord among the nations, and we will sing praises to Your name all throughout this new year. Thank You for Your care for us, for hearing my prayer and answering it, for Your Word which teaches me how to pray and what to ask You for, thank You for Your steadfast love toward us and the mercy You extend. Thank You, and once again I say thank You.
This I pray in the name of Jesus, and may it be done according to Your Word. Amen.
I am always so blessed, so thankful, for the opportunity to pray for you. And I really do mean that. It is a privilege to pray for others, isn’t it? And one thing that gave me sort of a heart jump-start when it comes to prayer was the realization that I won’t need to pray when I am in eternity, in heaven, with the Lord. I am still going to praise and worship and adore Him, revere Him, honor Him. But He will set everything aright, He will make all things new, and He means it when He says in Revelation that there will be no more crying or death or pain and so I won’t need to lift those requests before Him since they will be gone forever. That realization moved me to pray with more fervency, more intensity, more longing for Him to hear and answer when I pray because I don’t have forever to be about this work of praying for others. I only have right now. And that’s, I suppose, why I am so thankful to be able to pray for you in this episode.
If this is something that blessed you, I have three things to quickly mention. One is my private prayer group on Facebook (and it is a private group because prayer requests are confidential sometimes and so it’s just a private group for that one reason). I do videos and pray in the group a couple of times a month, so it’s not an overwhelming amount of notifications from the group. It’s called Praying Through the Storm Online Prayer Retreat with Jan L. Burt on Facebook and the link will be at the top and the bottom of the show notes for this episode and also on my website, Jan L Burt . com.
Second is the new podcast I am working on. This one will be here focusing on God’s promises primarily, and the second one is called The Prayer Podcast with Jan L. Burt, and it will be, you guessed it, about prayer.
Third, a resource I created for the new year (based on something I do each year and on something I did with a group of people via email in early 2022 that ended with so many people asking me to turn the content into a book of some sort, and so that’s what I did) is called The 2023 Prayer Planner. It’s 21 days of verses, devotional type content about each verse, and a prayer for each day with some journal type pages with room to pray and plan and take note of what the Lord is saying to you about the coming year.
It’s a way to give the Lord the first fruits of the year, as an offering to Him. And man, it is a great way to start a year. To begin with the Word of God as our foundation. If you’d like to get a copy, it is available as a digital download on my website, it is also on Etsy and TPT and as a print book to order via Amazon.
The price is between $7 and $8, depending on the platform where you buy it, so it’s not a huge financial investment per se but it is an investment that will pay huge spiritual dividends so check that out if you want to kick off the year praying and seeking the Lord intentionally and to grow your faith, your trust and your prayer life.