God's in control, so stop fighting and let him take charge


The New Year is now upon us and with it come plenty of resolutions and plans for what people want to achieve. This is a great time to stop and, as well as taking stock of our lives, look at everything from a different perspective.

I was struck by a prayer I read when editing a new set of Bible study notes. It was saying sorry for the fact that we canbe preoccupied with the here and now and forget that there is an eternal perspective.

The prayer went on to acknowledge that too often we can have the illusion that we are our own gods, in charge of our own destinies, when the reality is that our lives should be submitted to the one and only true God.

So, this New Year, wouldn't it be a good idea to set our sights on knowing God more deeply and following Him more closely? But rather than a simple resolution promising to read our Bibles and pray more, what about stopping and asking God for what He wants us to do each day?

Just before Christmas I was challenged by a passing comment someone in our small group made about asking God to order her day each morning. Now I usually say a quick prayer as I'm sitting down at my desk for the first time in the morning, asking that God would help me to focus on what I should be doing and that I'd be able to include Him in what I need to do.

But this seemed to be a bit different. It seemed to be more about giving God permission to order things as He wants to, rather than just inviting Him to come along and be a part of what I've already planned. So I started doing it: simply saying 'God please order my day' right at the start of each one.

And I have truly found that it has made a difference. Not in a 'my life is now trouble free' sense but in realising He is a part of everything I'm doing.

I often live with the stressful tension of a pile of work activities to get through in the few hours the kids are at school every day. But I have honestly found that when I've had to stop to help someone in need, or deal with an unexpected situation, rather than stressing about when I'm going to get my work done, I've been able to look back at the end of the day and see how everything fitted together. I realise that I've managed to do what really needed to be done.

I'm not the only one who has found this simple phrase making a difference in my life. My small group leader was also challenged when our friend mentioned it and so she started making the time and space to ask God to order her day. She truly believes that God used her to change the outcome of a dramatic incident. I'll let her tell her story:

'I felt challenged in life group to ask God to order my day. On Thursday I was driving to work; my toddler free-time to pray and worship. I had been asking God to order my day when I suddenly felt the desperate need to pray. I started praying in tongues; I had no idea what I was praying for but just knew I had to pray. As I was praying the car two cars in front of me was involved in a pile-up. The front part of the car was lost, yet the elderly man, and everyone else involved, got out of their cars completely uninjured. Immediately my need to pray left me. I was really struck and ridiculously humbled when I realised how much God will use our prayers to change situations and how much He wants us to just talk to Him.'

The results of us asking God to order our days may not be so immediate or intense, and yet, even in the mundane, everyday world, that simple line connects us to our heavenly Father in a fresh way.

So, as this year ends and a new one begins, why not join me in saying this prayer:

Lord God I thank you for this past year.

There have been many highs, but also difficult lows.

I have been joyful; I have reached despair.

I've enjoyed great moments but also struggled with others.

I just want to say that I acknowledge Your sovereignty in it and through it all.

You alone are God – I am sorry for the times that I forget that,

when I carry on as if I'm the one in charge.

Help me come before You humbly each and every morning of this New Year,

to say: 'Lord, please order my day.'

I am eager to see what You want to do with me,

how you want to use me and how you will develop me.

I am Yours, my perfect heavenly Father, forever.