December 31, 2016

My prayer for 2017

I have a prayer, but it is not just for me.

My prayer for 2017

You do not know it yet, but the leading post image is a giant spoiler for what I want to briefly say: God, have it all.

The image above is a promotional image for the album Have It All by Bethel Music, titled after the track Have It All. If you have never heard the song, I recommend that you stop reading, listen to it, then resume reading.

2016 was a year of discovery. I discovered so many things and learned so much in it that, despite all the bad, I do not wish it never happened. A lot of things happened to me in 2016 and I grew in many areas, including my faith.

Last summer, I volunteered at a week-long Christian summer camp. It was my second year working it, so I knew how the week was planned and all that went on. As a staff member on the Media crew, I had the opportunity to be among the kids nearly all waking hours. I also helped in the worship services by running a live stream camera.

It was Wednesday afternoon. For this particular age group, services were at 2 PM. Soon after entering the sanctuary, somehow I knew in my spirit that something was going to happen, but more than that, I knew what was going to happen: in this service, there would be the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Before I continue, I need to say that I do not intend to start a religious discussion or debate about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the varying beliefs. I will also not engage in such talk. I am merely recounting my experience from the perspective of my beliefs. I would appreciate it you will refrain from starting or engaging in such discussion but focus on the main message. :)

Anyway, I knew that I knew that I knew that I knew that there would be baptism that afternoon. As the service progressed, I knew it even more. The speaker even spoke on the Holy Spirit and baptism. By the time the alter call was made, I was standing there, behind the camera, headset on, raising my hand and worshiping. Yet the only words that I could say was “My God, My God, You are my God.” This went on for about ten minutes. Suddenly, a sound rose from the front of the sanctuary, sweeping across the alter and filling the room. The baptism had been poured out. Instantly tears ran down my face as I continued to worship, but those were the only words I could say, still.

As I continued to worship, I reached the point that I took off my headset and knelt in prayer, still behind the camera. As I knelt, I began to weep, and the words stopped. I could say nothing. I did not know who was around or who might be watching, I did not care, I was worshiping. Suddenly, I began to speak. Yet the words I spoke, they were not from me. I spoke in my words, but I did not know what I was saying. The words just… appeared. It started quietly, but as they continued and I kept speaking, my volume grew. I finally was speaking in a slightly-louder than normal tone of voice. Anyone around could hear me. I still remember the words I was speaking.

Oh God, You are my God. I am nothing without You, I cannot do anything without You, my life has no purpose without You. I need You in my life. God, right now, I rededicate my life to You. Everything I am belongs to You. Take me and use me, fill me with your spirit, lead and guide me in Your perfect plan for my life. I am your servant. Put me in the places You need me to be. Add to my life what needs to be added, remove what needs to be removed, change what needs to be changed, so I may be the man You desire me to be. You are my God, and I worship You.

Suddenly, the words stopped. Just as quickly as they arrived, they went away. When they left, my tongue was loosed and I could speak freely, on my own accord, the words I wanted to pray. Still weeping, I manage to get off the platform and make my way to the front. I made a quick glance around to see the path, and while doing so, I saw kids and adults sitting around, all eyes on me. I did not care, I was worshiping. I made it to the front, stood off to the side, and continued to pray. After a few minutes, a group of girls encircled me and began to hug me. To this day I do not know who they were, it does not matter. When they did this, I felt peace in my Spirit. It was as if, though the girls, God was saying to me “My son, I have you. I am holding you. Stay in My word and seek Me and I will lead you where you need to go. I have you and will never let you go.”

Things have been different since that service. Since that service, I have been more sensitive to the Spirit and aware of God’s work in my life. I also have a strong desire for God in my life, a wish stronger than ever before. Time after time, I have prayed for more of His spirit, His power, His ever-present work to use me, mold me, form and fashion me into the man of God I am called to be. He has been slowly revealing His plan for my life, my place and role in the Kingdom. Many times God has spoken in response in my prayers, confirming the call and reassuring me of His plan for my life.

So when I heard Have It All for the first time a few months ago, it touched me. I love music. I believe music is powerful and can have a profound impact on a person. Have It All put into song what I had been praying for months.

“You can have it all, Lord
Every part of my world
Take this life and breathe on
This heart that is now Yours” — Bethel Music, Have It All

The events of my life in the last seven months have been filled with spiritual blessings and growth like I never imagined, and it has been dominated by one thing, one concept: Have It All.

Christians the world over need more of God. Even those strong in the faith, who have served God for years and seen a lot, will tell you that even they need more of Him in their lives. 2016, especially the second half, taught me and showed me more than ever that I need God, I need Him like I never have before. That is why, for 2017, my prayer is Have It All. But not just for me, but for all Christians. In 2017, may we seek God more earnestly. May we serve Him more fully and truly, may we live our lives in such a way that He can use us however He sees fit. May we surrender our lives to Him more fully than ever before. May we pray and worship on a new level. May we spread the Gospel more than ever before. May the Holy Spirit have full reign in our lives. God, have it all.

May my life always please You.
May it always honor You.
May I decrease in myself so You can increase in Me.
Use me in Your Kingdom, fill me with Your spirit.
In my life, O God, have it all.
With my whole heart,
With all within me,
May I always serve You.

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