Challenge for 2006

As we look forward to 2006 I thought I'd get us started with a prayer that has gripped my heart this past year(see 12/27/05 Post John Wesley Prayer). I found it in the personal prayer journal of John Wesley (Hence the Old English).

One of the challenges we face as followers of Jesus is holding everything entrusted to us very loosely as entrust our lives to Him. It's no small challenge. It's so easy to find our identity, security and value from all the "stuff" that so easily surrounds our lives and grips our hearts. Jesus calls us to a way of life that feels counter intuitive. He says that "He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My name's sake will find it (Matthew 10:39)." The pathway to real life is surrendering to Him everything that we think will bring us life.

Listen to how Dallas Willard describes this in Renovation of the Heart: "Those who are not genuinely convinced that the only real bargain in life is surrendering ourselves to Jesus and His cause, abandoning all that we love to Him and for Him, cannot learn the other lessons Jesus has to teach us. They cannot proceed to anything like total spiritual transformation (p.66)."

I began using Wesley's prayer on a daily basis in September 2005. I kept it in my journal where I can easily get to it while driving to my first appointment in the morning. It's how I start each day. It has become a gesture of my desire to completely trust Father's providential love for me. The freedom I have experienced has been remarkable. As I grow more comfortable in not requiring success, fame, wealth or power to validate my worth, I also grow more free to experience my Father's extravagant love for me.

This is my prayer for each of you as we step into 2006.

My challenge?

That you will have the courage to make this prayer the daily desire of your heart!

Fighting for your heart,

Gary Franklin