By Joseph Ametepe
Loving and Living Father, we are thrilled and thankful for bringing us into the new month of December 2023. It’s all because of Your love and grace for us. For You Yourself assure us of Your love for us. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness” (Jeremiah 31:3b; NASB). Also, Your word affirms the abundance of Your grace in our lives. “For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17; NASB).
We adore and appreciate You
Loving Father, we adore and appreciate You for Your everlasting love for us and Your abundant grace. Your love and grace in our lives cannot be taken for granted. For, they have been a safe and secure anchor in our lives. In fact, Your everlasting love for us and abundant grace were on full display in our lives in November 2023. A month full of challenges and changes.
Father, You are in a distinguished class
O Living Father, You are in a distinguished class all by Yourself! Indeed, “there is no one like the LORD our God” (Exodus 7:10b)! You are God in heaven above and on earth below; there is no other (see Deuteronomy 4:39). “O LORD, there is none like You, nor is there any god besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears” (1 Chronicles 17:20).
You are good and do good
We stand in awe of who You are. For “You are good and do good” (Psalm 119:68). You are “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth” (Exodus 34:6). Yes, You are self-sufficient – needing nothing from us (see Acts 17:25). Indeed, You are great and greatly to be praised (see 1 Chronicles 16:25; cf. Psalms 48:1).
We are so privileged to have You...as our God
Truly, we are so privileged to have You, a God who is good, gracious, and great, as our God! Yes, You have been our God in times past and in this year that’s passing away. And You will be our God to the end of the age and for all eternity. How comforting this is! When all is said and done, You, the only true God, will be our God. Simply because of our faith in Jesus, who died on the Cross for our sins. For Your word says: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9; NASB).
Your salvation is a gift to us
Knowing that Your salvation is a gift to us, we confess to You today, that we haven’t diligently sought to tell others about it. Was it because we were shy? Selfish? Slow to speak of it? Stiff-necked? Stubborn? Indeed, Loving Father, You will not accept any excuse from us. We therefore humbly and honestly confess to You that we have failed You. For the most part of this year, we’ve failed to tell others that salvation is Your gift to repentant sinners.
We know You are in control of human history
Loving and Living Father, as this year draws to a close, we know You are in control of human history on earth. Most assuredly, You will bring it to an end exactly as You have predicted in Your Word. For certainly the day of God will come. “The heavens will be destroyed by burning, and elements will melt with intense heat! But according to [Your] promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:12-13). O Father, this is where human history is heading whether we like it or not. You will not fail to fulfill this word.
We come to You and commit the month of December 2023 to You
Therefore, Lord, we come to You and commit the month of December 2023 to You. You know its end from its beginning. In fact, as the all-knowing God, the future is present with You. We don’t know the future, but we do know who holds the future. Nothing that happens in December 2023 will take You by surprise. In fact, all that will happen in it will pass through Your hands. Your sovereign and supreme hands will be wisely directing all the events and circumstances which we will encounter in December 2023.
Living Father, we commit the month of December 2023 to You
As such, Loving and Living Father, we dedicate the month of December 2023 to You. Please accomplish what concerns our families, friends, fellow believers and us! Be pleased, “O God of Israel” (1 Kings 8:26) to fulfill what concerns Israel -Your chosen and cherished people. Also, Lover and Leader of the Church, carry out Your predestined plans for Your Church – Your called-out and consecrated people. As well, in December 2023, bring to pass Your divine purposes appointed for Your World. Made up of all the nations and lands You have created under the heavens.
We do not know the exact date of our Lord's birth
Father, although we do not know the exact date of our Lord’s birth, we celebrate it in December. So, this month is an important month for Your people. Especially, those who are genuinely born again. Thank You Father for preserving the stories of our Lord’s birth in the Bible. The most precious document You have given to mankind. You have made this story and rest of the Bible stories available in many of the world’s languages and dialects. This means opportunities for sharing the greatest story ever told abound in our day.
Loving Father, reveal more of Yourself to us
Therefore, Loving Father, reveal more of Yourself to us to see life from Your perspective! Renew our first love for You and for Christ! “Restore us to You, O LORD, that we may be restored” (Lamentations 5:21a)! “Revive us again, that we Your people may rejoice in You” (Psalm 85:6)! Rekindle in us the joy of knowing Christ and making Him known, especially in such a time as this! Refresh our hearts with the joy of the Lord, which is our strength (see Nehemiah 8:10)! Remove the hindrances that are preventing us from giving ourselves wholly to the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:18-20)!
We thank You for Your patience and forbearance
Indeed, we thank You Father for Your patience and forbearance. You are patient toward sinners, “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Moreover, You do not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. But that he should turn from his ways and live (see Ezekiel 18:23). Please, Lord, demonstrate Your love to them through us, who know and love You. Father, draw them to Yourself, for no one can come to Christ unless You draw him (see John 6:44). Deliver them from the domain of darkness, and transfer them to the kingdom of Your beloved Son (see Colossians 1:13)! Deal graciously with them just You dealt graciously with us till we came to faith in Christ!
Only You can cause all wars to cease
Lord, we know that only You can cause all wars to cease. Whether be it the Israel-Hamas war or the Russian-Ukraine war. For Your word declares of You: “He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth” (Psalm 46:9a). Therefore, we earnestly beseech You, make these wars and all other wars to cease to the end of the earth.
We take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to You
, Living and Loving Father, we take this wonderful opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to You. As we look back on 2023, we cannot help, but acknowledge that You have been faithful to us. Yes, You have been so good and so kind to us. You have demonstrated Your care and compassion to us from the beginning of 2023! And You are still demonstrating Your care and compassion to us. You’ve provided and are still providing for all our needs. Your hand of protection has been and is still on us. Father, You committed Yourself to defending and delivering us from all evil and the evil one. Indeed, time and space will not permit me to speak of Your gracious work of conforming us into Christlikeness (see Romans 8:29)! What of, renewing our inner man day by day (see 2 Corinthians 4:16b)? And who can forget Your divine intervention and help in our lives from the beginning of 2023 till now?
We owe You the debt of gratitude
Indeed, Father, we simply want to say, we owe You the debt of gratitude. In fact, eternity itself will not suffice to express our heartfelt gratitude to You for all You’ve done and will do for us. “What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people” (Psalm 116:12-14; ESV).
Thank You Father
Thank You Father for all You bounties, benefits, and blessings freely bestowed on us in 2023! We have named just a few of them to You. By Your Spirit, enable us to overflow with gratitude to You today and always!
We echo the words of King David
And now, we echo the words of King David in affirming Your greatness and goodness to us. “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory…Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all…” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12; NASB). And in Jesus’ precious and powerful name we pray. Amen!