A new year is now well underway, and at the beginning of this year I found myself reading and reflecting upon James Smith’s powerful new year’s address. (James Smith was one of Charles Spurgeon’s predecessors at New Park Street Chapel in London.) At the conclusion of his message he tells his church what he is praying on their behalf—seven things he longs for them to experience, to have, to do, to enjoy, and to be preserved from. I trust you’ll enjoy reading it just as much as his church must have enjoyed hearing it.
There are seven things I wish you may all more fully EXPERIENCE this year:
His Spirit working in your hearts,
His blood speaking in your consciences,
His power subduing your corruptions,
His blessing resting upon your souls,
His presence cheering your way,
His righteousness covering your sins,
His peace keeping your hearts and minds.
There are seven things I wish you may know it is your privilege to HAVE this year:
a name in his book,
a sight of his covenant,
a tear in his bottle,
a place in his heart,
a title to his fullness,
a right to his promises, and
an interest in his prayers.
There are seven things I wish you may DO this year:
weep at his cross,
wrestle at his throne,
cleave to his truth,
walk in his ways,
aim at his honor,
comfort his people, and
spread his fame in every direction.
There are seven things which I wish you may ENJOY this year:
the light of his countenance,
the power of his love,
the hope of his calling,
the blessings of his chosen,
contentment under all dispensations,
liberty in performing his commands,
and victory over every foe.
There are seven things from which I hope you may be PRESERVED from, this year:
a hard heart,
a seared conscience,
a Laodicean state,
a proud look,
an unforgiving spirit,
an envious eye, and
from distrusting God.
And now, brethren, Jesus can give all that I wish you to experience, to know, to enjoy! And he can preserve you from all I wish you to be kept from. But he says, “I will be inquired of, by the house of Israel, to do it for them.” You must ask, seek, knock, plead, wrestle, and agonize at his throne—for he loves a determined, importunate, persevering beggar.
“May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.”