To a New Year Filled with God’s Presence

by Linda Evans Shepherd

 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

It’s a first.  The first day of the New Year and the first issue of Arise Daily, a devotional written just for you by a bunch of crazy, writing women. We’re actually a collection of loving sisters, authors all, from the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Most all of us have collided with life, then put pen to paper to transcribe how God healed our bruises, and turned our heartaches into victories and joys.

So, I guess you could say, we’re a lot like you; sometimes messy, often complicated, and very real.  To add to this mix, we have an open Bible and a heart to share.

As for me, I’m the leader of this wonderful writing gang and also the publisher of Arise Daily.  I’ve got thirty-three books under my belt and a messy life filled with life-changing encounters with God’s grace and loving-kindness.

Through the years, I’ve become a sort of prayer doctor, helping people recover from their difficulties by teaching them how to truly connect to God’s presence.  If I hadn’t learned the art of prayer, I would never have survived my own uncharted waters often filled with sharks, pirates and violent storms.

This New Year is a first for me too.  After a season of deep grief over the pre-mature death of my beautiful daughter, I’m beginning to feel the bloom of God’s joy bursting in my heart.  And despite my recent sorrow, I feel God’s peace.

And that’s why I’m here.  My friends and I want to show you that despite your loneliness, lack, difficulties or even the grind-of-life, you can experience the supernatural miracle of God’s joy and peace daily.


Sure, life can be messy, but our God knows how to take our mess and transform it into a way through the wilderness and a stream in the desert.

Let’s stop and pray for one another. Let’s pray into this New Year in a way that will make streams of refreshing next to a new path we can travel these next 365 days–together.

Dear Lord,

You are the Almighty One, the One we love!  You are without limits and stand outside of linear time.  That’s why You are always available to answer our prayers and to go into every situation with us. We praise Your Holy Name and invite You to into this New Year.

 Based on the year behind us, we know there will be storms, troubles and opposition.  But You are greater than all of these things.  You can make a way in the wilderness and steams in the desert, so that we can continue our journeys safe, protected and blessed.

Be our traveling companion and give us joy despite our circumstances. Be our strength in every trial so that when we look back, we can say, “Thank You Lord! You did a new thing.  You made a way. You turned it all into joy!” 

 Lord, please be with us in our daily devotional time together.  Help this new sisterhood to grow and to become a strong body of love, encouragement and inspiration.

 For it is You whom we trust. You are with us, working everything out for the good. 

 In Jesus’ name.


Linda ShepherdAbout the author: Linda Evans Shepherd is the author of 33 books including When You Don’t Know What to Pray and Winning Your Daily Spiritual Battles.  She is the CEO of Right to the Heart Ministries, and the founder of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.  She’s the publisher of Leading Hearts Magazine and Arise Daily.

Linda has been married over thirty years and has two grown kids.  She loves to travel and bring the word to groups and events across North America.  You can read more about Linda at Arise Speakers.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Linda’s book, The God You Need to Know -Discover his StoryExperience His Love please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What is a goal the Lord has laid on your heart for the coming year?



110 thoughts on “To a New Year Filled with God’s Presence

  1. My goal is to improve my personal relationship with God this year and pray that we become equipped enough to share the gospel and save many perishing souls in our nation with God given stamina, will power, confidence,burning desire, patience, love and endurance power within ourselves. Please pray for me so that I can overcome all hindrances in my prayer life and be able to improve my spiritual life and become the light and salt for my society which is living in complete spiritual darkness. Please pray for me. Thanks, God bless you, Meeta Mukerjee from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy to be a part of this new Devotional with Women from all over that just love studying God’s Word and a desire to be more like HIM…I pray that 2018 I can draw closer to Him…He must increase so I must decrease …I look forward to getting opening my heart to what all God has in store for me and all of you in 2018…Blessings..


  3. I love the ideas of daily devotions…God has put on my heart to be more patient with my husband who has memory issues..I am usually peaceful and calm but after several times of asking me the same thing over and over I lose my patience…I hope I get some new lessons on how to cope.


  4. I am wanting to dive into a closer relationship with Him. Learn his word and have it rest in my heart. I want to be present with my family and really focus on that.


  5. Thank you for the gentle reminder that God has very thing taken care of. Our past is covered in His grace, our present is wrapped in His mercy and our future rest in His providence. God has stirred in me a hunger for His presence and His Word. Thank for providing this great tool!


  6. Thank you for the gentle reminder that God has everything taken care of. Our past is covered in His grace, our present is wrapped in His mercy and our future rest in His providence. God has stirred in me a hunger for His presence and His Word. Thank for providing this great tool!


  7. The goal that the Lord has laid on my heart, for this year, is to do daily couples devotionals with my husband.

    I was lead to the book, “The One Year Book of Devotionals for Couples” by David & Teresa Ferguson. To my wonderful surprise, my husband was on board to do this with me.

    I hope this is the beginning of MANY wonderful, peaceful, calm, blessed years for us, to come.


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