Multi-Platinum, three-time Grammy® Award winning artist and best-selling author Michael W. Smith opened the new year by sharing an inspiring word and prayer with us. Smith revealed that he would be taking a break from social media, "for many good reasons," but he wanted to share one final post to encourage others before taking his hiatus.
In a message posted on Instagram, Smith started the prayer titled "A Prayer for a Gospel-Shaped 2019" by quoting Jeremiah 9:23-24:
"Don't let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!"
He added: "Heavenly Father, whether or not 2019 is going to be a 'happy' new year remains to be seen. But as in 2018, there won't be a day this year you'll fail to send us new mercies, give us sufficient grace, and be at work for our good. Because you have hidden our lives in Christ, your love will be the most constant, liberating, and reliable reality in our lives. You will delight in us, quiet us with your love, and rejoice over us with singing 24/7 (Zeph. 3:17). May this good news be more precious and real to us than anything else."
The prayer then focused on the words spoken by God through the prophet Jeremiah as a declaration for the new year.
"May it be a year filled with knowing you better, resting in your grace, and serving you more faithfully. Though the temptation for things like approval, riches, and control will continue, may the joy of knowing you seize our hearts, shape our schedules, and consume our days," he continued. "May we dance and suffer, work and play, serve and give all to your glory. Reveal more of Jesus to our hearts, bring Gospel-renewal to our churches, and advance your Kingdom in our cities. Indeed, may the Gospel compel us to love mercy, work for justice, and walk humbly with you until the day you take us Home."
Smith has been releasing new music regularly and performing around the world to sold-out crowds for the last 30+ years. During his storied career, he's written 32 No. 1 singles, been honored with three Grammy Awards and 45 Dove Awards, was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and has sold more than 15 million albums.
His most recent USA Today, Yahoo! Music and Billboard-acclaimed studio album A Million Lights and Parade, Good Morning America-featured live worship album Surrounded have together become his 30th and 31st Top 10 hits on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart, more than any other solo artist in history. He's also given back to the global community.
Smith has raised funds to battle AIDS in Africa; started Rocketown, a safe haven for young people in Tennessee to meet and find hope; and has helped more than 70,000 children through Compassion International. He has also written several best-selling books, including Old Enough To Know and Friends Are Friends Forever. He and his wife, Debbie, have five children and live in Nashville.