307 – A Prayer of Renewal for the New Year


This Week on Soul Talks

God wants to do good things in your life this New Year! Whatever it is that you’re going through — be it anxiety, relational conflicts, a stressful situation at work, depression, etc. — there’s an invitation for you to walk through it with Jesus.

When we enter our daily lives with submission to God, trust, worship, and prayerfulness, it gives God more room to work. And it helps us enter into life in the easy, peaceful, and loving yoke of Jesus.

In this Soul Talk, Bill and Kristi share a special prayer to help guide your heart and mind in submission and surrender to God each day. Tune in to discover how you can pray the Apprentice Prayer to be refreshed and resouled in the Lord!


A Prayer of Renewal Transcript

Bill & Kristi Gaultiere

David Knew How To ReSoul

Bill

We’re just about to start the new year as we’re broadcasting here. 

And we’re gonna talk about how to resoul through the Apprentice Prayer. 

That is the basis of our book, Your Best Life in Jesus’ Easy Yoke

The term resoul is actually in the Bible. 

You might not know that idea, but it’s a wording for renewal and it comes out of the life of David. 

As we know, David had a lot of hard times that he went through in his life, for many years. 

A particularly difficult time when he and his people (this was before he was king) were plundered by an enemy at Ziklag. 

His men were talking of stoning him to death and he was greatly distressed, but the Bible says that he “Strengthened himself in the Lord, his God.” (Samuel 30: 6)

This is really an important point in the life of David.

It’s right before he becomes king over Israel and the greatest king in Israel’s history. 

So it was a tremendous turning point in David’s life and illustrates the great strength that David had, as a leader, is that he knew how to strengthen his soul in the Lord. 

A number of years later, when he was king, David went through a situation where Shimei cursed him and threw stones and dirt at him as he walked by.
David, instead of cursing Shimei back or killing him—which he could have easily done with all the power he had—he returned his cursings with blessings!

But that took a toll on him. 

And the Bible says that he “Refreshed himself,” and the literal meaning of that word “refreshed” is that David “Resouled” (2 Samuel 16:14).

How to Renew Ourselves Like David

Bill

This is a skill that we all can learn, and that is to strengthen our soul or to resoul in the Lord. 

We’re gonna be talking about how the Apprentice Prayer is a tool for that. 

We’re sharing with you, really one of our best tools. 

It certainly has been for my life. 

And we love teaching on this as well. 

This opens our book Your Best Life in Jesus’ Easy Yoke because it comes out of my story of being a burned out pastor and counselor, needing to be resouled. 

It tells the story of how the Lord did that in my life as I learned to strengthen myself in the Lord, in the scriptures and in my relationships that Lord provided me. 

I came into a great spiritual renewal for my life that ultimately, Kristi, you joined me in and we were blessed to start the Soul Shepherding ministry. 

So this prayer is very dear to both of us. It’s been very powerful for our lives. 

Gosh, we’ve been praying it for well over 10 years now.

Many people, hundreds, thousands of people have prayed this prayer with us. 

Even whole churches have gone through the process of praying the Apprentice Prayer and the Easy Yoke journey. 

The Apprentice Prayer at Work

Bill

Let me share a story of a lead pastor that helped some time ago. 

The lead pastor was having a church conflict and it was a very difficult situation for him. 

He had read our Easy Yoke book and done an Easy Yoke group with some people in his church. 

He really took to the whole journey: The disciplines, breath prayers, and the different tools that are in there for dealing with stress and anxiety.

He also memorized the Apprentice Prayer. He even had Siri, on his phone, repeat the prayer to him while he was driving. 

And then he came into a really difficult situation where there was a conflict. 

It was unforeseen, with someone on staff, and it threatened this whole church because it got into the elder board room.

It was a very scary time for him. 

He was very anxious and he was angry about feeling mistreated. 

He was quite tempted to sort of power up and try to fix this situation and rectify his leadership. 

But instead of taking that route, because he was praying the Apprentice Prayer, he took the path of submission to the Lord and abandoning outcomes to God. 

The way we teach in our book. He just kept repeating the prayer to himself.

He brought that mentality into conflict resolution discussions with this person, and to meetings with the elders.

Because he handled it with prayerfulness, grace, humility,  and generosity—just like King David, in the scriptures that we just read—He blessed the one who cursed him.

He was able to have empathy for the different people in this situation. 

That really helped him ride through the storm in his leadership to win the day. 

His elders and the other leaders in the church saw him in a very pastoral way, instead of reacting to the injustice and the stress and conflict with anger or judgment or trying to control things. 

It would be understandable, you know, to react negatively. We all have those sorts of feelings and can react that way. 

But because of the inner work that he had been doing and through his training in the Soul Shepherding Institute, he was able to stay in the Lord’s presence, with peace and joy.

Soul Renewal Is for Everybody

Bill

So the Lord redeemed the situation and worked it for good for him and his leadership. 

That same thing applies to you, you know?

Whatever it is that you’re going through: Family conflict, a stressful situation in your business, something in your church or ministry, etc.

We’re so tempted to do image-management, to overwork, please people, or try to make things happen. 

But that changes as we go through the Apprentice Prayer. 

It’s just this simple principle of Okay, my life is Jesus’ school of discipleship for teaching me.

Not that we don’t try to do our best to improve things, of course we do. 

But there is a substantial change when we look to the Lord as sovereign and we say, “Okay, Lord, what are you showing me here? How is this an opportunity for me to go through this situation with Jesus and become more like Jesus, and to be a loving person?” 

As we take that demeanor of submission and trust, worshiping God and being prayerful, it helps us approach life in an Easy Yoke, peaceful, loving way. 

And that gives God more room to work.

The Apprentice Prayer Is Intentional

Kristi

I really appreciate what you’re saying here, Bill. 

I want to let our listeners know that this prayer is not just an incantation. 

It’s not just special words that you say and something good is going to happen to you.

It’s not rote words that you would memorize and say mindlessly.

That’s not the purpose of the Apprentice Prayer

Rather, it’s a tool for helping us to enthrall our minds to Jesus. That’s one of the things that I really appreciate about the Apprentice Prayer. 

It helps me in the morning when I wake up and I’m kind of groggy, or I’m tempted or distracted.

It helps me to focus and to pray these opening words in the Apprentice Prayer, “Jesus, I love you.” 

And it’s like, I’m reminding myself, Jesus is here. I love him.

I’ll stop on that and I’ll cultivate that love for Jesus.

Again, I’ll warm my heart up in love for Jesus. 

I’ll picture Jesus in the gospels and some of the things where we see his goodness and his love and remind myself of that. 

I’ll think about ways that I’ve experienced his love, to cultivate that love. 

And then I’ll pray, “Father, I adore you,” and there again, I’ll stop. 

I’ll think about what a blessing it is. 

God, the father, who he is and what he is to me. 

What a joy it is to be his child, and to be able to call him Abba. 

Once again, to help enthrall me with God, the father, and appreciate his presence in my life. 

And then “Holy Spirit, I rely on you,” and the gift of that. 

And in every moment of the day I’m going into, I can rely on Holy Spirit with me.

One of the names of the Holy Spirit is “helper,” and I need help!

And so remembering that, that God is my help

Remembering that his very power and presence is with me to help me throughout the day. 

All those things are so key to me. 

And that’s just the beginning line of the prayer, but the purpose of it isn’t to just pray it real quickly. 

“Okay, I’ve prayed it.”

Or, “I said these words, and now I’m covered for the day.”

But it’s to engage our hearts and our minds to jump start us in our prayers. 

Renewal Is About the Right Attitude, Not the Right Words

Bill

You’re praying it meditatively. 

You’re reflecting on the words and you’re making the words your own.

And in fact, I memorized the prayer and I prayed every day for seven years. 

But not necessarily always word for word, I would do what you’re doing. 

I would stop in places and sometimes it’d be worded a little differently. 

Currently my memorization of it isn’t as exact as it used to be. 

I’m mostly just praying it with the principles that are in there and going deep with those. 

Kristi

Yes, I don’t worry about getting all the words right, either. It’s about the principles here. 

I am an apprentice to Jesus, and the intentionality of that. 

I wanna look to Jesus to teach me, and my whole life is a school for that. 

It’s another perspective of remembering, in everything today, even these hard things that I don’t wanna deal with, I’m going to show up looking to Jesus to be teaching me, to be growing me. 

Nothing has to be wasted.

Bill

It helps us to take this mentality, the line in the prayer, where we ask the father to ordain the events of our day and use them to make me more like Jesus.

Praying, “I trust you, Lord, that you are sovereign.” 

There’s a great relief and rest that can come when we remind ourselves and appreciate that the Lord God is sovereign. 

He doesn’t cause everything that happens. 

Obviously we live in a war spiritually and there’s a devil and there’s evil. 

Even within our own selves, we have sin and ways we disconnect from God. 

We need help in this battle and God’s not causing all of that stuff. 

But superseding over all that, he’s in charge and he’s working good out of things.

That’s really helpful to remind ourselves that God has not fallen asleep. 

Any trouble that I’m experiencing right now, any distress, there is something good going on that God is doing in the midst of that.

Kristi

And then this phrase here, “We’re praying your will, your way, your time Lord,”  in every situation abandon the outcomes to God.

And that helps to identify where my will is not in line with God’s will or where I’m not submitted to his will and to reorient again. 

To remind me that I can do this and I can submit myself and even my loved ones to God and trust in his sovereign love.

The Apprentice Prayer to Combat Stress and Anxiety

Bill 

This is a tool for dealing with stress and anxiety

We have found over the years, in our work as therapists, that so often, stress and anxiety comes down to controlling things. 

We’re trying to control our image, what people think about us, our success and accomplishments, our money, our kids, and all these sorts of things. 

And that is really stressful, trying to control things that we really don’t have control over. 

When we put the burden of outcomes on our own back, well God’s in charge of that. 

And to take the posture of an apprentice, a student, a learner, a disciple of Jesus, a creature, and God is the creator.

And let God be the sovereign Lord and trust that even in situations that are unfavorable for me, there are still wonderful things that God is doing and will do. 

I want to tap into that.

Kristi

I also appreciate the intentionality in the prayer. 

The “I want to be all and only for Jesus” line.

As I pray that line, it’s a check for me. 

“Well, do I want that? Is that really what I want?” 

And if not, why

What’s gone askew in my soul

Where do I need to resoul so I can realize, “No, that really is the abundant life. That really is the good life.”

And sometimes I need to reorient to that.

Bill 

That’s my favorite line in the prayer, because I see Ray Ortlund’s shining face, as he said that to me over lunch. 

He said, “Bill, be all and only for Jesus.”

It just really warmed my heart and activated me. 

Yes, he’s articulating the desire of my life, and affirming that. 

And he lived that way. 

He lived with that joy in Jesus and, “Be all and only for Jesus.” 

That’s like Paul in Philippians 3, “I count everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord.”

Expanding Your Faith

Kristi

So good. 

Then I think this line, “Today I depend on you, Holy Spirit, not my own resources.” 

That reminder, that there is more than just my flesh, the physical reality.

Reminding me that I live in God’s world, where his power is more real and is greater than the things that I tend to trust and see as being available to me. 

This expands my faith.

Bill

These are some themes that help us to resoul, to strengthen ourselves in the Lord, as we deal with the challenges of life and family and work and church and ministry. 

To embrace those as opportunities for our growth and grace.

Kristi

So I’ve been so appreciative of this prayer. It’s been so helpful to me and to my soul. 

I’m glad that we are reminding our listeners of this opportunity and encouraging them as they face this New Year.

They’re not alone. 

They’re not on their own. 

It’s not up to them.

Bill

God wants to do good things in your life this New Year or whenever you’re listening to this podcast. 

This is a great way to do it, just to take the posture of an apprentice of Jesus in the father’s world. 

So let’s do that in closing. 

This is the Apprentice Prayer from Your Best Life in Jesus’ Easy Yoke

The Apprentice Prayer

Jesus, I love you.

Father. I adore you. 

Holy Spirit, I rely on you.

Lord Jesus, I seek to live as your apprentice, in all that I do today.

My life is your school for teaching me. 

I relinquish my agenda for this day, and I submit myself to you and your kingdom purposes. 

In all things today, I pray your will, your way, your time.

Dear father, I ask you to ordain the events of this day and use them to make me more like Jesus. 

I trust you, sovereign Lord. 

Not to let anything happen to my family or me today, except it passes through your loving hands. 

So no matter what problems, hardships or injustices I face today, tell me not to worry or get frustrated, but instead to relax in the yoke of your providence. 

Yes, today I will rejoice because I’m in your eternal kingdom. 

You love me and you are teaching me.

My Lord, I devote my whole self to you. 

I want to be all and only for Jesus.

Today, I seek to love you with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, all my strength and all my relationships.

Today, I depend on you, Holy Spirit, not my own resources. 

Help me to keep in step with you.

Today, I look to love others, as you love me, dear God, blessing everyone I meet, even those who mistreat me.

Today, I’m ready to lead people to follow you, Jesus.

Amen.

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