“Commit your actions to the LORD,
and your plans will succeed”
- Proverbs 16:3
The New Year is underway and hopefully we’ve all got our “one word,” resolutions, or goals defined. The easy part is done.
This weekend I read something and realized the long journey is just beginning. The revelation was “Deep prayer – real communication with God not only changes things, but it changes us from the inside out!” Changing from the inside out is a slow process. It doesn’t just happen in the blink of an eye!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get so excited about the possibility of something good happening, I forget that hard work and dedication are also involved. And once again I am reminded why my word for this year is self-discipline (ie. will-power, restraint, strength of mind, discipline, self-control). It’s amazing how one word, a simple change, or a new goal can affect every area of your life. I already know that my prayer life, Christian study, health, finances, relationships, my school work, my home, and the work the Lord has called me to, will be affected. I’m beginning to think this might end up being a five-year plan.
I can’t do this (alone) ... BUT with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
No matter what plans we have, or commitments we’ve made, we need to lay it all before the Lord. And that does not mean asking for a one-time blessing - it means communicating with Him daily.
Pray without ceasing.
We need to pour our heart out - asking God to reveal new things, to give us perseverance and steadfastness in our 2012 journey, AND we need to take time to listen.
Here are a few Tips for Praying, that will help us remain committed to our challenge for this year:
• As we continue reading and studying God’s word, we need to gain a deeper understanding of our commitment (word, resolution, goals) in relation to its context in the Bible. Pray for clarity. God gives understanding to those who seek Him (Psalm 53:2). “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).
• Let God know how serious you are about your commitment. Ask Him to search your heart, your thoughts, desires, and actions (Psalm 139:23). “Those who seek the Lord abide in Him” (Psalm 119:45).
• Use the promises found in God’s word, as prayers spoken back to Him. He loves nothing more than for us to meditate on His word, store it in our heart, and put our trust in Him. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
• God has a plan for us and whatever happens, He is in control. Pray that this year will be all about what He will do in and through you. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Three hundred and sixty five days is a long time to walk alone on any kind of journey. A lonely traveler could get discouraged, lost or harmed ... but we are blessed. We know the One who offers words of encouragement, the Shepherd who can guide us along the path, and the Protector who can keep us safe and remove obstacles. He has given us PROMISES for such times as this!
Seek Him Daily (and BELIEVE).
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver