Prayer Guide:  January 2018

Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.   James 4: 8a, 10

Another new year! We eagerly approach this time with high expectations for ourselves and what we can accomplish ‘this’ year. Usually this involves a list of New Year’s resolutions where we try to inspire ourselves to make changes in our lives. Frequently our focus is on losing weight, getting physically fit, accomplishing career goals, changes in relationships, travel, hobbies.  

All positive and healthy, no question. Recently I read a list of my own from a few years ago, some I had achieved, and others I am still working on. But as I thought about it, I realized there was a glaring omission. My spiritual life! How much stronger would our lives be if we focused our energy on spiritual fitness! In particular, our prayer lives. What if we set goals of enhancing the time we spend with God? More time spent talking with Him, listening to Him quietly, being open to His leading, keeping a prayer journal, lifting our friends and family up and also our church, our communities, our nation; to expand our relationship with God through these powerful conversation times. Think of the possibilities!

So this year as I reflect on changes to improve my overall life, I will also focus on developing a stronger prayer life and submitting my life more fully to His will!   

Heavenly Father, we thank you for a new year filled with wonderful opportunities to make positive changes. But this year, help me to grow in my spiritual life and mature in my times of conversation with you. Help me to listen better and to act on the ways you lead. Thank you for your love and mercy.      

(Thank you Lois Powers for your writing and prayer leadership!)