New Year’s Resolutions vs. New Year’s Prayers

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New Year’s Resolutions. A familiar story, we know all too well. January 1st comes around and we have the best of intentions to start off on a new leaf. At this point I feel a general consensus that we have all pretty much given up on New Year’s resolutions actually being a thing that we do. Yet, every year I feel the temptation to set them. To give myself some credit, I get more realistic in them each year but somehow I feel I am going into it with the wrong mindset.

I have come to realize, they are less resolutions and more goals. Albeit, goals that I should feel free to set at any point but for some reason don’t. This year, I have goals. I have a money saving plan, goals for blogging and goals for my walk with God. Yet, this year I do not want to start off with resolutions, I want to start off with prayers. I will spend time writing out my goals and analyzing how I will achieve them but before that, I will spend time writing out my prayers for this year. These goals are planted in the deep desire of my heart to live better. To love better. To live deeper and live fully. These goals are rooted in the fact that above all else, in 2016 I want to end the year more radically in love with Jesus and closer to the woman he wants me to become than when I started the year.
My goals for 2016 are to:
          Save money.
          Blog once a week, for the entire year
          Spend time in the Word. Every day.
Those are my goals, the things that I want to achieve. Before anything can be done in his name, I believe prayer needs to happen, communication with Him, including him in the decision and asking His Will to infiltrate mine. Those are my goals, these are my prayers:
Lord, I want to honor you with my finances. I desire to follow you without the burden of debt. I pray to be released from unnecessary worry about financial concerns and lay these at your feet. Loosen my grip on my money, help my heart remember that no material possession is entirely my own. To follow your word fully, I should freely offer help to those who need. I should serve with my money whenever I feel you urging me to do so. Guide my financial decisions as I seek to honor you in every area of my life.
God, I choose to honor you through sharing your stories of love, hope and endless grace upon grace in my life. I feel you pulling my heart towards the written word. I see you move through my writing when I least expect you to. I pray that in all I do, whether it be writing, blogging or teaching, you are the focus, you are the center of it all and all of my actions are pleasing and acceptable to you.
Father, I want to begin each day in your word. I want scripture to penetrate my heart and leak into every aspect of me.  I desire to begin and end each day worshipping you, loving you and learning more about you. Give me the continual desire to be in unbroken relationship with you, to be with you every day. I pray to grow in wisdom and in faith throughout this year. As I embark on new adventures I pray that I never lose sight of the rest I find in your shadow. Speak to me through your word and through my prayers. Guide my steps as I seek to honor you in all that I do, every day, for all of my life.
Above all, Lord, I pray that this year is entirely honoring to you and your great name. I pray that when I stumble, I do not resist your correction. I pray that when I fall, I fall at your feet. I pray that no failure or pain can pull me away from the peace I find in you. If I achieve nothing else this year besides my heart drawing closer to yours, I will be satisfied. Amen.
I believe prayer is far mightier than we acknowledge. I truly believe prayer holds the power to change lives. When people, relationships and families are covered in prayer there is a protection covering them. I have seen it with my own eyes. This year, I want to achieve goals but I above all I want to seek Christ. My ultimate ‘resolution’ is to hold the power of prayer sacred. My goals may morph and change, as life often does but I am committing myself to praying over my life, my goals and His will daily.
If you are setting resolutions this year, I encourage you to follow those goals down to the roots. Figure out why you want to achieve these and how they honor God.
Ask yourself:
Why do I want to achieve these goals?
How do these goals honor God?
What areas of my life do these goals stem from and how can I cover these in prayer?
Bring these goals to God, ask him to align your goals and heart with his. Write out prayers over these things and be committed to praying God’s will over every area of your life, every day. I would be happy to join you in prayer as well, feel free to drop me and e-mail, comment, or message.
What are your goals for this year? How can you be intentional about praying over them and inviting God into every aspect of your life?

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