I know I've mentioned before how much I love the New Year. I love the clean slate, the new beginning, the chance to start over. I usually spend some time thinking about my life and the things that I know I need to work on in the year ahead. I come up with the list of resolutions, write them down, and within a month they are forgotten. Well, if I even get to writing them down. Most of the time they stay swirling in my head for a few weeks and then they are forgotten.
Well, I started off this new year the same way. I had such good intentions to write them here on my blog and get started on fixing all of my flaws. But then I came across a website called One Word. The idea is instead of making a list of resolutions that will soon be a memory to find one word to focus on for the year. One word that embodies something that you would like to accomplish or be or gain.
One word. I like that. One word is easy to remember. One word is doable for me. So I switched my focus from all of those resolutions and just started thinking about my one word. Well, it sounds easier than it is. I have so many words that I would like to be or do or have. Words like patience, presence, peace, or perseverance. I couldn't choose just one so quickly so I have spent some time really thinking and praying about my one word. Through those prayers, God kept laying that one word on my heart.
That word for me is PRAYER. My word for 2012 will be prayer. I have struggled with prayer my whole Christian life. I feel so inadequate in my prayer life. I struggle with perfectionism and so I never have the time to put into my prayers because that perfect time never comes along. I have struggled with what I believe about prayer. Does it really change things? Why do some people get the answers they want? Do I not have enough faith? Is God upset with me? Did I pray in the wrong way? How should I pray? Am I doing it right? I have struggled with all of these questions and more. They keep me from having the kind of prayer life I want and I know God asks of me.
So part of my prayer journey for 2012 will be learning about prayer. I have already started reading some books on prayer. I plan to read some of the newer books as well as some of the classics. And, most importantly, I plan to focus my Bible study on the scriptures that teach about prayer.
I have also laid out a plan for the year as to what to focus my prayer on:
January- I have been preparing my heart, making my plan, just asking God one simple thing: Teach me to pray, Lord.
February- I will be praying for Dean (since it is the month of love, you know).
March- I will be praying for my children.
April- I will be praying for our church.
May- I will be praying for the needs of my family and friends.
June- I will be praying for the unsaved.
July- Since it is my birth month, I will be praying for myself.
August- I will take some time to focus on praise, thanksgiving, and listening to God.
September- This is a hard month for me so I will focus on our ministry, Emma's Gift, and those who are experiencing grief.
October- I will be praying for our community.
November- Since we will be going through a time of decisions, I will be praying for our country.
December- I will be reflecting on what I have learned, praying for clarity, and asking for guidance for 2013.
Well, that's the plan. I will keep you updated as to how it is going, what I am learning through my reading, and how God is changing me and teaching me.
I end with this prayer from David, as it is my prayer as I start on my prayer journey:
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight." Psalm19:14