Practical Tips for Entering the New Year, Part 2: Pray!

Anastasis Faith

How can I change my life?


New things are often exciting, because they bring the chance for a fresh start. New journals with hundreds of blank pages waiting to be filled, new places to visit and explore, new years that hold 365 days of possibility, growth, and change.
But new things can also be overwhelming. Pretty much every time I open a new, spotless journal, I get nervous that I’ll mess up the pages or that I won’t be able to fill it up or that I’ll lose it, or any number of things. And when I’m in a new place, a small part of my mind always wanders to the worst-case scenarios: what if my car breaks down? what if my phone dies and I get lost? what if I get KIDNAPPED?!?!
A new year can also be overwhelming. With all the talk of change and goals and accomplishments, there is a small voice that questions those possibilities. Maybe there is something you really want to accomplish, but honestly don’t know how.
Part 1 of this mini-series gave tips on how to approach your resolutions with joy. Today, I want to encourage you to approach your resolutions with prayer.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Part 2: Pray Without Ceasing

            When I was thinking about what I wanted to see happen in my life this year, they all seemed like admirable things: read the Bible all the way through, get my home more organized, love and serve my husband better, spend more time with family. Your list probably looks a little bit different, but with some of the same ideas I assume. The basic theme I have realized in making resolutions or setting goals is that they all tend to place an emphasis on growth.

·         We want to grow in our walk with Christ, so we aim to read the Bible more, develop a deeper prayer life, serve with our gifts and our time, and learn about Him in Bible study.
·         We want to grow personally, so we try to add discipline to our lives (cleaning, studying, exercising, etc.).
·         We want to grow in our relationships with others, so we vow to write more letters, send more texts, make more phone calls, and set up more coffee and lunch dates.

Maybe your resolutions follow that pattern of change as well, or maybe not. Or maybe you don’t even have any resolutions, which is also fine! Regardless of what you have or haven’t proposed to do, God has a plan for your life. If you are in Him, then that plan involves growth and spiritual maturity. “How can I know what His will is for my life? How can I know if my goals line up with His plans?” Well, I’m glad you asked! J

Prayer is how we learn the will of God. Prayer is how we interact with God and ask for His wisdom and guidance. Prayer might even be one of your New Year’s Resolutions!

When we lay our hearts before God, asking Him to examine us and our motives, things will start to change. He will teach us more about Himself, He will lead us to the plans and people and projects He has set before us, and He will guide us in true, lasting growth. He will give us the wisdom to examine our own lives and see if they line up with His will, and He will give us the grace to make Godly changes in our life.

Here is an example of how to incorporate prayer into your resolutions. I want to read through the whole Bible this year. On my own, I could probably do it, but it probably wouldn’t be as effective as it should. I would need a lot of self-discipline, a set apart time each day to read, and the will power to not quit when I inevitably get behind a few days.
Instead of doing it on my own, I wrote this prayer that I will try to pray before I do my daily readings: Lord, please grant me a greater love of Your Word and a strong desire to read it. Help me to value Your Word as living and active, and help me to grow in discipline by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for giving us The Bible as a means to know You more deeply and to help us grow in the image of Christ. Amen

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2



Brittanie is a recent college graduate, new wife, and expectant mother! She enjoys spending time with family, serving her church, and encouraging her friends. You can follow her on Instagram: @djbritbrit

Did you set a New Year’s Resolution to pray more this year? Do you have any practical tips on how to make prayer a daily part of your life? Share with us in the comments!

Anastasis Faith / Author & Editor

Anastasis is a Texas girl who enjoys writing, blogging, and music. You can connect with her here on her blog, or at morningglorypursuingjesus @yahoo.com

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