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Praying In the New Year

Praying In the New Year

Jeremiah 29: 11 – 14a 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord.

For quite some time now, at the beginning of a new year, I spend time in retreat, asking God to reveal what concept or theme He has in store for me in the coming year. Often, the Holy Spirit gives me a word, or word picture that gradually gains clarity. Sometimes, if I am not sure, I ask another Christian to pray with me to discern.

Once this concept sits well with me, I do a word search on the bible, looking up a word or themes or topics in a life application bible or use www.biblegateway.com. So, for example, if I discern ‘renew’, I look up all of the scripture verses that mention this concept. In looking at the bible gateway website, it gives me 21 bible references, and over 25 topical or keyword references.  This gives me direction for subsequent quiet times to ponder on the process of renewal. Firstly, I work through these passages to explore the context, characters, qualities, circumstances, challenges and promises that are revealed. Secondly, I invite the Spirit to renew aspects of my life as He nourishes, grows, challenges and extends my faith journey. It helps me be alert, expectant and hopeful of how The Spirit works in my life in sifting through choices that God brings into my life or acts as prompt to apply or seek out opportunities to be renewed.

In this way, He prepares a very personal devotional theme just for me! It’s such a rich and fulfilling adventure full of discoveries about God’s love and promises that leads and informs my inner personal growth, attitudes, actions and decision-making.

Prayer points: Ask God what themes he would like to reveal for you today? Are you ready to go on adventure with Him?

Julie Freund