Like clockwork, every December we all start talking about our goals and inevitably, high on most believers’ lists is to have a deeper prayer life and/or read their Bible more. At first glance, these goals seem discouraging. Another year has passed where we feel like we didn’t pray or read as much as we’d like.
Before you fall into the trap of discouragement and maybe even NOT include this for fear of growing redundant, or for fear of possibly failing again, I want to share why it’s ok that a better prayer life or relationship with God is always one of your goals.
First, this is an area God calls us to continually grow in. It’s one we won’t suddenly master one year and have down for eternity. Instead, it’s a journey.
Having growing closer to God on your goals’ list isn’t a sign of failure or weakness the previous year. It’s a sign of something more.
A holy discontent.
Think back to a time you felt closest to God. What was it like? What did you feel? What is it making you feel right now?
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I can share a few times for me – one I distinctly remember sitting on my bed and my husband saying something. Whatever it was, it normally would have created some anxiety, but this time my reaction was I am totally fine because God is with me. He’s right here. I shared a bit about this experience here.
Other times, it’s when I’ve had some really good out loud prayer time in the car and I hear a worship song and I cry ugly tears at the reality of God’s love for me. I mean, how else can you explain such emotion over a song I’ve heard thousands of times?
I’m not sure about you, but I think a discontent that we don’t have more experiences like that is a good thing. We usually see discontent as bad, but when it comes to our faith, that tug for more and more of Jesus is so pure and comes because when we’re in the presence of Jesus we get the smallest taste of heaven here on earth.
If you feel wary of putting “grow your prayer life”, “connect with God more” or “study your Bible more” in your goals, that’s the devil who wants to discourage you!!
Sure, you may feel like you could have pursued God more in 2017 and feel bad their wasn’t more growth but let it go right here, right now and press on. Instead, remember those moments of utter joy with the Lord and use that as inspiration to start making choices that reflect that desire.
And know this. When I really look back at the changes my prayer life has made in the last 10 years, there’s been some major growth. God has done a lot. Yet I’ve never hit a December and thought, “That was good. I like where we’re at. Let’s move on to another goal.”
Our team is fired up about 2018 because we’ve got big plans to keep you motivated to pray consistently way beyond providing a journal for you. Here are just a few ways:
- Our VMP Society facebook group where you can ask questions and hear how other people are using the journal.
- Our VMP Society on Instagram where our team will share their journal prep each month and tips throughout the month, including The Fresh Start challenge this month.
- My personal Instagram where I’ll be sharing more on what I’m learning about prayer.
- And tomorrow we’ve got a major one coming up. I’ll be sharing a webinar all on preparing you for a prayer-filled 2018. We’re gonna talk about how to use your journals well but we’re also going to cover 4 specific obstacles we WILL face and how to combat them. It’s free and you don’t have to have a journal.
We’ll start at 11 CST. Bring a notebook and get ready to invest in your prayer life in 2018. You will be able to access the video afterward if you aren’t able to watch live!
One final thought. You might pray more than ever before in 2018 and still feel that tug to keep praying. Think back on this post and stay encouraged. And one practical tip to do this: look back on all the answered prayers in your prayer journal or Prayer Memoirs. See what the Lord has done as you have grown closer together and keep setting new goals to get to know Him even more with all the confidence and holy discontent imaginable!