For the past two weeks, I’ve shared our big goal series (some of your favorite posts of the whole year!) and wanted to wrap up today with some final thoughts.
We 100% cannot to do this without God. And honestly, I 100% don’t want to do anything on my list of goals if it’s NOT part of God’s plan for this year. Even though I’ve spent time praying about goals and words and thinking about books I’d like to read, I trust God more than all my planning.
Haven’t we seen this year in years past? We set goals and God has something together different in mind?
For us to do this well, it requires an ongoing conversation with God. We can’t pop in and make a great plan with God and peace out for 364 days until our next goal-setting time. I think that’s obvious but when I lay it out like that in plain English, it reminds me how often I freak out when things don’t go “my way” or how much I just expect things to go my way.
The lesson the Lord seems to be instilling in me now is just how much control I seek to have over my life. Like maybe the stress I carry (that’s physically taking a toll on my body) doesn’t just come from an overscheduled life which we seem to stay away from pretty well, but maybe it’s my reaction to everything that happens in life. (I talked about this a little in this post.)
It’s honestly part of the reason I think “Presence” is my word for 2022. I need to live in the moment with the Lord a little more instead of “what if-ing” every future situation to death.
Maybe I don’t need to convince you that the only way we will walk through this year without stressing or obsessing over our goals is by walking through it with the Lord. But how do we practically do that?
I hope these few simple steps help give you a starting point!!
1. ASK THE LORD QUESTIONS
Often, we want to hear from God but we honestly just don’t. (I have a whole chapter on listening in Pray Confidently and Consistently if you want more on this!) Part of the reason I think that is, is we aren’t asking God questions. Asking questions puts us in a listening posture. When you ask a friend a question, you usually switch gears and turn on your listening ears. You don’t walk off from the conversation after you ask a question. Even though we can’t see God, I have found that as I ask God questions, I am more in a position to listen well. I saw @shelovesbible share these questions on Instagram for the new year and they are a great place to start!
- Am I closer to God now than I was a year ago?
- What is a big prayer I can pray for in the new year?
- What is an aspect of God’s character I want to trust in deeper this year?
- Is there anyone I need to forgive/ask forgiveness from this past year?
- How have I not used my time wisely this year and what can I change?
- In what way(s) is my heart not fully surrendered to God?
- What are 1 or 2 goals I would love to see God help me with this year?
2. DO A PRAYER WALK THROUGH YOUR HOME
Grab our free house prayers worksheet and use the blank spaces to write out specific things for this year. (If you have Springboard Prayers, you’ll see prayers for each room of your home.) Maybe it’s specific things like the small group you decided to start hosting in your living room or the new job your husband took working at night. It may be for the specific things your kids are facing in school or how you hope they will grow in the coming year in the laundry room. Turn up some worship and cover your home in prayer and dedicate this space to the Lord! I love praying for the Holy Spirit to overwhelm a space. I’ve done this praying for our booth at Spring at the Silos, in doctor’s offices, in massage rooms and in places where the air of grief or darkness is thick. Maybe you feel like the feeling in your home has been heavy. Pray for the Lord to overwhelm your home with peace and joy instead!
3. DEVELOP A DAILY PRAYER HABIT
Our whole mission is “to help people live a life that flows out of their prayer time with the Lord”. I still get excited every time I read those words! A life that flows from prayer?? What could be better? This type of life doesn’t come from one-off prayers that we aren’t even confident will reach God’s ears. You can literally grab any of our products, listen to our podcast or read the blog to help with this one because 90% of our resources are geared toward making prayer a daily habit that transforms your life. If you’re looking for a place to start, grab one of the Rhythms or Signature journals and a copy of my book Pray Confidently and Consistently. And if you want to up the ante? Grab Springboard Prayers to get you started praying actual prayers.
4. PRAY FOR YOUR GOALS MONTHLY
Our Rhythms and Signature Prayer Journals have a designated section for goals. They can be tiny things you are thinking about or huge year-long or even life-long goals! As I pray consistently for my goals, it’s a simple act of surrender and an ongoing reminder that I am headed in the direction of these things but I’m also inviting the Lord to redirect my steps if He wants to. This is how I hold goals loosely. I keep bringing them back to Him. And when there is a clear “no” with one of my goals that I have consistently brought to the Lord, it’s not a case of “I have not because I asked not.” (James 4:2). It’s because God has something better planned.
5. PRAY THIS PRAYER
Father, what a gift it is to know that as I start this year, you go with me.
I pray you’d give me eyes to see my future with you. And Lord, put a joy in me for what’s to come.
Fill me with an expectation that is giddy with excitement each morning knowing that life with you is anything but mundane.
Take a moment to praise God for all the exciting things you are looking forward in the new year.
30 seconds ____________
Remove any fear in me that trembles at the thought of the unknown to come in the new year. Truthfully, many times I’d prefer a perfectly laid out roadmap for the year ahead.
I ask you to replace my fear with a peace as I remember you are in control.
Take a moment to confess anything in your future that gives you reason to worry or fear what’s to come and release it to God.
30 seconds ____________
May I revel in this fresh start Father. What a gift it is to say goodbye to the past year and hello to new possibilities.
May it be a clear reminder of your mercies that are new not just every year, but every morning!
When I’m tempted to walk around feeling like a complete and utter failure, I pray that I’d instead take my eyes off me and instead rejoice in your generous love.
Take a moment to remove any shame we place on ourselves and instead rejoice in God’s mercy and grace for us.
30 seconds ____________
You are so good God.
As I look forward to a new year and think of so many things I want to do or accomplish, I pray my number one goal would be to know you more.
Take a moment to share with God your hopes for the new year.
30 seconds ____________
I am Yours, Lord. Both now and forever.
In Jesus’ Name
Friend! I hope as you plan this year, the Lord would be gracious to you. That He would prick your heart if plans need to be changed. That He would give you a heart of surrender to trust His ways. And that He’d give you the self-discipline to not give up on things He has called you to do.
I’m excited for this coming year! A lot of content coming to the blog and podcast. I’m bursting with ideas! 🙂