At the beginning of 2015, The Today Show did a special series called #StartTODAY where they offered easy tips to track your New Year's Resolutions. There was Team Joy for nutrition, Team Jenna for fitness, Team Jill for organization and Team Jean for finances. All month long, they offered tips to keep you moving forward in these main areas of your life. While the advice that the Four J's offered was helpful and practical, there is another area that many of us neglect to track.
Have you ever thought about making a resolution to improve your spiritual life? If not, why not begin in 2016?
If you focus on your spiritual life, Scripture can teach us how to improve other parts of our lives like nutrition, fitness, organization, and finances. Scripture also teaches us how to have a heart like Jesus, so we can better face temptations and trials.
Psalm 86:11 says, "Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name."
To truly live a life of following God, we need to have an undivided heart. If we resolve to pray for 2016, we will discover that the key to having an undivided heart starts with focusing on what God has in store for our lives. This can be the year that we focus less on ourselves and more on God. Prayer helps us discover the life we were born to live.
Proverbs 4:23 encourages us to guard our hearts above anything else because it is the wellspring of life. Our hearts are more than an organ; it is the center of our being.
If our hearts aren't right, neither will our eating and exercise habits or our clutter and finances. To get our hearts beating to the rhythm of Jesus, we start with prayer.
I'd like to challenge you to make a New Year's Resolution to focus on prayer for 21 days. From January 1st-January 31st, I'll be sharing tips on incorporating prayer into your everyday life. We will have a study for each weekday and then take time to pause on the weekend. Also, to give you some practical application, you can download our Prayer Challenge Worksheets to help you write out ways to fit prayer into your daily lifestyle.
Can you imagine how different 2016 could be if you committed yourself to prayer? A simple conversation between you and God can lead you to a place where you are at peace with every decision, distraction, and disaster that could potentially wreck you. A healthy prayer life will give you a strong heart that will guide you through the challenges of life.
Prayer is going to help us simplify and apply the word of God to the areas of life that overwhelm us.
Prayer is going to give us courage and make our hearts calm through the chaos of daily living.
Prayer is going to help us wrestle with God, give our desires to God, and live in the freedom of God's grace, love, and mercy.
We will begin to notice the beauty of this life even when we feel broken and will choose to praise God so that we might be given His peace.
Let prayer be the path to an undivided heart. Join us as we start today on Team Jesus.
Cheering for you,
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
Make a New Year's Resolution to pray for 2016. Using our Introduction Worksheet, write out all the areas of your life that you hope prayer will help you with (ex: nutrition, exercise, organization, finances, family, job, dreams). The diagram is designed so that all these areas of your life are directed back to your center, your heart.
We encourage you to invite others to join us in prayer! If you would like to do this study in your small group, we will send you a leader guide. Our first day of the study will begin on January 1st, but you can begin it the first week your small group begins to meet in January. Just fill out the form from the link below to receive more information.