By Karen Berry
Here at PrayerBowls, we love new beginnings. It symbolizes a fresh start; a slate wiped clean. Although the winter season may seem bleak, cold and even stagnant, we are gifted a holiday right in the middle that energizes and encourages us to become our best selves: New Years Day. Every year on this day, we try to find and incorporate new ways to connect with our Heavenly Father; seeking him out with the hope that he will fill us with purpose. So for this month’s blog post, Karen wanted to share a few tips that may help you connect and grow with God during the new year.
Growing Our Prayer Life:
1. Start your morning off right. To begin my day focusing on God and worship, I have changed my alarm to my favorite worship song – something you can do on any smartphone. With this easy little trick, my first thoughts are of praising God and I can easily begin my day with a few minutes of prayer before even stepping out of bed.
2. Chore Prayer. A sister in Christ shared this idea with me and it has changed how I look at doing chores. If you are like me, you may find yourself getting a little grumpy over the pile of laundry looming in the corner or feeling a little frustrated as you lug the trash to the curb at the end of the night. Now as I am folding laundry, I might say a prayer for the family member whose clothes they are. And when I take the trash to the curb, I now pause and look up to the starry sky in awe and amazement that our Almighty God, creator of all things, loves me beyond measure.
3. Praying Scripture. God tells us that all scripture is God breathed. I love plugging in my loved ones’ names and claiming God’s promises made in scripture over my family and friends. God’s word is powerful. Use it!
4. Five-Finger Prayer. Using your fingers as references, this prayer is a great way to remember the many different groups of people we want to pray for and the order in which we should pray.
5. 180 Prayer. We all have times when we have to do something we really don’t want to do, whether it be a work event for your spouse or something you regret signing up for. During these times, I use a “180 prayer” to ask God for a change in attitude; to help me do a 180! It is amazing what God can do when you put things in His hands.
6. Let God’s Word pour over you. Download the Bible App and you can listen to the Bible on audio anytime, whether you’re in the car, walking the dog, or doing chores around the house. It is amazing to just listen and let God’s love blanket you and strengthen your faith in His promises.
7. One Word. This and last year, the church we attend encouraged us to pray about one word that God wants us to focus on that year. Once we have our word, we look for scripture and Bible stories to encourage us, as well as a book or Bible Study that focuses on that word. Staying mindful of God's word throughout the year can make a big impact and keep us focused on what is important. This year, the word that God has put on my heart is GROW, and I will be focusing on scripture from 2 Peter 1:3-10.
Growing in Faith: 2 Peter 1:3-10
3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. 10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.
God has done amazing things through PrayerBowls, and at the moment I feel a little overwhelmed and under qualified for things being asked of me. Even writing this blog is an example of something way out of my comfort zone. But God doesn’t want us to be stagnant; he wants us to GROW. This takes faith, courage, and lots of prayer. I have learned that being in this position is a great place to be. It makes me totally dependent on God instead of just myself.
We’d love if you would share with us some of the ways that you plan to grow in your relationship with God in 2020! Comment below what your word or share a way that prayer has deepened your connection and dependence on our Heavenly Father. God bless you.