Every year instead of making a list of New Year’s resolutions, I pick a word or a theme. I find this helps me to be able to focus better on what God may have in store for me, and how to even begin praying through the year.
You may do this too, or this may be a whole new idea to you. As we close out the year, I think it’s important to start looking back on your theme for the year, and what God has been teaching you for the past 10 months or so. I think it helps to see how God has gifted you, and be aware of where He is working in your life.
Read Psalm 139:
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Stop here, and praise God for how intimately He knows and loves you.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Stop here, and praise God that He is with you. Confess to Him where you struggle to see His presence. Ask Him to show you where He is in the middle of a struggle or situation where you need Him.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
Think about the past 10 months, and answer the following questions:
- How has God used your theme this year, or what was your theme so far this year?
- What gifts do you think God is building in you? (Keep in mind these could be fruits of the spirit too)
- Ask God to search your heart for any issues you feel you need to resolve before the end of the year.
- Praise Him for all He’s done so far, and how He’s made you.