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4 Ways to Make Prayer a Priority This Year

Before we do any goal setting, resolutions, or plans, we can find success by putting God foremost on our agenda. Here are four ways to make prayer a priority this year and form a lasting habit.

10 Ways to Make Every Day This Year Feel Like New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day is a favorite in every culture. Fireworks, celebrations, parades, and all manner of celebrating ushers in the New Year around the world. Looking towards a new season brings fresh hope, anticipation, and possibilities.Personally, I love Christmas, but when all the decorations are taken down there is fresh hope and anticipation as I look to the New Year. Every year, between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I spend time with the Lord in prayer, asking Him what He has for me in the new year and how He might want me to change. As I read scripture and spend time in prayer and worship, I ask Him for a promise or verse to cling to as I step into the brand-new season.Many, at least here in the West, make New Year’s resolutions or set goals for themselves about how they will improve their lives. Having said that, only about 9% of people keep those resolutions. Many resolutions are forgotten one month into the year. Most of the goals seem to revolve around fitness, health, finances, or personal success, which demonstrates that at the core of our humanity,we crave life transformation.G. K Chesterton has been quoted as saying, “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.”One of the reasons that the New Year holds such joy for us is the anticipation of new blessings and opportunities, but more than that, each new year holds the promise of life transformation.The great truth for those of us who follow Jesus is that God promises life transformation. Jesus came to transform our lives and bring us wholeness. When we are reborn, our transformation begins, and it culminates when we meet Christ face to face. In the meantime, each new day brings anticipation and hope. We see this all throughout the scriptures.The Old Testament book of Isaiah is filled with the anticipation of transformation. The prophet reminds us that we have a God who redeems and restores. He gives us hope as we look to the future, “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom” (Isaiah 35:1). He continues with other promises like, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul assures us, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). He goes on to write, “Wherefore if any man is in Christ,he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are becoming new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NAS).“New” just the sound of it brings hope. New implies a transformation and brings a sense of anticipation. God is in the business of creating new things. New growth. New attitudes, New peace. New joy. God brings new seasons of beauty out of old seasons of chaos. He transforms our broken lives into lives that shine for his glory.How can we, as believers, internalize the sense of anticipation and the hope of life transformation every day? Beyond throwing confetti or setting off fireworks, here are ten ways youcan make every day feel like New Year’s Day:Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Jesus Fuentes

7 Ways to Have a Healthy Year

As Christmas closes and the new year approaches, we set our sights on creating New Year's resolutions for self-improvement in various areas of our lives. One of the most popular New Year's resolutions is for better health. The most common way people try to seek better health is to lose weight. However, the biggest health victories sometimes come when we step off the scale.Although there are many health assessments online, companies require an e-mail address, which permits the company to continue to e-mail you with ads and other promotional materials. The best way to analyze your health is to ask the Holy Spirit. It is easy for us to deny and think we are doing better than we are. Additionally, tests like online assessments can be manipulated to give ourselves the desired result. When we use denial and other self-deprecating behaviors, we don't allow the Holy Spirit to help us see areas in our lives in which we can grow.Additionally, the enemy loves it when we stop growing. When we stop identifying the areas where we need to take steps to improve ourselves, the enemy wins. He loves keeping us stuck right where we are. The Holy Spirit wants to show us areas of our physical, emotional, and spiritual health where we need the most help.To have a healthy 2024, we must protect our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health. However, we must take an honest health analysis to see how healthy we are in each area. Here are five ways to have a healthy 2024:
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5 Practices for Parents to Try in the New Year

With a New Year comes an invitation to begin creating new patterns and rhythms and adjust the culture that has developed in your home. It's a chance to reflect on what is working and what needs to change. We all can benefit from chances to "check in" as a family and adjust to refocus our homes on the good and beautiful that exists all around us.Take some time to review what your family is being intentional about. Make an effort to prioritize practices that bring you all closer to each other, honor God, and help develop healthy habits. Most importantly, as parents, we have to make sure we are willing to model what we want our kids to practice. So much more of our family values are caught than taught. We are the lead learners and lead teachers in our homes.Here are five practices that we can grow more intentional within our home in the New Year:
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5 Bible Journaling Ideas for the New Year

Bible journaling is focused on what God’s Word is saying to the individual heart and mind. Bible journaling is an invitation to honestly and creatively respond to the Lord. Here are five Bible journaling ideas for the New Year.

4 Ways New Year Resolutions Can Actually Be Harmful

Here's the quick and fast conclusion: resolutions may be harmful because some experts say that over 80% of resolutions fail, which can lead to depression, an increase in use/practice of the bad habit you're attempting to overcome, and a sense of guilt or incompetence which can lead to worsened mental health.

15 Ways to Become a Better You in the New Year

One thing I can guarantee you is that this year is going to go by, and you’re either going to come out the other side better, worse, or the same. Because life happens, but what we do with life is completely up to us.

10 Prayers for the Year 2024

The beginning of a new year can inspire us to reflect on the past and contemplate the future. As we enter 2024, we can celebrate the opportunity God has given us to be alive at this time and pray for God’s power to work in every situation we face. Here are ten prayers for the year 2024 to use for a diverse variety of situations in our lives, the lives of our family and friends, and the world around us. These prayers can help us connect to God in whatever circumstances we encounter during 2024.Photo Credit: Unsplash/Walls.io

An 8-Day Prayer Challenge for a New Year

It’s that time of the year when we make resolutions, promises, goals, and dreams. When it comes to spiritual disciplines, one of those that I always seem to make every year centers around prayer. I want to pray longer, deeper, and with more intentionality. I want to pray for others better and set aside real time to pray! The problem? I sometimes don’t even know where to begin.How to Get StartedThe first thing we do when we get started with prayer is to consciously make it a priority. Are you going to make prayer a priority? The want-to needs to start with you. Decide each day to make prayer a priority. We can ask the Lord to give us the desire to pray. We can make sure to read scripture each day to pray. Putting prayer on our calendar also shows that we want to prioritize it.Today I’d love to offer you eight prayers you can pray for the new year. Pray one of these for eight days and see what God can do! These prayers are not designed to just be said aloud and then you're finished. Use the scriptures to meditate on God’s Word, focusing on the truth you find there. Then use the prayers as starters, ending with your own thoughts about each topic! You can join others participating in this prayer challenge here.Discover how the power of prayer can transform any life into one that looks to God for comfort and joy. Here are eight days of prayers to pray for the new year:Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/TinnakornJorruang

10 Ways to Pray Bigger Prayers in the New Year

Prayer is powerful. God is all heart, and He knows ours fully. Prayer is an intimate connection with our Creator, who hears us and loves us. Jesus sacrificed His life to forever open up the lines of communication between us and our great and holy God. Prayer doesn’t have to be organized. There are no requirements for prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God. It’s a conversation. It’s a relationship.How is your prayer life? If one of your resolutions for the new year is to become a person of prayer, we have a few tips for you. The following suggestions are meant to stir what God is already speaking to your heart.Here are ten ways to pray bigger prayers in the new year:

5 Things to Leave Behind to Have the Best Year Yet

I love New Year's. Something about new beginnings and chances to improve always gives me a feeling of hope and excitement. I think the innate desire to get better, go further, and stretch ourselves stems from God. He's always revealing new truths, calling us towards new and sometimes intimidating adventures, and guiding us closer to the ultimate goal of becoming more like Jesus. Think about all the times Jesus called people to higher purposes and uncomfortable change, like the rich young ruler and the many he told to stand up and be healed, stop sinning, or have faith despite grim circumstances. He seems quite the opposite of stagnancy and comfortable familiarity to me.But sometimes, as painful as it may feel, we have to let go of some habits, crutches, and old, familiar ways of thinking and living in order to evolve and position ourselves for better years ahead. When deciding what habits, behaviors, and even relationships we need to consider moving on from in 2024, it's important to remember that God only wants the best for us, and the purpose of any God-driven sacrifice is more joy, peace, and freedom. With these truths in mind, here are six things to let go of to ensure 2024 is the best year yet.
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