What’s on Your New Year’s Resolution List?

Songdove Books - Ringing in the New Year

Songdove Books - Ringing in the New YearNew Years. . . That celebration famous not merely for New York Times Square and ringing in the New Year December 31st in whatever manner suits you best, but that time of year when many begin that most elusive of pondering. . . preparing New Year’s Resolutions!

Oh for some I’ve just uttered the most painful words they will ever hear! They look back over the past year and see a string of broken promises made to themselves or others. Commitments that fell through, diets that didn’t deliver, exercise regimens that turned out to be more than they could chew, and the list goes on.

Songdove Books - January 1stBut I have a question for you. Did you make any resolutions last year to go deeper in your faith-walk? When you look back over the past year, how many instances can you point to where God moved on your behalf? How many little blessings came and went last year that perhaps you overlooked at the time? Are you looking at various devotionals in the Christian bookstore this season and wondering what to dive into for 2015?

OK so perhaps that was more than just one question there. But seriously, as Christians, as Christ-followers, as members of the Bride of Christ, this is a great time of year to examine our own personal relationship with our Heavenly Bridegroom, and seek the face of the Father in a desire to get to know Him better in the coming year. It should be every believer’s goal to grow deeper in their relationship with Christ.

Songdove Books - Author's Bible open to Psalm119-9We’ve all heard the admonishment and maybe even sung the song, “Read your Bible, Pray every day and you’ll grow, grow, grow”. But as cute as that Sunday School jingle might be, it’s 100% TRUE! If you’ve followed my writings for any length of time, you’ll no doubt have come across statements sharing how prayer is a two-way street. Prayer without feet is just empty words. Prayer is a fancy word for two-way communication between finite man and an infinite God. Because prayer generally incorporates the use of words, reading your Bible during your quiet time allows God to join the conversation. Prayer can be engaged in individually, and in groups of varying sizes and descriptions. Prayer by itself does nothing. Many adherents of false religions pray to their objects of worship. Prayer rather, is a conduit of meaningful communication that moves the hearts of all who participate to draw closer to each other, namely you and me drawing closer to and inviting the presence of Almighty God.

Songdove Books - lady prayingSetting aside time for prayer tells God that you want to be with Him. You want to spend time with Him. You value His presence and His input into your life. God is in need of nothing, but He desperately LONGS for relationship with those who call Him Lord and Saviour. For some of us, it is a challenge to carve out time to show God He is wanted in our day-to-day activities. For others this is a very easy thing to do. Consequently there are different kinds and styles of prayerful communication. There is the two-word emergency call, “Jesus Help!”. There is the “pray without ceasing” prayer, “So God we’re on the road right now and need a parking spot at the other end to haul groceries up to Miss Granny.” There is the group prayer because getting out of the house and down to the meeting helps maintain a regular pattern. Then there is the closet time where it’s just you and God away from the noise and bustle of life for a period of time. All of these are valid styles of prayer each in their own time and place. In fact, including God in your daily activities and making Him part of the conversation as you go through your day makes Him feel wanted as well. Appointments in the quiet time are great and strongly encouraged, but to actually include God in the rest of your day as well means even more.

So the question is, how will you include God in your life in 2015? Which of those styles of prayer do you struggle with the most? If you answered that quiet time is where you struggle the most, I may have a suggestion for you. If you answered that praying in general is a bit of a struggle or mystery to you at times, I may have a suggestion for you too.

A Year in Prayer With JesusBack in the Spring of 2014, a thought that I’d roughed out back in 2007 came back to mind. It was a one-month prayer guide intended for a local prayer group that I didn’t end up showing anyone or doing anything with at that time. A sermon by my pastor in the spring of 2014 brought this project back to mind and I dusted it off. Three months later, A Year in Prayer With Jesus (paid link) was in the editing and review stages, officially launching in both paperback and e-book format over the September Long Weekend.

Each day is given a 2-page spread as The Lord’s Prayer is presented to you in outline format, broken into seven points, each with their own unique Scripture verse and prayer prompt. Room is provided for you to write in your own thoughts as well every day. Day 366 is intended as a day of reflection as you look back over the past year and review all that God revealed to you, taught you, answered prayers and surprises along the way.

Songdove Books - A Year in Prayer With Jesus Day1Point1-low-resThis book is being turned into daily prayer card printables as well, with the first 30 days already available via gumroad.com with more on the way. By the time I am done creating and packaging these downloadable sets, there will be 12 sets of 30 or 31 days each. In addition, they will be tweeted every day in 5 minute intervals. Because I am in the Pacific Time Zone, I can’t guarantee what time of day you will see them in my twitter feed, but if you wish to follow along, my twitter handle is @songdovemd. The tweets will feature a low-res web-quality version of the printable images such as the one above. For best printing results, those that appreciate prayer cards, will want to buy the hi-res print-quality version as each packet comes available.

If there are specific cards in the sets that you want without buying an entire set, you’ll be able to visit my website to order prints of just the cards you want. Turning this book into prayer cards is a time-consuming task, but it is intended to be another way the contents of this book may be utilized for those of you looking for a new method of engaging in quiet time over the coming year.

With 2,555 verses spread across the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation, your personal quiet time will have you reading God’s Word and engaging in meaningful two-way communication.

If there is another presentation method you’d like to see this book appear in, please let me know. Currently it is available in paperback, PDF, epub and mobi, with one month in prayer card format so far whose low-res version will be shared online.

Start the New year with a resolution to go deeper in your relationship with God this year! Come sit down beside the disciples as they learn from Jesus Himself, how to pray.

Happy New Year, and may God bless you in unexpected ways in 2015!

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