By Toni Ford
As we prepare for a new year, we often start by making a list of all the many ways we are going to improve our lives and do more by working smarter and not harder, which then leads to us creating all our New Year resolutions for the coming year. I would like to propose we take a deep breath, slow down and take some time to first reflect on the year that has come to an end.
One of the many things I look forward to in the month of December and leading into January is taking time to journal and reflect on the past year and then begin to prepare for the year ahead. My time of reflection causes me to slow down and rather than forgetting all I have learned over the past 12 months, I instead am able to write down all the “wins” for the year, along with the lessons I learned, along with all the many ways I saw the Lord’s faithfulness made evident in my life.
Every year during this time of reflection, I am humbled and in awe as I am reminded of the Lord’s goodness, faithfulness and protection over my life and my family’s lives. This leads me to a special, intimate time with the Lord, worshipping and praising Him for who He is and His blessings in my life. As a result, my faith in God and His Word is strengthened during this time, which catapults me into the New Year with a greater hope and expectation of what lies ahead.
Once I have spent time reflecting on the previous year, I begin to pray, read and seek the Lord concerning the year ahead. I ask the Lord to reveal to me a word, a song, a phrase or a Scripture that is specific to me and His purpose and desire for me in the coming year. This idea allows me to focus on one particular word, song or Scripture rather than multiple “New Year Resolutions” that I might never fulfill and would more than likely forget about all together after January. I have found that I have greater success throughout my year because I am able to focus on what truly matters, placing my attention on what will make an eternal difference in my life and the lives of those I care about.
I would love to share some of the words of prophecy I have been reading over this coming year and encourage you to take time to pray over these words, reflect on the previous year and then prepare for the coming year.
2020 is a dividing line.Are we going to go where the Lord wants to lead us, or are we going to stay behind and not be a part of His plan? In Mark Chapter 4, Jesus got in the boat and went to the other side. We too have a choice to make as to whether we follow the Lord despite opposition and get serious about our walk with the Lord.
2020 – the old becomes new and the desert is renewed. Revelation 21:5 says, “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” What has appeared lifeless, abandoned and left for dead, the sovereign Gardener will begin to turn the soil over and bring new life. The churning may not be comfortable, but new things will be revealed which can bring new life.
2020 – stay the course. Keep your relationship with the Lord strong and listen for His voice. Make sure you are aligned with the right people in the right season. You may be waiting for a miracle in your own life or in the life of a loved one. Keep believing and stay the course!
Dear Lord, we first thank you for your faithfulness in our lives over this past year, for all the times you were protecting us and guiding us and we never saw it or were too rushed to stop and give you the glory! We stop now to say thank you! We now commit this coming year to you and ask you to make us more mindful of you and your will for our lives. Give us strength to stay the course in our walk with you! We love you!
If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!