Jan. 1, 2018

Beginning...again.

“So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Ah, a new year. 2018. Out with the old; in with the new.

I realize I recently blogged on this verse, but it’s such a good one! How can I not say something about it on New Year’s Day? Happy New Year’s, by the way.

Another awesome thing about belonging to Christ is all the fresh starts we are offered. Believe me, I need one just about every day. When you are a Christian, your confession can take place anytime and anyplace. While some denominations offer confession as a time to meet with their priest, (which I think is a GREAT idea and saves lots of money on therapy!) Jesus Christ is our High Priest. He is always available to listen.

There is something so freeing about admitting our wrongdoings to improve ourselves. I want to share a quick little way to make sure your prayers include confession. Yea, yea, I know….my conservatism is showing. This “formula” goes back to my compliant days. That was a long time ago! This is the acts of prayer:

Acknowledge – call out to God by the names that mean the most to you. This can range anywhere from “Daddy God” to “Awesome Father.” Truth be known, God is all good things and full of love. We can’t get it wrong when we acknowledge who He is to us at the time of our prayer.

Confession – yep, here is my focus. I literally list my sins in a prayer journal. I also go back from time to time to see how I am progressing. Am I becoming a better person or am I stuck in my own stuff? Confession is freeing. It is admitting to a Holy God that our behavior isn’t always holy, but is often full of holes. What we claim to be is evident more by actions than it is in words.

Thanksgiving – there is a song that says (here goes my conservative roots, again), “When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed. When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” The best way to beat Satan during his attacks on our spirit is to remind him how good God is and has been to us. Take that, Satan!

Supplication – here is the mistake most of us make in our prayer lives. We begin by listing our wants and wishes to God without really establishing a conversation with Him. It isn’t that God minds, but it really limits our prayer life. How do you feel when someone begins telling you what they don’t like or what they need every time you meet with them? We are made in God’s image, don’t you think He may say, “Hello, Roni….do you have anything good to say to me?” I often fall into the “teenage Christian” thinking that comes to my Father God only when I need something. No offense to teenagers. <wink>

Regardless of what our New Year’s Resolutions may be and regardless of whether we make one or not, we can always find ways to improve our prayer life. Guess what? Improved prayers enhance our relationship with God and others.