10 Questions to Ask Yourself for 2019
A devotion by church member Sherry Blackford
The beginning of the New Year is an ideal time to look up, look around, look forward and listen out for what kind of relationship God wants to have with us in the coming year. How can we participate most fully in that relationship with him?
At the beginning of our Council meetings, John always prays, ‘Dear Lord, let the things that come from you stay with us, and let anything that is not from you just fall away and be forgotten.’ I love that!
Take a few minutes to pray about what ‘living fully in God’s presence as his children’ might look like for you in 2019. And let the things that are from him really stick with you.
Start your prayer by breathing slowly in and out several times. As you breathe, remember the Holy Spirit that moves and breathes within you. Then, as you’re breathing, become aware of past experiences when you felt God was with you. Imagine yourself on a trail going back to that past experience, and then follow it back up to where you are today.
Now imagine that the future is unrolling before you, day after day, month after month, all the way through to the end of 2019. Picture it in front of you. Walk down that future path. And there, as you are inhabiting your future self one year from now, imagine you are closer to God than ever before. You hear him more clearly. You sense his presence around you like something you can touch. Imagine you feel his hand guiding you, reassuring you. You are connected to him, you trust him, you focus on him and his ways, like a compass pointing true north.
If it feels like you’re just pretending, that’s fine. Go ahead and pretend. Take a minute to feel or see or imagine or pretend how warmly you are enveloped by the presence of God and Jesus Christ, one year from now. Enjoy it. Step outside yourself a little bit and watch yourself having this wonderful experience. Really observe this future you.
As you’re observing this future you, write down the first thing that pops into your mind in answer to the following questions:
- What is the most important thing you did in 2019 to increase your enjoyment of God?
- What is the most special thing God did for you in 2019?
- What is the single most important thing you did to improve the quality of your family and/or relational life in 2019?
- In which spiritual discipline did you make the most progress in 2019? Scripture, prayer, fasting, quiet, meditation, worship, church life? How did you do it? What did you do differently from before?
- What was the big time-waster in your life that just fell away in 2019?
- In what way did you contribute to your church and strengthen it in 2019?
- Who did you pray most fervently for in 2019?
- What’s the most important way you made 2019 different from 2018?
- What really improved about your prayer life in 2019?
- What did you do in 2019 that will matter most 10 years from now? Or in eternity?
With these answers, you have some specific things about what’s possible for your relationship with God in the coming year.
Finish your contemplation by reviewing your answers and then start introducing them into your life. You can do it now or any time of the year.
After a year has gone by, it is worth looking at your list again and comparing it with what you did and with what actually happened in 2019. A year from now, it would be wonderful to hear how God has worked in your life!
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
May 13, 2020
April 17, 2020
April 03, 2020