Devotional Idea for the New Year

Don Whitney has written a series of questions for us to ask prayerfully in the presence of God each day for a month – these questions are designed to guide us in living a life more in accordance with His will. He writes, “Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.”

My friend Joel modified this devotional, and passed it along to a group of friends – suggesting that “maybe we can take it one more step. Let’s answer these questions ourselves first (we can write the answers on paper) and then take them to the Lord in prayer, asking HIM to answer them. In doing so, we might begin to understand where our priorities lie and how they might be very disconnected from His will. Once we submit to the reality that is God’s sovereign power (my goals, resolutions, and actions can never screw up God’s plan for me), we can genuinely and fully open up to him about our challenges, our struggles, and our heart’s desires.”

As I looked over the questions, I realized what an incredible tool this is for each of us as we reflect and think ahead about what the new year will bring:

1. What’s one thing I can do this year to enjoy you more?
2. What humanly impossible thing should I ask you to do in my life this year?
3. What’s the single most important thing I can do to improve the quality of my family life this year?
4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want me to make progress this year?
5. What is the single biggest time-waster in my life?
6. What should I be doing to strengthen your church locally?
7. For whose salvation should I pray most fervently this year?
8. What should I do this year, by your will and grace, different from last year?
9. How can I improve my prayer life this year?
10. What can I do this year for your heavenly, eternal kingdom?
11. What’s the most important decision I need to make this year?
12. How can I simplify my life to bring you better into focus?
13. Will you meet X need for me this year?
14. What habit would you like me to establish this year?
15. Who do you want me to encourage this year?
16. I have X financial goal that I would like to achieve this year. Is this goal worth pursuing?
17. How can I be a blessing to those at my work this year?
18. How can I be a blessing to my pastor (or to another who ministers to me) this year?
19. What should I do about my biggest regret this past year?
20. Will you bless me with X this year?
21. What area of my spiritual life needs growth?
22. Will you help me learn and improve on X skill this year?
23. What need can I meet and/or what ministry should I dedicate an unprecedented amount of my time on this year?
24. I don’t understand X biblical doctrine very well. How can I understand it better, and will you help me understand it better?
25. What parts of my life need to change, Lord?

Whitney finishes his devotional: “So let’s evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and live this new year with biblical diligence, remembering that, ‘The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage’ (Proverbs 21:5). But in all things let’s also remember our dependence on our King who said, ‘Apart from Me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5).”

Yes, the bible says, “Without vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). What is your vision for 2012? What do you want God to do in your life this year?

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