Experts give advice about yearly planners and goal setting while promising to improve our lives, but it’s January, and cold. I’d rather hibernate than work on self-improvement.
When I think about implementing new habits, the old ones talk to me like high school friends. “Ah, it’s okay; you’re fine just the way you are.”
However, I know my life needs adjustments. I’m tired of traveling in the same worn ruts. For a time, I convince myself I’m comfortable, but the truth is, I’m stuck. I need help from my Father in heaven for real and lasting heart work.
There’s a sign above a doorway in my home that reads, “Don’t be afraid of change. Be afraid of not changing.” It reminds me I won’t make progress until I make adjustments in everything from reducing complaining to completing my taxes early. I want to develop good habits, but my primary goal is to grow in godly character.
Regular Bible reading helps me know God more, and I gain additional help for lasting change through prayer and praise.
Bring Everything to God in PrayerOur struggles may be different, but we share the same Christ. Click To Tweet
There’s no need to clean or fix up before we come to Him. I approach humbly, quite often on my knees, asking God to show me what He wants for me, and for help to get there. As I continue to pray, I often see how my struggle is a deeper issue than I realized. God wants to dig out the entire root of my problem. Otherwise, like a dandelion, if there’s a tiny piece of root left, the weed will grow back.
At times, I already know what I need to do, but instead of acting on it, I make excuses for myself. When I begin to walk in the truth of my circumstances, God faithfully and lovingly leads me to grow. He wants you and me to mature, but He’s not a hard taskmaster.
Involve People in Prayer
The Lord also helps me through people. Believers strengthen one another. Seek someone like-minded who you can be honest with and who will pray for you.
Speaking to the church members in Colossi, the apostle Paul told them why he never stopped praying for them: He wrote: “So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way” (Colossians 1:10, NIV).
When I try to change on my own, I’m weak. When I share my struggle and pray with a Christian sister, it comes easier. When we consistently pray for and with each other, we both receive strength. Rejoicing together, we experience the good God has for us. When we share in the intimate space of prayer, Christ forms the bond between us.
Scripture says: “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Colossians 3:16, NIV).
Praise Like Never Before
I want a heart that permits the Lord to make me more like Him.
In 31 Days of Praise, author Ruth Myers explains, “In genuine spiritual worship. . . we consent to His gracious, transforming work in our lives. We agree that He can work in us, so that we’ll be willing and able to do His will” (Ruth Myers, 31 Days of Praise: Enjoying God Anew).
We are to live in Christ and overflow with thankfulness. Practically speaking, how does this work? One way is by giving God our praise. Thank Him for how He provides for you, gives your life purpose, and will work out the difficulties in your life for good (Rom. 8:28-30).
I don’t always feel like praising, nor do I know where to start. On those days I sing along with Christian praise music, read aloud from the Psalms, or pray a section from the book 31 Days of Praise. Worshipful praise reminds me I’m not alone in my struggle.
Through chronic illness, family difficulties, and disappointing news, I’ve been amazed how praise changes my perspective and aligns me with Christ.
This year, don’t rush to make resolutions. Instead, sit still with times of extended prayer and reading the Bible. Sing praises and ask God to speak to your heart. He loves you and longs to have a deeper relationship with you.
What’s one thing you think God may be leading you to change?
Is there a woman you can approach about praying together?
If you’re looking for a Christian community to join, Wholly Loved hosts Bible studies on Monday and Thursday evenings and we have two online community groups on Facebook. Click to check them out and join in!