A New You for the New Year: Are You Willing?


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In his sermon, Pastor Donnell highlighted our natural tendency to want to make positive changes with the coming of the new year. He suggested a meditation to assist us in involving God in these kinds of plans.

If this interests you, find a time this week when you have 15-30 minutes to pray and process your plans with God. You might start by inviting God to join you in a specific way during this time. Then take some time to ponder the past year. Let your happy times and disappointments come to mind. Invite God to join you as you experience these feelings. What in particular made you happy or pleased and what (or who) disappointed you? Invite God to experience these feelings with you and try to be attentive to how God is being toward you and your situations and any other people involved. Jot down any senses or feelings that you have.

Now move to the new year. Think about your plans for the new year. Consider why you have these particular plans. Share your plans and your reasons with God. How does He feel about them? How do you feel about inviting God into your plans? What will be necessary for you to achieve these plans? If these plans are more or less within your control, do you sense that they are God’s first priority for you? If so, you might ask Him for the strength to accomplish your desire. If not, you might talk to God about why you want what you do versus what might be His priority. If your plans (or hopes or dreams) involve other people, how clearly do they share your plans, hopes or dreams? How dependent are your plans on their actions versus yours? In particular, are these plans something that you will need to “make” happen, or are you willing to let God make it happen with your assistance, as appropriate? Share these questions and your answers with God. See if you get a sense of how he might share your plans and if so, how he might want you to go about achieving them. Jot down any senses or feelings that you have.

Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing: spiritual.practices@annarborvineyard.org.

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