New Year, New Habits: You Can Do It! | 27 Dec 10, Joe Sucher

The new year is fast approaching. The parking lots of fitness centers will be full for the next couple of months as folks try to fulfill their new year's resolutions. Many Christians will vow once again to spend more time in prayer and Bible reading. That's what I want to help you with. I'd like to encourage you in that pursuit and provide some practical tips to help you be more successful in these spiritual disciplines...

Ouch! I did use that awful, dreaded word "discipline". But do not fear, it's not as bad as you may think. God has designed us for success in our pursuit of Him. He designed the program of prayer, creating our body, mind and spirit so we could commune with Him. He made sure His Word was written down and preserved through the centuries so we could read it and learn of Him.  He has provided us with all we need to move from our Desire through Discipline and on to the Delight of drawing closer to Him! Scripture says if we draw near to God, He draws near to us!

Let's discuss some basic overall guidelines of improving our personal time with God in prayer and bible reading:

1. Set reasonable, measurable goals. Before you try to "conquer the world" try conquering 15 minutes a day in prayer and 15 minutes in the Word. Remember that a little is better than none. Don't wait until you can "do it big" or "do it right". God works in our lives through small acts of obedience.

2. Find an accountability partner. Give them your daily goals
in writing and ask them to check with you on a regular basis.

3. Don't give up and quit if you fail. They say that 95% of success in life is just showing up. We all struggle with consistency in these areas.

4. Keep at it even when you don't "feel inspired" or "feel" like it is making any difference.
There is value in every moment we spend speaking to God and listening for His voice. What we believe and speak makes a difference no matter how we "feel". The key thing is that we take time to focus on God and make ourselves available to Him.

How this site can help you:

First, when it comes to Prayer, click on "Prayer Helps." I recommend you start with the Prayer Pledge page. Get your goals and commitment down in writing. Next, check out the Practical Planning Tips page to see what practical steps you can take. Then click on the Supernatural Prayer Help page to see how the Holy Spirit will assist you in your times of prayer. The other pages will help you as well, including the Prayer Workshop Lessons page. This page contains my teaching notes for workshops I have taught through the years.( I am working on adding short teaching videos to accompany these notes, so check this website in the weeks to come!)

When it comes to Bible reading and study, click on "
Bible Study Helps". If you want to start simple, try the Daily Devotional Reading Ideas page. If you would like to read the entire Bible through in a year, click on the Bible Reading Chart page and print it out. The other pages will help you as well, including the How the Bible Speaks to Us page. This page contains my teaching notes for classes I have taught through the years. These lessons discuss various Bible study methods and give you some basic principles of Bible interpretation, including how to handle difficult passages. ( I am also working on adding short teaching videos to accompany these notes as well, so check this website in the weeks and months to come!)

Well, that's all for now. May the Lord bless you and meet with you as you seek to draw closer to Him this year! Remember, I welcome any comments, questions or suggestions you may have, and PLEASE if something on this site is not functioning properly, let me know so I can fix it!
God bless and have a Happy New Year!
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Comments: 1

02 Jan 11 Ken Lentz: Great website. I've bookmarked it and plan to use it often. Mysteriously anonymous? Happy New Year to you and Jean! God bless.

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