PRAYER IS KEY
“Keep practising to attain perfection” is a well-known saying that comes up rather often in conversation. At first glance, this seems to be an excellent idea; yet, upon closer inspection, we find that, although it is certainly beneficial, there are certain aspects of it that might need some improvement.
If you do the wrong things or practice in an incorrect manner, you will never achieve perfection in the areas that matter most. In the end, you need to make sure that whatever it is that you are working on is correct and that you are doing it in the correct manner.
In the same vein, you should never allow your preparation for 2023 to get so spiritualized that you lose the emphasis on the practical understanding that might help you flourish in this work.
Mark 1:35 — Then Jesus got up early in the morning when it was still very dark, departed, and went out to a deserted place, and there he spent time in prayer.
We find Jesus here engaging in the spiritual practice of prayer, and we also see Him engaging in certain natural activities in order to make the most of His prayer times.
- He got up before everyone else
- He exited the dwelling.
- Went to an area where one might be alone.
- And then, He prayed.
JESUS PRAYED OFTEN
Matthew 14:23 — And after he sent the crowds away, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.
Luke 5:16 — Yet Jesus himself frequently withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.
Luke 6:12 — Now it was during this time that Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and he spent all night in prayer to God.
Luke 9:28 — Now about eight days after these sayings, Jesus took with him Peter, John, and James, and went up the mountain to pray.
You have begun the New year 2023, so put some actions in place to be ready to grow, increase and progress this year. Whatever it is that you want to do or become this year, now is the time to put in the work necessary to perfect the execution necessary to achieve your goals this new year.
A WORD TO PONDER
Evangelist and author Leonard Ravenhill, who lived in the previous century, is credited with penning the book “Why Revival Tarries.” And in this book, he discusses the lack of prayer that is prevalent in the church, and I would want to summarise a few lines from this book so that you can have a better understanding of what he is talking about.
“The prayer life of a man determines the greatness of that person. People who are not praying are wandering away from the right path, and the pastor who is not praying is engaging in playing with the congregation. While the prayer closet is not the place to flaunt one’s abilities, the pulpit may serve as a kind of shop window for them.
Even though the Church is struggling financially in many other areas today, the place where she prays is where she is struggling the most. We have many organisers, but relatively few agonizers; many players and payers, but relatively few prayers;… many concerns, but relatively few tears; much fashion, but relatively little passion; many interferers, but relatively few intercessors; many authors, but relatively few fighters. If we fail here, we are certain to fail elsewhere.”
MAKE IT A POINT
If you want to be able to get up earlier to pray, you want to read more, you want to be able to save more money, or you want to be able to contribute more money, mend relationships, grow spiritually, be thankful in everything, rejoice always, not be anxious, be health conscious, write down the natural actions that you need to take to make this spiritual activity happen.
Additionally, Jesus taught His disciples to pray in private settings regularly.
Matthew 6:6 — However, when you pray, you are to go to a secluded place by yourself, close the door behind you, and pray to your Father in the silence that follows. Then your Father, who is omniscient and aware of everything, will reward you for your efforts.
Put January 2023, the month of execution, and hold on until December 2023 so you can practise what you preach. Take small steps, one day at a time.
I pray for more rooting and grounding in love and walking in grace, wisdom and His spirit every moment. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen.
A blessed, peaceful, joyful, prosperous and healthy New Year 2023 to you and your family.
Blessings and love,