10 New Year's Resolutions For Christians

Writer Author  Pastor John McWilliams
Christian Article : Holidays  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer 1. Resolve To Pray One Hour A Day

Many Christians pray regularly, but never pray at least an hour a day. Jesus was disappointed with His disciples when they failed to be able to watch and pray with him for just one hour.

Praying for a total of one hour a day should be a goal for all Christians. Many people would say that they would never be able to come up with an hour´s worth of prayer each day, but that´s probably due to a lack of specifics on their part which can be filled in below.

I like to challenge people by saying that if Jesus was sitting in a chair in your living room, tell me if you would be able to come up with enough things to ask and talk to him about that would last for an hour. I´m sure the answer is yes to that question. Therefore talking to Jesus an hour each day should be fairly simple, as long as we have something to say.

Some people like to pray 15 minutes when they get up in the morning, and again for 15 minutes during lunch, and then 15 minutes after dinner and then 15 minutes before bed. Breaking the hour up into segments is a way to get it done, but setting aside an entire hour in your day can also work, depending on your schedule. Martin Luther is said to have commented that he usually spent an hour a day in prayer unless he was facing some particularly challenging events, in which case he would spend 3 hours in prayer!

We do live very busy lives and unless you are already praying an hour a day, you´ll have to find the time and that may mean less of something else like T. V. or other things that likely can be sacrificed without much ill effect.

Dick Eastman wrote a book I can recommend call "The Hour That Changes The World." In it he divides up the 60 minutes in an hour into 12 five-minute segments, each having its own prayer topic. This assists us greatly. Try it and see the difference it makes in your life. Find a quiet spot for prayer where you will be uninterrupted. Tell the children you are taking your prayer time and all calls should be held unless it´s an emergency.

Below you will find numerous topics for prayer which you could certainly spend at least five minutes praying about each day.

Your spouse.
Your marriage.
Each of your children and their various situations in life.
Each of your grandchildren and great grandchildren if you have them.
Your Pastor.
Your Elders and Church leaders.
Our Nation and the issues we face daily both at home and around the world.
Our President and national leaders.
Your Senators, Governor and local leaders.
Various Missionaries by name and location and situation.
People who have to have healing physically, emotionally and or spiritually.
People to whom you have or could witness to about Jesus.
People you work within the office or on the job.
Pray for wisdom and The Indwelling Of The Holy Spirit in your life and the lives of others.
Your Youth Group at Church.
Various other ministries in your Church.

2. Resolve To Read The Bible From Cover To Cover

Many good Christians have never read The Bible from start to finish. It really can be seen as The Manual that comes with the product, namely us, and we should really read The Manuel if we expect to operate well in this world. So many Christians are missing out on so much, because they´ve never read His Word fully.

Like prayer, doing this takes some discipline and resolve. However, there are nice new aids these days to assist us. There is something called "The One Year Bible" available in most Christian bookstores. It´s set up in a fashion that has 4 short readings for each day. There is one reading from The Old Testament, one from The New Testament, one from The Psalms and one from Proverbs. If you simply read each day´s reading, you will read the entire Bible in one year.

Some may prefer to do it in two years. Whatever the case, getting started is the key and I doubt you can go wrong by making a commitment to read The Bible. If for some reason, you are unable to read, The Bible is also available on tape to hear as well.

I was personally humbled when I learned about George Muller, who was a Christian missionary in the 19th. century in England. It was said of him that it was unknown as to how many times he had read The Bible from start to finish, but it was known that he read The Bible through seven times on His knees!

3. Resolve To Support A Christian Mission Cause At Home Or Overseas

Try to find, through your Church, or other means, a specific Christian mission outside your Church, that you can support. Add it to your prayer list and support it financially with an annual gift above your tithe. If it´s in your local area, you might also support it by volunteering your time every now and then to work in that mission effort and assist them in some way.

4. Resolve To Write Regularly To One Or More Of Your Church´s Missionaries

Letters received by missionaries on the field from supportive Christians back home are worth their weight in gold. Whenever I´m on the mission field, I so look forward to hearing from home and being encouraged in The Lord. Go to you Church mission people and find out the name and address of one or more of the missionaries your Church supports and resolve to write them at least once a month. They love to hear about what is going on in your town, and Church etc. They also love to hear that you are praying for them and are lifting their ministry to The Lord for His Blessing. E-Mail makes this much easier these days and cost you nothing.

5. Resolve To Learn To Share Your Faith More Effectively With Others

Most Christians today are still pretty shy when it comes to actively witnessing and sharing their Faith in Christ with non believers. One statistic I read a few years ago on a plane in a Christian magazine, said that 94 % of all Christians who claim to be born again, will never share their Faith with another person in their lifetime in a way that leads that person to accept Christ.

I like to say there are two things The Church seems to expect us Christians to do well, but all too often never gives us any training in doing. Those two things are prayer and sharing our Faith with others.

There are so many courses, video series, books etc. to assist us to become much more effective in sharing our Faith with others and leading others to Christ. One such book I could recommend is entitled, "Gentle Persuasion" by Joe Aldrich. This new year would be a great time to get better at sharing Christ with others.

6. Resolve To Reach Out To A Neighbor Or Co-Worker

Based on number 5 above, it would be really good to resolve to reach out in lovingkindness to a specific neighbor or friend. As Joe Aldrich says in his book mentioned above, love them until they ask you why. This and many other books have various suggestions on how to specifically reach out to others through kind works and loving things you can do for others.

7. Resolve to Join The Presidential Prayer Team

If you have yet to do so, now might be a good time to join The Presidential Prayer Team which is praying regularly for our President and nation. This is a non-profit organization started for the purpose of getting 1.8 million people regularly praying for our President and nation. All you have to do to join is go to www.presidentialprayerteam.org and sign up. It´s free and they will give you a window decal for your car and weekly updates regarding the best ways to pray for our President and nation.

8. Resolve To Support Your Church´s Youth Group

Resolve this year to support your Church´s Youth Group in some new way for you. At the least you can pray regularly for them and their leaders. You can also make sure to go to some event they are sponsoring during the year to encourage and support them. You might also find out what they could use in their Youth Room and go out and purchase it for them as a special gift. Maybe you could host a meeting of the group in your home. Whatever it may be, try and find a way to tell the youth of your Church they are special and they have your support, even if your youthful days seem long since past.

9. Resolve To Write Your Pastor and Elders Or Church Board A
Thank You Letter

Pastors and Elders and Church Boards deal with lots of issues all the time. They hear all the complaints and whining about what people dislike about what they are doing. Letters of thanks and encouragement often are like water in a desert to them. Resolve this year to specifically write you pastor and Church Board a letter of thanks and encouragement, even if you disagree with them on some things. If you disagree with them to the degree that you find it impossible to write such a letter, it may be time to look for another Church where doing so would be a pleasure.

10. Resolve To Forgive Someone Completely Who Has Offended You

Forgiveness is at the center of Christianity. The Cross shows us what real forgiveness is really all about. We´re told in Scripture that we "must" forgive others in the same way Christ has forgiven us. None of this is "up for a vote."

Yet many of us harbor unforgiveness toward people who have offended us and we see in Scripture where that too can be costly to our spirit and our overall health.

So in this coming year, it would be good to go to The Lord and tell God that you have completely forgiven whoever you might be still holding out on forgiving and let that burden go. If there is a way to reconcile with that person or persons, all the better, but at the least, make sure you forgive them, even if they never asked for your forgiveness. It´s what Jesus would have us do.

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Email: pastorjohn@integrity.com
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