Every year between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I take a day for prayer and personal reflection. Honestly, it’s become one of my favorite days of the year!
The prophet Isaiah wrote, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19). If we’re not intentional to spend time in God’s presence we might not perceive the new thing God is getting ready to do. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss what God is doing in my life because I’m too busy or distracted.
By creating the space to be alone with God, I am able to refresh and revive. As I spend time alone with God in prayer and praise the Holy Spirit brings my spirit into alignment with His. I reflect back over the past year and consider my relationships and different aspects of my life. I then ask the Holy Spirit to speak into those areas and invite Him to show me how he wants me to grow in the coming year. During that day, I spend a lot of time listening to God – I want to know what His desires are for my life as I enter the New Year. It can feel scary at first to think of spending the whole day with the God of the universe, but it is so freeing to unplug and simply luxuriate in God’s presence. If you’re a busy mom of active little ones, you might not be able to spend the entire day in prayer. That’s fine. But perhaps you can create the space to reflect and spend a little extra time with the Lord.
Rather than setting a tight schedule for my day of prayer, I listen to worship music, read my Bible, and reflect on some key questions. Reflective Questions help me to understand what’s going on in my heart and what the Holy Spirit might want me to surrender or embrace. They help me to close the old year well before I step into the New Year. I use a journal to write out the answers to these questions and to record any word I feel God is speaking to me.
Here are ten questions to get you started in this practice. There are five questions to help you look back and close the old year well, and five questions to help you step into the New Year well. My prayer is that you will find them helpful. Hopefully, these questions will give you insight into what’s going on in your heart and invite you to pen your heart to God in the New Year.
10 Reflective Questions
5 Questions Looking Back on the Past Year:
What were the disappointments I experienced in 2022?
How was God faithful when life felt difficult this past year?
Which relationships were challenging for me last year?
How is God inviting me to surrender and perhaps change as I move forward in these relationships?
What were the beautiful blessings of the past year?
After you answer those five questions, write out a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for His faithfulness in the past year.
5 Questions Looking Forward to the New Year:
What dreams and desires has God planted in my heart for the New Year? (What am I hoping for?)
Which relationships do I need to focus on more closely?
What promise or word is God speaking to me for the New Year?
What practices will I put into place to help me live life in a more balanced rhythm? (These could include practicing Sabbath or getting a good night’s sleep or even regular exercise)
Is there a new direction God is calling me to or is He inviting me to simply remain faithful?
After you have reflected on these last five questions, write out a prayer of renewed commitment to the Lord.
Friend, here’s the thing: without intentionality, you won’t find the space to spend time in reflection, so I encourage you, pull out your calendar and mark the day that you’re going to spend with God. Then gather the tools and find a quiet place where you can retreat with the Holy One.
Big news! I am happy to announce that in 2023, I am releasing a new Bible study with Moody called, Our Father. It’s a study of the Lord’s Prayer. And guess what? You can pre-order it now on Amazon!
This week on The Connected Mom Podcast we’re talking with Lucinda Seacrest about 7 habits that will make you strong in the New Year.