As the new year began, I still had not selected a "word" for the year. Last year was the first year that I subscribed to this practice, and while I did okay with it, certainly there was room for improvement! I was not as consistent in putting the word into practice as I could have been and frankly got off focus a bit over the course of the year.
Honestly, with that in mind, I almost did not select a word for this year based on a couple simple factors. I did not like the words that were coming to mind and I just did not feel like it because I did not want the accountability of others.
Unlike my last new years resolution (and the only one I have ever managed to keep and excel at), napping more, I felt like this word of the year thing was sort of in the same category. Seems like a good thing to do, but ends up being more work than outcome, peppered with some guilt for not doing it or keeping up with it better over the year.
I am in an online group with some ladies that were sharing their focus words for the year and while I thought that their words were "good for them", I still found myself dragging my feet. Then I read an article that one of them shared. One of the questions is the title for this post. This question was included in a 10 point musings article, in which the author asked questions as a starting point for self reflection and for personal growth, as we were entering the new year.
"What one single thing can I do this year, that will matter 10 years from now?" Gosh. That struck a cord with me. One of the words that kept coming to my mind as I was considering my word of the year, was fervency. Being fervent. If I become fervent about the things in my life, the changes that I can make 10 years from now would be spectacular! Fervent in how I serve. Fervent in how I work. Fervent in my hobbies. Fervent in my relationships. Fervent with my free time.
My being fervent can not be dependent on others. It can not be dependent on whether I feel like it or not. As an adjective, fervent means; very hot (glowing) or showing great intensity or feeling (zealous). It is something that I alone, would have to commit to in my day to day situations to show others my great love for them, for the Lord, and my family.
As I considered this further, thinking about how I would use my fervency in the upcoming year, another thought struck me. If I do all things with such zeal and enthusiasm, I may be exhausted by February.
However, if I apply this intensity to one specific area of my life, while those around me may not see the tangible day to day out workings, in just one year's time, there will be a marked difference in my life and the lives of those around me. I can only imagine what 10 years would look like if I spent time being fervent in just one area of my life.
They say that it only takes 21 days to make something a habit. So here we go, I am boldly putting it out there... I am going to be fervent this year in my prayer life. I am going to attack prayer like I have never done before! I will make praying for others my number one priority. I will commit to praying for you in the moment (which I already try to make a practice) but will commit to logging it on paper, and continuing to pray for situations in my life, the lives of those I love, and for those that I come in contact with that need or request prayers.
Prayer connects us with the Lord. Prayer strengthens hearts, minds and souls. Prayer encourages us. Prayer brings people together with a common cause. Prayer heals. Prayer gives peace. Prayer flames hope. Prayer sustains us in difficult times. Most importantly fervent prayers, change lives.
Here are some great passages about prayer to ponder as we are starting the new year. Many of us with concerns about 2021, in the dark shadow of personal and world wide issues of 2020:
- Do not be anxious about anything , but in everything make your requests to God ..by prayer, thanksgiving and placing your request to God, the peace of God will guard your heart and mind fully beyond understanding (Phil. 4: 6–7).
- I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
- When I said my foot is slipping, your love oh Lord supported me. When anxiety was great within me your consolation brought joy to my soul (Psalm 94:18-19).
- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jer. 29,11).
Friends, here is to a healthy, happy, New Year. May you find joy in your journey, peace during hardships, strength when you feel your weakest, hope when you are facing something insurmountable, and most of all grace for yourself and others as we walk this road together.