January follows a holiday season that can often be characterized by indulgence and consumption. We enjoy feasts of favorite dishes and special treats, and gifts are given to and received from friends and family. In the midst of it all, perhaps our heart's focus shifts more to ourselves and what we want and away from the Lord and what He wants for us.
Fortunately, turning the calendar to a new year provides a symbolic point at which we can reset for the year ahead. Our InnerChange focus in January is on prayer and fasting — disciplines that require us to humble ourselves before the Lord. As we seek Him and draw closer to His heart, we lay down our lives and place His will above our own.
Suggested Actions • Your Ideas • Children & Students • Music Video
Here are a few specific things you can do throughout the month that are designed to develop the disciplines of prayer and fasting as the new year gets underway.
The Daniel Fast
Pastor Gregg, the church staff, and our deacons are following a Daniel Fast the week of Jan 7-11 — but you can follow it (or other types of fasts) whenever you wish in January. Learn more about the Daniel Fast here.
Pastor Gregg has chosen Wisdom For Each Day by Billy Graham as our churchwide devotional for 2019. As of the beginning of January, nearly 2,300 copies have already been sold through CornerBooks at the church! Unfortunately, our supplier cannot get more copies until early spring. If you do not have a copy already, you can purchase one from online retailers such as Amazon
, Barnes & Noble
, or ChristianBook.com
Repurposing "Down Time"
Commit to using otherwise unproductive time as a time to pray, such as when you’re commuting to work or waiting in your child’s carpool line at school!
Daily Prayer Note Cards
Label seven note cards with the days of the week, write down what to pray for each day, then use those to remind you throughout the week.
Put away screens (phones, tablets, TVs, etc.) and read the Bible, pray, or journal instead. Encourage your children to do the same!.
Memorize related Bible verses
As you can imagine, there are many verses that talk about prayer! Here are a few to memorize. What other ones can you find?
- "Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." — Philippians 4:6
- "The Lord is near all who call out to Him, all who call out to Him with integrity." — Psalm 145:18
- "Pray without ceasing." — 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Personalize Bible verses and use those as your prayers to God. Here are some examples using the verses above:
- "May I not worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, may I present my requests to you, God." — Philippians 4:6
- "Lord, I know that You are near all who call out to You, all who call out to You with integrity. Work in the heart of my [spouse / child / friend] so that [he / she] will call out to You." — Psalm 145:18
- "Dear Lord, I ask for the discipline to pray without ceasing." — 1 Thessalonians 5:17
What ideas do YOU have?
We want to hear your suggestions for how to develop the discipline of prayer. Share your ideas with us using the short form below.
YOUR INNERCHANGE IDEAS