First Things First

For the first time ever, I’ve picked a theme verse for the new year.

My verse for 2013:

The end of all things is near. Therefore by clear minded and self-controlled so you can pray.
– 1 Peter 4:7

I searched my Bible for something inspiring, empowering, and fresh, but this is what I settled on. It almost seemed too simple, too basic, but the more I thought about it, the more its relevance struck me, and the more excited I got.

This verse calls for a clear mind and for self-control. Two things I’ve realized I need. But for what purpose does this verse exhort us to be clear minded and self-controlled? To be efficient in our work? To be effective in our service to God?

No. So we can pray.

As I asked myself what I want to DEFINE my 2013, this verse gave me sudden clarity. Yes, it’s simple. Yes, it’s basic. But it’s so key! If I set my prayer life in order, everything else will fall into place.

Since last week, I’ve been implementing a new rule:

No TV, movies, or Facebook after 9:30pm.

I’ve begun fiercely guarding my time with God. And I’ve started a prayer schedule (specific topics for each day of the week). No more just saying goodnight to God and then hitting my pillow. I’m being intentional.

I already feel like a different person. I’ve been getting up earlier (without an alarm!), walking in more confidence, and seeing my life and those around me with much more clarity.

Sometimes life is so chaotic and confusing I don’t know where to start, where to turn my attention, what to focus on. But the answer is so simple, right beneath my nose. It’s Him. He is where I should start. He is the one I should focus on.

Prayer isn’t just a religious exercise to me.

It is quality time with my best friend, strategic planning time with the wisest of the wise, a time of life-giving discipline from my Father. I release blessings, call forth destinies, receive guidance, and learn to see with the eyes of God.

Life is so different when I do it with Him…I don’t know why that continually surprises me, but it does.

2013 is going to be awesome, I can already tell.

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Elizabeth holds to simple faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is currently pursuing her MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary, so when she isn't busy writing academic papers, she is usually out enjoying the LA sunshine. She is constantly learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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