I really didn’t make any new year’s resolutions this year. Instead, I made a new year’s prayer list, a practice I started three years ago. I’ve found greater success in having prayers answered than I’ve ever had with trying to keep resolutions. The first year I did this, I was dedicated to praying for the things on my list for about a week. Then, I’ll admit that I kept the list in my wallet and only thought about it whenever I happened to be digging through my wallet, which ended up being three times that year. The amazing thing is that despite my failure to persistently pray over the list, my prayers were all answered – even the seemingly less spiritual requests, like wanting to lose 15 pounds.
That first year I started the list, I was in a very dark period of my life. I was in a financially, physically, mentally and emotionally fragile state. So I didn’t even have the energy to pray – let alone do things like go to the gym or cook healthy meals. Fortunately, after being away from community for a stretch, I joined a small group. Even though I couldn’t pray, they were able to pray for me upon sharing my prayer list with them. I’m convinced that the collective prayers of the men in my small group were more effective than if I had prayed alone, even if I could do it everyday. I’ve been much stronger in all areas of my life since then. What blows my mind is that while I asked God to help me lose 15 pounds, because that’s what I thought I could do at most, I eventually lost 30 pounds that year.
I hope my story will encourage you to enlist your small group to be your prayer team for 2015. That way, not only will your petition be stronger, but you’ll be covered even at times you can’t pray for yourself. At the end of 2015, you can celebrate with your group all the great things God has done. I’m looking forward to sharing my list for 2015 this week with my small group.