When I think back to the start of a new year pre-pandemic, it was typically a time when many of us set goals for the coming year--goals we’d often forget by the time spring rolled around. Post-pandemic experiences have changed us. So rather than goals, we acknowledge the lessons we’ve come to know:
- We can’t give to others from a cup that’s empty. And just as Jesus took time away, we need time alone as well. Time to be…time to pray…time to take a walk…time to rest. Finding that time in the hectic-ness of our schedules and the staffing shortages feels next to impossible. Lord, hear our prayer for time with you.
- We need others. “Adulting” wasn’t meant to be done alone. When I look back, I’m not sure where I would be right now if not for the prayers and support of others. I know it would be a much darker place. Lord, hear our prayer for healthy connections and support with others.
- We recognize the need to hold things loosely. We remember this place is not our true home. We yearn for what’s eternal and cannot be taken away. We acknowledge that “control” is a figment of our imaginations, a step we take to cope with the changes all around us. Lord, hear our prayer to better understand and follow what it means to see your Kingdom here…your will being done.
- Memories can bring us pain or they can sustain us. One lesson God has been teaching is the joy that can come from what’s often overlooked: the ordinary, everyday tasks of our day. Taking in the beauty of the sun as it sets, the laughter of a child, a moment connecting with someone who needs prayer, or the lift in our spirits as we soak in a song of worship. Lord, hear our prayer and give us eyes to see the blessings that are a part of our day.
- Our identity is in God. It’s not in what we do or in how much we do each day. We are God’s sons and daughters. We have purpose…we have value…we have worth. The Holy Spirit lives within each of us as believers. We are not alone. Lord, hear our prayer to have both head knowledge and heart knowledge as we claim the promises of what it means to be a child of the most high God.
- A heart of gratefulness can fill us. Too often we take for granted the “basic” necessities of life such as heat, water, and food. We can be grateful for the laughter of family and the presence of the Lord in all we face. We can be grateful for the smell of coffee or the change of seasons. As we make gratitude a daily practice, our minds will begin to look for more to be grateful for. Lord, hear our prayer to see and verbalize the many things that fill our hearts with gratitude.
- Trust in who God is…not in our circumstances. Lean on him as our strength. Lament our pain, questions, and frustrations. Spend time with God…listen. Discover his Word for ourselves. Lord, hear our prayer to see your Word as bread to nourish our spirits in the stress and challenges we face.
- He never changes. (Hebrews 13:8)
- He is good. (Exodus 34:6-7; Nahum 1:7; James 1:17)
- He is holy. (I Samuel 2:2; Isaiah 6:3; Isaiah 55:8–9; Revelation 4:8)
- He is love. (Lamentations 3:22-23; Psalm 107:1; Romans 5:8; Romans 8:35, 39; I John 4:8, 16)
- He is all powerful. (Jeremiah 32:17; Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:28).
- He is wise. (Psalm 104:24; I Corinthians 1:21–29)
- He is merciful. (Psalm 86:15)
- He gives grace. (Psalm 145:17; Romans 5:15, 20; Hebrews 4:16)
- He is faithful. (Psalm 33:4; Psalm 86:15)
Christy Secor RN, DNP, CDWF, is NCF’s Professional Ministries Director. She lives in Wisconsin and yearns to see nurses grow deep in their faith in God and connect with each other for support and worship of him. Christy experiences joy in nature, as evidenced by her windowsills that are filled with treasures like a fallen pinecone or a shiny rock.