On setting prayer goals.

I asked our Saturday night group to think about some goals for 2013. I decided to talk with you about  that exercise as well.

I said, “I know that sometimes some people have a hard time setting goals, especially when it comes to God-related things. But what if we talked about having some prayer goals?”

These aren’t goals of how much to pray. Not any more than we set goals of how much to talk with other people that matter to us.

I suggested that we could talk with God about things about us that we want to change, that we want to have him help us with. In the same way we say to our spouse or business partner or coach or close friend, “I’d like to talk this through with you and have you help me understand it better,” we can talk with God.

We could finish sentences like this:

a. For 2013, I pray to learn to …

b. For 2013, I pray to obey when…(thing x happens or when person y does that or when I start remembering how person always told me I’d never make it)

c. For 2013, I pray to understand…

d. For 2013, I pray to be available for…

e. For 2013, I pray to be free from …

f. For 2013, I pray to learn to love …

g. For 2013, I pray to be reminded to ask you before I …

h. For 2013, I pray to learn contentment about …

Those kinds of goals will involve learning how to listen for what God might say back to us through the Bible. They will also involve adjustments in how we are living, or in how we are spending our time, or in how we are spending our money or attention or energy. They will involve other people. They will mean saying “yes” or “no” or “wait”.

Make sense?

6 thoughts on “On setting prayer goals.

  1. Matches Malone

    I thought we were supposed to be praying without ceasing? Isn’t that in the Bible, somewhere? 😉 My simple goal for 2013 would be to pray every day. As opposed to everyday.

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    1. Jon Swanson

      okay, so let me argue a little bit. That’s a little like saying i’ll talk every day. But what if you were a bit more intentional about what you might talk about?

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  2. Rich Dixon

    You asked, “Make sense?” Answer…sort of. I get what you’re saying, but I don’t know how, or where to start.

    I guess I need to pray about what to pray about, which might be the place to start, huh?

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