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Don Whitney:

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

  1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
  2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
  3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
  4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
  5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
  6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
  7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
  8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?
  9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
  10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

Whitney writes:

The value of many of these questions is not in their profundity, but in the simple fact that they bring an issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by articulating which person you most want to encourage this year is more likely to help you remember to encourage that person than if you hadn’t considered the question.

Whitney also offers an additional 21 questions to help us “consider our ways.”

Read the whole article here.

HT: Eric J. Hansen

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14 thoughts on “10 Questions to Ask in the New Year”

  1. CR says:

    Great stuff.

  2. John says:

    These are convicting questions when you take the time to answer them. Especially the one about wasting time. And all the others.

  3. SJ Camp says:

    I enjoyed seeing this post for the first time at Carla Rolfe’s blog back in 2005. Don Whitney is one of my favorite authors and teachers of God’s Word. He is spot on. Thx for reposting this JT. Excellent encouragement for beginning a new year.

  4. Anna says:

    #4 and #5 are especially practical and perfect “New Year’s resolution” material, I think…

  5. SillyWabbit says:

    I would say that #2 must be modified in some way. Why? What if I wanted to fly and I prayed frequently and fervently for the gift of flying? What if I did so because of some misunderstanding or misapplication of scripture? This feat would, at this moment in time, be humanly impossible! But what would it demonstrate? Given the atmosphere of this culture and time, I would say that similar feats may amaze us and therefore some how cause us to focus on either the person who’s flying or the feat itself. I wonder if praying for just any humanly impossible feat would always have the potential to draw us to God in a way that He would ultimately be glorified.

    I like the idea behind #2, but maybe we should make it explicit that what we’re praying is for something like the following: for God to be worshipped, loved, and adored in word, action, thought, desire, etc. by those in our life whom we love and for this to happen in such a way that there is no way that we can believe it was because of what we did or didn’t do.

    I would hope that something like this would cause us to be (1) grateful and joyful for God’s saving work in the lives of those we love, (2) to rejoice that we and others have the opportunity to see a measure of the majesty of God’s glory and not our sin and puny(sp?) efforts and (3) to count on more of God’s glorious work in our lives as well as in the lives of those we love so that we are willing to give up what hinders us from seeing Him and His work.

    Cheers and Glorious and Joyous New Year

  6. Israel says:

    Thanks for the list, something to think about and apply.

  7. Carla Rolfe says:

    This is really a great list to go over prayerfully. I remember the first time I read it years ago it was such a blessing and a challenge to me personally. Thanks for posting it again, I think I’ll do the same for my own readers.

    Soli Deo Gloria

  8. SillyWabbit says:

    Further Comments on #2 by D.G. Barnhouse found on Facets of Grace Blog

    “It will not suffice to quote the text, ‘If ye shall ask anything in my Name, I will do it’ (John 14:14). If an attempt is made to give an absolutely literal interpretation to that verse apart from its spiritual intent, it will be found to be meaningless.

    There are certain things that God will never do, no matter how earnestly one prays.

    For example, if a young couple, zealous and devoted, were about to go as missionaries into the jungles of South America, they conceivably might ask a group of friends to join them in prayer that their coming baby should be born without original sin so that they would have an easier time rearing the child and might have more time to devote to their spiritual work. They all could pray until they were dead but the prayer would never be answered.

    When the Lord Jesus Christ said that if we would ask anything in His Name He would do it, He expected us to have spiritual discernment enough to understand that this meant, beyond question, if we would ask anything, that it was consistent with the holiness of His being and the divinity of His purposes.”

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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