Much of the time, our prayers are petitions, asking God for something—help, health, success, courage, a whole myriad of things. But as the year wanes and we start thinking ahead to a new year, perhaps it’s a good time to ask for help in letting go. What are things it would be good to get rid of, to shed?
- Shed pride. We often think we can handle things on our own, but the truth is, even on our best, most capable days, we still need God. Do a little inventory of your life. How consumed are you by worry, and how does it drive you to control situations? Are there specific areas of pride that are the biggest struggle? Ask God for help in letting go and depending on him.
- Shed idolatry. What is the thing that replaces your prayer time the most? Crossing five more things off the to-do list, watching a movie because we’re too tired to pray, worrying, even, seems more productive than praying. It might be social media, it might be work, or workouts, or even indulgent sleep. Be alert to these moments and see the trade-offs.
- Shed the things you hide from God and yourself. Some call this “unconfessed sin.” If we have unconfessed sin, we will feel a distance from our Father. Pick up a notebook and start confessing. Start with the really small things and keep sharing your heart. And use this notebook next time you’re able to go to confession.
We’ll all be happier when we can close the door on 2020. Let’s just make sure we’re not taking the wrong things with us into the new year.