A Prayer Resolution


This is not an aspiration. It is not something that you reach for and hope you achieve, not one of those cross-your-fingers-and-hope-it-works-out kind of things. This will not just “come out in the wash” and is not something to throw in the towel or throw your hands up about. It’s not all up in the air.

This is not hit or miss. It is going to take a lot more than a little bit of this and that. You are going to have to be specific. This is a prayer resolution. Talk it out and while you are at it, write this down.

It is not a means by which to measure the height or depth of your Christian commitment. There will not be a prayer assessment afterwards. I will not ask for a show of hands as to who offered the most prayers. I will not keep track.

Don’t put it at the top of your list. This is not about priorities or prayer as something that can be done and crossed off. Don’t cross your heart. This is not a promise to be kept or broken but a decision made.

This is not about adding more words or extending the time. Take it from Jesus, less words are better. He said, “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases like the Gentiles do; for they think they will be heard because of their many words” (Matthew 6:7, NRSV). Quality over quantity, don’t waste your time or mince words.

Speak wisely and decidedly. Pray without condition. Pray like it’s a reflex, a body memory, something you do without thinking. Pray like you mean it, like you hear God speaking and there is no need for God to speak up or to say it again. Pray with your hands raised and like you are certain that God is calling your name. Pray like you are answering God.

Pray because you not only know that it changes things but because you want it to change you. Pray like you want to be made new. It won’t be easy like getting a haircut and it will require more of you than your new fitness trainer. No monthly fees or tip to include, it is still going to cost you.

Praying without ceasing, it is a discipline and it will push you (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Still, this is your course of action, not because it is a new year but because in Christ, there is a new you. Now then, let this be your resolve.

Reverend Starlette Thomas* is the Minister to Empower Congregations at the D.C. Baptist Convention. She writes on the social construct of race and the practice of faith at www.racelessgospel.com. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and Starbucks.

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