For the past three years I have focused on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 as the basis for my One Word.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
2015 was focused on thanksgiving.
2016 was focused on prayer.
2017 was focused on joy.
The words started with verse 18 and then went backwards to 16. However, I have learnt a great deal about these verses. God has taught me to be more thankful and I kept a journal for all of 2015 of all the things I was thankful for. God spoke to my heart about prayer, and I read a lot of books about prayer and prayer styles. I love the prayer movements in Wales and other places. Prayer is such a vital link to our relationship with Jesus.
This year, focusing on joy saw me starting another thankfulness journal, based on the idea from Ann Voskamp’s book 1000 gifts. My journal is 1000 plus gifts and I continue to keep writing in it things I am grateful for that the Lord has given me. When I am struggling, I look back at what God has done in my life or has blessed me with and my attitude changes.
I have learnt that joy does not depend on my circumstances. Joy is a state of the heart. Joy is delight. Joy is hope. Joy is being in a vibrant relationship with Jesus. I can be joyful no matter what I am going through because I know Jesus is with me and my soul is secure in him.
I praise the Lord for all that he has taught me these past three years.
God is leading me in a different but similar direction for my One Word of the year. My One Word for 2018 is intercession. 1 Timothy 2:1 says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.”
I cannot get away from this verse as this is what God is calling me to do and to be. He spoke to my heart several years ago when I first was off work due to illness to be a house of prayer. At first, I thought I was to start a house of prayer and yes, I do pray that one day I will be well enough to do such a thing. However, since praying about this and doing a lot of searching, I know God wants me to be a house of prayer, praying for everyone, our nation, my church, friends, family, etc.
Please don’t get me wrong. I have already been praying for everyone. However, I believe God wants me to genuinely intercede, stand in the gap for, people who he leads me to pray for. To intercede for someone means to “act or interpose in behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble, as by pleading or petition” (Dictionary.com).
The word I am focusing on, intercession means an act or instance of interceding, 2.an interposing or pleading on behalf of another person, and it is 3.a prayer to God on behalf of another (dictionary.com).
I believe God is calling me to stand in the gap for my brothers and sisters in Christ and praying scripture over them as well. I am looking forward to seeing God answer prayers and knowing mighty things will happen for the kingdom. I pray God will help me pray through the Holy Spirit interceding on my behalf through me when I don’t have the words to pray (see Romans 8:26).