My One Word for 2013: Pray

Those of you who know me probably know that I do this challenge every year. It started with Port City Community Church (PC3) in Wilmington, North Carolina. Several years back, around this time, the pastor challenged his congregation to put aside “resolutions” and instead choose one word to focus each of their efforts on through the year. Simplifying, focusing, and filtering everything through My One Word has helped me grow spiritually and has given me a new lens of reflection at the year’s end.

My One Word for the year 2012 was “Fight.” I chose it because 2011 had been one very big spiritual battle that had worn me out. I was anticipating another year of spiritual battles in 2012 and wanted to remind myself how to stay protected from attack.

As soon as this December began, I started mulling over what My One Word should be for 2013. Though fighting spiritual battles is still going to be a part of my life, I feel much more confident in dealing with them. When asking God what I need to work on, one thing kept coming up. Ironically, it was my very first word from 6 years ago, but it is something that I still struggle with–prayer.

It’s the most basic exercise of any Christian. I shouldn’t have a problem with it, right? But I do. What do you say to God–the all knowing, all powerful being of the universe who made you, gave you life, will take your life, and has a job for you to do? What do you say to the being who sits on a throne surrounded by thrones (Rev. 4:4); who has strange creatures calling out praises to Him (Rev. 4:8); Who has eyes like fire and a tongue like a sword (Rev. 1:14,16); who brings everyone to their knees as soon as they see him. What do you say to Him? “God, thank you for these petty little things and can I have some other petty little things?” Because when you’re standing in front of the God of the universe, everything seems petty.

While speaking on coming before God in humility, Francis Chan writes in his book, Crazy Love, “Remember the visions of John, in Revelation, and Isaiah; remember the many accounts of people coming into God’s presence and how it always caused the people to fall on their faces in terror. And then start to pray.” It’s a powerful image to have in mind. My stumbling block with this is that there’s nothing I can say to that. My idea of prayer is so narrow that it’s either petty or nothing. I don’t know how to have a conversation with the God of the universe.

But He wants us to! He commands us to! God gives us permission to come to him boldly and talk (Hebrews 4:16). He calls us His friends (John 15:15).

It’s a strange kind of oxymoron to figure out–He’s the God that calls us friends and causes us all to fall trembling to the ground. I can’t wrap my head around that sort of relationship. But I want 2013 to be the year that I discover that and learn how to talk to the God that made me.

My One Word for 2013 is Pray. I want to obey God’s command to pray continually–without ceasing  (this will take some effort). And I want to learn to pray in a way that is appropriate and pleasing to Him.

I invite you all to join me in this. If you have a word for 2013, I’d love to hear about it. I’d also like to ask that you hold me accountable for My One Word throughout the year. Don’t let me grow apathetic, or forgetful about something so important. Remind me; ask me; urge me; teach me.

My token to remind me to pray.

My token to remind me to pray.

If you would like to learn more about the My One Word challenge, you can visit the website:


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lori Leonard
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 18:19:06

    Thank you for your post, thank you for sharing something so personal! I feel the same way you do. I really do want to have a closer relationship with God and praying is what I need to do more of to have that (along with my Bible reading).


  2. Emily
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 02:09:53

    Great word, Jacki! I will always think of you as I am praying!


  3. Jacki
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 16:30:52

    Thank you, Emily. That means so much to me, it really does.


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