What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Do you need to devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Must you become a better person so that God will accept you? Learn how you can know God personally.
This year, pray that God would grow your character through the 12 traits listed below. Pray for a different character trait each month and journal about the changes you see God developing in you throughout the year.
“Thus has the Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother” (Zechariah 7:9).
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
→ Lord, create in me a heart that practices compassion and kindness.
“You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
→ Jesus, help me to be clothed with humility toward others for you are opposed to the proud.
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
→ God, give me a teachable heart as expressed in your word about training up the next generation to follow you.
“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matthew 6:15).
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesian 4:32).
→ Lord, help me to remember how you have forgiven me that I may have that attitude toward others who sin against me.
Samuel said, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22).
“And you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I command you today” (Deuteronomy 30:8).
→ Lord, may I be quick to listen and obey you.
“Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments” (Psalm 119:66).
“For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding” (Proverbs 2:3).
→ God, I seek to have your discernment so I will make choices that honor you.
“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:12).
“Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).
→ Jesus, may I run to you and away from temptation in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.
“The responsibility of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest is the oil for the light and the fragrant incense and the continual grain offering and the anointing oil – the responsibility of all the tabernacle and of all that is in it, with the sanctuary and its furnishings” (Numbers 4:16).
→ God, help me to be a responsible steward with my time, finances, gifts and talents that I may honor you and be found faithful.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
→ Lord, you are with me always so may I be strong and courageous.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
→ Jesus, you came to serve not to be served. May I serve you and others in the same way.
“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment” (1 Timothy 6:6).
“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11).
→ Lord, may I be content in all circumstances.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).
→ Lord, may I run with endurance the race you have set before me.
Anne Arkins and Gary Harrell wrote “While They Are Sleeping: 12 Character Traits to Pray for Your Child.” This article is based on their book that was published by FamilyLife.
began his journalism career as a newspaper correspondent for his local paper in Ohio. He covered city council meetings, wrote features and took photos. Rich served with Worldwide Challenge magazine from 2008-2016. Now, he writes field reports for another Cru ministry. Contact Rich at Rich.Atkinson@isponline.org.