1. When you wake, kneel and pray Galatians 2:20 as the theme over your day.
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me. – Galatians 2:20
Kneeling is a distinct sight of surrender and submission. Physically doing this is a yielding to God and His way in our lives. Great way to start out your day!
2. Fast one meal-time each week, taking time to ask God what He most desires for you to give Him.
Fasting is a denial of self and a focusing on desiring God more than anything else.
Take this now available meal time and ask of God what He longs from you. Perhaps journal during this time, writing your impressions as He communicates.
We’d recommend making this a scheduled time, ideally the same time each week.
3. Serve by volunteering at a local ministry outside of CCC.
While we certainly love your ministry here inside the CCC family, serve out in the community. It is, in fact, our calling.
Some recommendations might be Sumter United Ministries, one of the local schools who might need mentors, The By Name Project, or others.
4. Make a list of five people that you want to come to know Jesus. Put on mirror in your bathroom and pray for them daily.
Be discreet. Nobody wants to be your “project”.
As you pray, humbly ask that God would lead you to any steps He might want you to take to invest in them, to invite them to come join you, or to share your story with them.
5. When driving on your street, pray for a different house each day and specific people in the house.
1. Pray for God to move in peoples lives, pray that God will speak to you about how you can serve your neighbors. 2. Reach out to your neighbors and see what their needs are and help fill those needs as the Holy Spirit leads you.
6. Begin the day praying that you will see people as Jesus sees them. (For those who wear glasses or contacts, do this when you put your glasses or contacts on.)
If you’re a little unsure about “how Jesus sees them,” also begin (or begin again) looking through the 4 gospels and notice how Jesus treated and viewed people.
Pay particular attention throughout the day to when you have strong reactions to people. When you are angry, resentful, jealous, offended, etc. Now….how would Jesus act in those instances.
7. Take a homeless person to dinner.
This could be as easy as the next time someone is asking you for money for food, take them then and sit with them as you pay for their meal. Eat together. Learn about them. Perhaps God put you in that place to begin a relationship with them.
8. Find five people that will share a specific prayer request with you and pray with them in that moment.
Some of these will happen naturally as people share struggles with you. In addition to expressing concern, ask them if you could take a moment to pray with them right there.
For those who are friends with you, this could be a new way to close out any time you are with them.
9. Build relationships by having one meal a week for 4 weeks with a different person, couple or family.
Church is His heart. And this is one way to build deeper relationships with people who may now be merely acquaintances.
Make at least some of these meals be with people you don’t know very well. Not simply 4 of your best friends.
10. Wake up before your schedule normally starts and read one chapter from Proverbs daily for a month.
Proverbs are great “life coaching” principles. As you read, literally ask God why He wants you to read this content on this day.
Don’t get bogged down in trying to apply everything. Even if it were one great challenge for the day, that’s fantastic. Some days will seem like the chapter addresses so may issues. Think narrow.
11. Ask your waiter/waitress if there is anything they would like for you to pray for as you give thanks for your meal, and then pray for them.
This may feel a little awkward, but just imagine how you would likely respond if someone were to ask you the same thing. They will appreciate this.
Being sensitive that they are working and on the job, you might be best to not ask them to stick around while you pray for them.
DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO LEAVE A MONSTER BIG TIP. As valuable as your prayers are, your server won’t likely be impressed if you pray for them and leave a meager tip. Blow them away with your generosity.
12. Sit in silence 3 days a week for 15 minutes, listening for the voice of God.
Journaling might be a great aid in hearing the Lord’s voice.
Be careful in assuming everything you hear is from the Lord. Especially if your heart deeply wants something, be careful you don’t simply attach Jesus’ name to it and assume He spoke it to you. Does it measure up to Scripture? Would godly people affirm that this is something from the Lord?
13. For two weeks, listen to nothing but spiritually uplifting content on your radio or devices (sermons, podcasts, or worship music).
You will likely recognize very quickly how much time you may be spending listening to other voices. Why not make sure they are voices that encourage your faith?
Don’t know to whom or to what to listen? Ask some godly friends around you for some suggestions.
14. Spend the month trying to memorize a passage or chapter of the Bible. Examples: Psalm 23, Colossians 1:15-23, Romans 8:28-38, Philippians 2.
There are probably none of us who don’t underestimate how capable we are at memorizing. You’ll find that out quickly with some effort.
Bite off longer passages, like Philippians 2, in large chunks. It is not difficult to memorize 10 verses or so a week with some work. Print if off and place it in a place you see frequently. If you drive, put it on your dash. Then every time you start your car, say as much of it as you can remember. Work hard the first couple days to get as much of it as possible. By the third day of the week you should be able, with minimal prompting, to get the basic flow of the passage. Then for the rest of the week you’re simply owning it. Do it word-perfect.
The key to memorization is repetition and review.
15. Serve where you know God would desire, but you’re uncomfortable doing it.
There are some areas of serving where your discomfort might be due to you not being gifted to serve in that spot. Be thoughtful about that.
But many areas are uncomfortable because the role seems “beneath us.” Clean the toilets at your house. Do extra chores for your parents. Serve your spouse by deferring to their preference. Help your neighbor with yard work.
Some service is uncomfortable because it makes us vulnerable. Write a heartfelt note of appreciation to a teacher. Bring a friend a treat and just tell them you appreciate them. Tell someone you’re sorry if you think they even possibly may have been offended by something you should not have done.
16. Tell five people your spiritual story, or a part of it. Do that with people outside of CCC.
Just getting started is the most difficult part. So think through your introductions. “Hey, can I share with you something that’s important to me?” “Look, I know people get a little awkward when the subject of faith comes up. I don’t want this to be awkward, but would you be OK if I shared with you some great things that God has been doing in my life?” “I know we’ve never really talked much about this, but would you be good if I took a couple minutes and told you about what I think is the biggest thing God has done in me?”
Notice that in each of those “introductions”, you’re asking for permission to have the conversation. Just them saying, “Sure, you can go ahead”, gives you an open door. If they don’t want you to talk, your speaking will likely have very little impact. Get their permission.
No need to be eloquent or influential. You’re just telling your story.
17. For married people, wake up before your schedule gets started and pray together daily for a month.
Short and brief is fine. One of you prays longer than the other? That’s fine too. Don’t make length of time a big issue.
One of you out of town? They have these cool new inventions called “cell phones” – and they’re amazing!
Don’t know where to start? If this is new territory for you, that’s great! How about just start with a simple model of praying 3 things: 1) God, today I want to thank You that You are (fill in the blank with something about who God is that you appreciate). 2) Thank You that yesterday You (fill in the blank with one thing you experienced). 3) One thing you would ask on behalf of your spouse.
18. Give an uncomfortable amount of money (for your financial circumstance) to an organization that helps others.
Uncomfortable means challenging but wise. Be stretched. Sacrifice.
If your married, talk about this TOGETHER.
Where do I give? You may already have an answer to that. If you’d like to give to one of the ministries we support, we’d be more than glad to help you do that.
19. Find ways to create space for your most important relationships. Quit something once a week for the month.
For most of us, we can’t add much to our schedules. In fact, what we already value fights for the time we have. So create space for what is most valuable.
Don’t quit something valuable just to have time for what you enjoy more. Prioritizing is critical here.
Quitting something isn’t the point. Quitting to create space for what is most important is the point.
If you’re married, talk this over with your spouse. If you’re a teen, you likely need to talk this over with a parent.
20. Find something that brings you great joy and participate in it daily-weekly. An additional challenge would be to invite someone to join you.
There’s a reason we put #20 right after #19. These are NOT contradictory.
For some of us, developing a healthy hobby can feel life-breathing. God created us with a plan for godly enjoyment. So enjoy.
As mentioned in #19, prioritizing is critical. If you’re concerned that you may be spending time doing something that is taking away from things that are more valuable, ask someone close to you of their opinion. We all have blind spots – so get someone to look objectively for you.