Include prayer when planning

Friday, Jun. 20, 2014
I have been doing a lot of planning lately: planning the next calendar year for my ministry, planning specific events for youth and young adults and planning gatherings with my friends and family. It is honestly overwhelming when I look at my calendar and see all that is happening in the coming year! At first, I was instantly stressed out and wanted to run my calendar through the paper shredder to avoid ever seeing it again. That seemed completely reasonable and quite fun until I imagined myself wasting weeks of time having to piece together 52 weeks’ worth of plans one little scrap at a time. 
Instead of shredding all my plans, I turned to the book of Proverbs to get some advice. Proverbs is a collection of ancient wisdom that is still applicable in our world today, and luckily for me chapter 16 has a lot to say about planning! Here are just a few: “Entrust your works to the Lord, and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3); “In his mind a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9); and “He who plans a thing will be successful; happy is he who trusts in the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:20).  
After reading and reflecting upon these verses, I felt much more confident about the future. My anxiety about the coming year eased away and I began to feel relieved that I had taken the time to plan out the year. These verses also helped me to understand what the next step in my planning process is: pray! First I must plan; second, I must entrust my plans to God. This is something that I suggest to all of you to try, too. Take time each day to dedicate your plans to God and to ask him to guide you as you continue your journey. A short prayer you could use is: “Dear God, today I offer you my thoughts, words, plans and actions. Grant me the wisdom to know that my plans are not always your plans and help me to always be a reflection of your goodness. Amen.”

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