Day 2. Plan or Pray?

Scripture Reflection

“Commit your works to the LORD and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

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Devotion

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Now that you have your word for the year let's talk a bit about planning today. Our worldly perception of planning teaches us to have a to-do list upon to-do list and brings with it a feeling of pressure to effectively manage our time. Sure there's a place for to-do lists and time management, but biblical planning must have God at the forefront.

Admittedly, it can be difficult to balance the principle of proper planning with trusting God. Given that it's the new year, you might already be resisting the urge to make big plans and declarations.

On the one hand, God has equipped us with wisdom and common sense to make proper choices. On the other hand, we need to pray and actively wait for God to work in our lives. Thankfully, it's not one or the other. It is wise to plan; however, careful planning should include submission to God. James 4:13-16 reminds us of this:

"Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil."

Planning can be one of the most challenging areas of your life to submit over to God. Despite how often the Bible tells us that God's plans far surpass our deepest desires, we still tend to revert to our over-complicated and often unsuccessful ways of orchestrating our lives on our own terms, especially in times of stress.

As you start to put on your journey this year, remember that consistent planning, coupled with praying to help you follow through on your plans, is the best strategy to lead you to the desired outcome you seek.

God longs to make our paths straight (Prov. 3:5-6); He longs to give us the desires of our hearts; He longs to guide us; He knows all the things coming that we can't even fathom. That's why:

  1.  Taking the time to plan is essential.
  2.  All of your planning should include Him.

Partner with your faithful, loving Father to plan your year, months, weeks, days, and every choice you make moment by moment and see the difference it will make in your entire life.

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Action Steps

As you review your word for the year, write out a prayer letting your heavenly Father know of your commitment to include Him in this entire process.

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 Reflect

1.  What do you currently believe about planning? How much responsibility do you bear, and how much is God's?

2.  How will you incorporate BOTH planning and praying into your daily routine?

3.  Continue to select your word for the year. Pray and ask God if it's the right word for you.

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Worship and Prayer

Martha Munizzi New Season

"Dear Lord, it's often hard to know what to do. Sometimes I go ahead with my own plans and forget to include you, and sometimes I pray and pray without ever taking action. As I go through this study, help me find the balance to know when to pray and when to plan. Please help me understand that it's not one or the other and help me learn how to incorporate them into my life. I know that when I commit my plans to you, you will give me wisdom and understanding. I'm so looking forward to this New Year. It's a new season, and I am ready to receive all you have for me this year. In your name, I pray! Amen."

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Share Below

What do you believe about the relationship between planning and prayer?

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Additional Scriptures

"The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty." Proverbs 21:5

"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9

 

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Lesley Ruth C
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7 months ago

I believe we are asked to seek God for our plans, but also take responsibility for doing the planning. We can lay our plans before the Lord and trust him to lead us.

Danielle E
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8 months ago

I never once thought about including God in my plans. I really needed to read this study because I clearly have been doing things wrong. My prayers are usually, Lord give me the strength to get all these things done, or help me to accomplish these things, rather than, Lord help me to plan my day according to your will. Help me to only list things that You feel are a necessity for me today. Etc. I need to pray before I even write one thing down on a list of to-do’s so that my plan is directed by the Holy Spirit rather than my own thoughts and wants.

Christine G
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8 months ago

I need to remember to pray first and then plan. Also to be open to God changing my plans and not get upset if my plans dont work out knowing that God works all things out for my good. Help me Lord to do both and keep you first amen

LoRéal-Angelique
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8 months ago
Reply to  Christine G

Definitely with this answer. Prayer precedes planning. Plan what God shares with me. I can count on His word.

Karen J
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8 months ago

I am praying that my steps are established by God. Proverbs 16:9

Carol B
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8 months ago

I am learning to submit my plans to the Lord and always to stay in alignment for His will for me. It is easy for me to plan – but I must remember to take a pause to talk to God and make sure I am on the right path. I want to move forward with His direction. More of Him and less of me.

Katrina M
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8 months ago

I currently believe that planning is necessary according to the word of God. It is a mutual responsibility – I plan however, I trust the outcome to God.  

Suzanne H
8 months ago

Both are critical to success. The order of praying first and then planning puts God first and helps me to align my intention/plan with God’s heart.

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