Do you choose a “word for the year”? I used to scoff at the practice, but now, I love finding the ways God works through a particular theme throughout a particular season. I’ve started documenting my words for each year, and what a testimony they have been to God’s faithfulness in my life.
In 2020, my word was change (lol). I thought it was just about having my first child, but a month after she was born, a global pandemic hit and changed a lot more than just my family life. But oh the creativity that God has pulled out of that season!
In 2021, rest.
In 2022, celebrate/celebration.
As I’ve prayed about God’s theme for me for 2023, one word continues to show up: intimacy.
Intimacy in my family and as a mother as we recently welcomed baby #2. Intimacy in my relationships with others that goes deeper than the superficial. And most importantly, intimacy with the Lord.
This word has also stirred a prayer for the year for Deeper KidMin and your ministries, kidmin leader, that kids’ intimacy with Jesus would grow deeper based on the resources and encouragement we share. That is where Deeper KidMin’s name comes from, after all, from a desire to see kids grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
The word intimacy first popped up on my radar in early November 2022. I was using my daily Bible study app, Lectio 365 from 24/7 prayer, and these words, in particular, stood out:
Today I am reflecting on one of the prayers of Jesus, leaning into an intimate conversation between Father and Son: At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children. Yes Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.'” (Like 10:21-22 NIVUK).
I hear in this prayer the beautiful intimacy of the Trinity: Jesus, full of joy in the Holy Spirit, rejoices at the Father’s delight in revealing God’s hidden secrets to little children. I long for this kind of intimacy in my own life with God. I think of a conversation with one of my friends, Tyler Staton, who reminded me that ‘everything is an invitation to intimacy with Christ.”
Father, I ask for the joyful playfulness to know Your truth like a small child. I thank You that Your longing is that I would know You and be known by You. Will you reveal Your love to me in new ways today?
I pray for a child in my life, or a family I know. I ask for your gentle protection over their joy, innocence, friendships, and future. I pray for mothers and fathers, for strength in their weariness, and provision for their needs. I pray for spiritual families, that you would show your people to how to build communities of playful intimacy.
Where have I seen a revelation of Jesus in my own story? How has he called me, loved me, chosen me, carried me? In the words of Ruth Haly Barton, I receive “an invitation to enter more deeply into the intimacy of relationship with the One who waits just outside the noise and busyness of my life.” (Ruth Haley Barton, Invitation to Solitude and Silence)
Holy Spirit, I yield to You my hurried schedule, my distracted heart, and my quiet worries. I pray for an unhurried intimacy with the Father through Jesus Christ, the Son, today.
When I think about intimacy, I’m also reminded of a talk from Beth Guckenberger from CPC 2015. She shared about the phrase Kol D’mama Daka, which means a still small voice or a gentle whisper in Hebrew, referring to when God showed up to Elijah on the mountain in 2 Kings 19. This Kol D’mama Daka implies the close intimacy between a new mother and a nursing child (something on my mind and in my actions a lot these days) or between 2 lovers in bed. An intimacy deep and personal and raw that requires stillness, closeness, and quiet.
So my prayer for this year: Lord, draw us into a Kol D’Mama Daka with you, Jesus. Give us a childlike faith and an intimacy with you that invites us into your gentle whisper, surrounds us with your love, and allows us to yield our hurried schedules, our distracted hearts, and our quiet worries in exchange for an unhurried intimacy with You. Amen.
Do you have a word for the year?