A Prayer to Continue Generosity into the New Year
By Alicia Searl
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7
The New Year is upon us and as we begin to possibly ponder resolutions and ways to grow in every aspect of our lives, let’s consider how we can continue to bring forth generosity this coming year. 2 Corinthians 9:7 lays out for us a beautiful depiction of the cheerful giver. If we take a look at the verse before that in 2 Corinthians 9:6, it tells us that whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, but whoever sows generously will reap generously. In this passage, Paul urges the Corinthians to follow through on their giving, as it is a blessing for both the giver and the receiver. He knew the significance of giving financially and what it had to do with the growth of our hearts spiritually. In short, we are commanded to give with an open heart so that, in return, we receive the bounty of Christ.
What a beautiful exchange. Generosity is just as much about giving to others as it is transforming our own hearts, drawing us closer to the Lord (Psalms 36:9). So, let’s unwrap four ways we can give the gift of generosity going into the new year.
Generosity with Your Time
The gift of time is invaluable and speaks volumes to those we extend it to. When we place our busy schedules aside and seek to serve others with our presence, it shows our true compassion and extends an open heart to those who need it. Take time to listen, offer a hug, meet for coffee, or just sit and be present with one who is lost, lonely, or hurting. It will be a gift that will bless you both.
Generosity with Your Random Acts of Kindness
When we offer random acts of kindness, we are never really sure who we touch or bless, but in doing so, it’s bound to bring about joy. Share a smile with a stranger, offer to bring in groceries for a neighbor, help at a local ministry or mission, and be filled with God’s love for you in return (Proverbs 19:17).
Generosity with Your Gifts and Talents
God has so graciously given us special gifts and talents to share with others to show Who He is. Tap into those gifts and see how you can use them to bless others (1 Peter 4:10). Some people are natural gift-givers like my sister, who knows exactly what a person needs to be blessed with, while others have more of a talent to share. Ask God to reveal ways you can use your gifts and talents to share with those in need.
Generosity with Your Finances
While this is the obvious one, it can also be the most difficult one to do. Christians often struggle with the terms tithe and offering. Yet, by giving our tithes and offerings, we are submitting our financial earnings to the Lord, recognizing He is the One who provides us with all things (Leviticus 27:3, James 1:5, 1 Corinthians 16:2)
We come to you with humble hearts seeking Your guidance. As we head into this new year, we are so thankful for the provision and care You provide. You are the God of promise and are constantly showing us how You deliver on Your promises. In return, we long to be faithful to You by graciously giving with a cheerful heart.
Show us ways in which we can bless those around us. Provide opportunities for us to love others with our time, kindness, gifts, and finances. Open our eyes to see the needs of others while opening our hearts to give with joy and cheer. Lord, if there is also a moment in this coming year in which we are in need, I ask that You help us be open to receiving the gift of generosity as well. Help us put our pride aside and be willing to let others in and love on us.
We thank You for Your bounty of blessings and for all the ways You move in our lives. Please help us see others the way You do and reach out with generosity this coming year. We love you and praise Your Holy Name. Amen.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Irina Vodneva
Alicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy. Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
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