1. Ask God to help you find a new “verse of the month” and a new “word of the month.” Post it where you can see it. And ask Him to help you apply it. (And/or ask Him if there is any task/challenge He wants to give you this month.)
2. Pick two or three new people to pray for this month. Write their names down, pray for them daily, and ask God if there is anything specific you should pray for about them.
3. What are five things about summer you are thankful for?
4. Pick another item from your “nice things to do for others” list and find time to do it this month.
5. Ask God to speak to you about this passage, whatever He might want to say: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Cor. 13:4-8)
6. What five things in your kitchen are you thankful for?
7. Spend at least 30 minutes away from all technology at least three times this week and do something peaceful and relaxing instead. Protect your “alone time” and your time with your family.
8. Ask God: “Am I doing anything that doesn’t come from faith? (Romans 14:23: “. . . everything that does not come from faith is sin.”) What should I do about it?”
9. What are five yellow or orange things you are thankful for?
10. Pick a verse you’ve always wanted to memorize. Now memorize it.
11. Psalm 51:17: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
Ask God: “Is there any part of me that needs to be ‘broken’?”
12. What are five things about your neighborhood/neighbors you are thankful for?
13. Reflect back on the year so far and write down any surprises or good things that have happened. Thank God for them in prayer.
14. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Ask God: “In what ways and areas do I fail to trust You or acknowledge You?”
15. What are five fruits you are thankful for? Five vegetables?
16. Next time you stand in line somewhere, pick a person around you to pray for. And ask God what He wants you to pray.
17. Ask God: “Am I failing to do some good thing that I know I should do? (James 4:17: “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”) What should I do?”
18. What are five things from any other food group you are thankful for?
19. Choose from your “nice things to do for yourself” list. And do it soon.
20. The Bible says that there is a spiritual battle going on all around us, all the time. The Bible also says that we need to be outfitted with spiritual armor. (Read Ephesians 6:10-18.)
Ask God: “How am I doing in each of those?”
21. What are five hard things you are thankful for?
22. Write a “letter to God” where you express anything and everything you have wanted to say to Him. Be honest and hold nothing back. And then read it in prayer to Him. (I have found that the things we try to keep hidden become the walls that keep Him from our hearts. Besides, He already knows all that we are thinking and feeling. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He’s just waiting for us to get real with Him and to let down those walls that keep Him an arm’s length away from us. Honesty and transparency are critical for the best relationship possible with Him.)
23. Ask God: “Have I let the enemy in through anything? Put out any ‘welcome mats’ for evil? What do You want me to do about it?”
24. What are five things in your bedroom you are thankful for?
25. Pick another room or closet in your house and clean it out, finding at least 10 things to get rid of. (You’re done with this challenge now. But keep cleaning if you’re on a roll. Don’t let me stop you.)
26. Ask God: “Is there a song that You want me to meditate on and apply to my life?”
27. What five things can you be thankful for about your church/place of worship?
28. When you are out next time, even just standing in line somewhere, stop your texting and your busy thoughts and just watch the people around you. Really notice their humanness, the way they laugh, or their tired expression, or the pain in their eyes. And see if you can think of a compliment to pass onto someone, even just, “I love that color on you” or “Those glasses look good on you.” Hearts are broken all around us, and you never know who desperately needs a little bit of sunshine.
29. “ . . . whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Ask God: “Am I doing my best at my daily tasks for Your glory? What might I be doing half-heartedly or for my own glory?”
30. What are five insects you are thankful for?
How has God broken you? When and how do we put out “welcome mats” for the enemy? Any other thoughts to share about anything in this list?