A new year is upon us, bringing with it a new outpouring of blessings and also a new set of challenges. Here are some suggestions for how we might pray as we head into the new year. (For this post, I borrowed heavily from a blog written by Kim Butts, co-founder of Harvest Prayer Ministries).
We could start off by giving thanks for our new birth. Jesus says that we must be born again (John 3:1-21). For those of us who have obeyed Jesus in this regard, it would be fitting to start the new year giving thanks for our new birth. Spend some time remembering your baptism, that time when the old you was buried in the waters of baptism, washing away your sins, and your emergence from that watery grave to live a new life in Christ. Give thanks to God that through Jesus you have been born again!
A second prayer could be for the new life we have in Jesus. Romans 6:4 says, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Be thankful that you don’t live the life you lived before you came to Jesus! Pray that God will help you to bring him honor and glory through the new life that you live in Christ.
We could also pray about how God is working in the world around us. He proclaims, “…I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5). The ultimate fulfillment of this promise will come when Jesus Christ returns in power and glory. But in the meantime, God is constantly working to right the wrongs that have been imposed on the human existence because of the curse of sin in this world. Let’s be aware of what God is doing every day to reveal his glory and redeem his creation. Let’s praise God for the things that he is making new in our lives.
The psalm writer says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God…” (Psalm 40:3). When is the last time you learned a new song? I love the old hymns as much as anyone, but when did God stop creating new music? A new song can inspire you to worship and pray in a way that will please God. Some people praise God with songs that he has given them, songs that no one else even knows! Let’s always be aware of words and rhymes that God puts in our hearts—often taken directly from Scripture—so that we can worship him in a new and wonderful way.
Isaiah 62:2 says, “…you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.” Some believe that this prophecy was fulfilled when the believers were first called “Christians” at Antioch (Acts 11:26). Let us rejoice that we have been given such a prestigious new name, and let us pray that we will wear that new name in a way that honors the One who bestowed it.
Another prayer we could offer for the new year is to give thanks for the compassionate love that God renews every single day of our lives. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” No matter how badly we messed up yesterday, God’s love is available today. We can repent and turn to our loving heavenly Father, who will freely offer his forgiveness as part of the great compassion that he has for us, compassion that is offered new every morning.
Finally, we could pray a new prayer about the love that we have for our fellow Christians. In John 13:34-35, Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Let’s pray that we will love our brothers and sisters in Christ more deeply than ever before.
These are just a few new prayers that we could pray for the new year. I am sure that you can come up with more. The important thing is that we continue to pray as we go into the coming year. May it be a great year of blessing for you and your family!