A New Year Prayer
The coming of a new year is a time for reflection, a time to look at our lives and evaluate where we have been in the previous year and where we want to be in the future. For Christians, the new year symbolizes Christ’s redemption: the hope of change, the opportunity for growth, and the promise of the blessings of God. Because of Christ, we rejoice in His blessings!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (Ephesians 1:3-4)
As we reflect on the past year and look ahead to the next, may we refocus our hearts on God and re-center our lives on His truth. May this personal evaluation include a fierce and honest assessment of our relationship with God, because we know our tendencies to lose our focus, to stray off our center, and to fall away from our connection with Him. When we pray for God’s blessings in the coming year, may we check the nature of our prayers to ensure we pray according to truth and God’s will, not our own.
Through Jesus Christ, God has demonstrated His desire to bless us. How, then, are we to pray as we enter the new year?
Pray for Riches – not the fleeting wealth of money or power or prestige, but the eternal and significant riches of a deeper and more connected relationship with Christ where you know the height and depth and width and breadth of the love of Christ for you. “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).
Pray for Fulfillment – not the counterfeit fulfillment that comes from getting your way or having everything you think you want, but the fulfillment that comes from the realization of His truth, seen through the eyes of Christ, and His Spirit permeating your heart and soul and mind, “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
Pray for Protection – not the false safety of avoidance or hiding or running away from difficulty and struggles, but the meaningful protection of the presence of Christ walking through pain and difficulty and struggles by your side. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).
Pray for Joy – not the happiness of transient and temporary worldly pleasures, but the deep and lasting joy that comes with the very personal and very real presence of Christ in each and every moment of each and every day. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
Pray for Peace – not the illusion of peace that comes from ease, comfort, or self-satisfaction, but the true peace that only the presence of Christ can bring, the peace that transcends understanding and surpasses your circumstances. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
As we pray in the New Year, may our prayers not focus on ourselves but instead on the blessings God has provided through Jesus Christ and His Spirit dwelling within us. May our prayers reflect our love for God and a heartfelt desire for a deeper relationship with Him. May we, through Christ, become “holy and blameless in His sight.”
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Dr. Donna E. Lane is an award-winning author, professor, and Christian counselor. Her books include Strength in Adversity, Wilderness Meditations, and Restored Christianity.