Before you read my New Year’s Prayer, I want to share a few thoughts from my heart with you. I guess you could label this, “Rebecca Unplugged,” because it’s one of my longest posts.
A Year of Loss
We’re approaching the end of an extremely challenging year. It’s been a year of loss, change, and unprecedented events. Many of you have lost your health, a loved one, or your livelihood. Others have lost time and have endured long hospital bouts struggling for life.
Tireless caregivers, doctors, and hospital workers have endured the kind of pain known only to those on the front lines.
Some of you feel like you have lost everything. You’ve grieved. Some of you have raged. You’ve questioned, and you’ve cried until your tears have dried and your emotions are numb.
We Long for Hope
Some of you feel heard and understood; others still struggle like a butterfly in a cocoon, waiting, hoping for change, a new direction…something spelled HOPE.
Many have been surprised with anxiety and depression sneaking up on their otherwise sanguine personalities and spiraling their thoughts downward.
This year has affected us all uniquely according to our own circumstances and beliefs. Whys have risen to heaven as much as or more than any year we’ve experienced in a long time. We long for answers, but answers don’t always come when we want them.
The Positives of 2020
Yet not everything that happened in 2020 was negative. In the midst of the suffering, the challenges, the despair, and the anger, I’ve heard the whispers of God, the moving of His Spirit, and the creativity only He could birth. Haven’t you?
Some families, transported to home-bound work and virtual learning have discovered a sweet unity, togetherness, and simplicity rarely experienced when everything was “normal.” Earth angel heroes of all ages have emerged to offer help in ways unique to their gifts, skills, and temperaments.
Others have given and cared and offered and prayed. There’s been no lack of good going on, even in the middle of a pandemic year. And we have applauded their efforts and contributions.
Many churches reduced to online services for awhile have only grown larger. Baptisms and new believers have emerged from the seemingly chaotic conditions, all over the world. In some places, isolation has only brought motivation, inspiration, and greater community. Because, as someone aptly said, you cannot quarantine love. Or the moving of God’s Spirit, I might add.
We’ve All Learned Lessons
We’ve all learned lessons, if we stop long enough to evaluate, to ask God to teach us, and to listen to each other instead of arguing with one another. What have you learned?
My husband and I chose for the most part to stay home during this pandemic, not out of fear, but out of respect and caution–and for us, a desire to sacrifice short-term enjoyment to possibly enable long term gain, all the while aware that God is in control; our days are numbered; and we all must follow the plan that He sets out for us individually.
As day-voted followers of Jesus, we know that heaven will claim all of us one day. None of us know how or when or where.
I’ve learned again that life is precious, that God is always faithful, always ready to listen, always caring, and always good. I’ve come to appreciate that He truly draws near and close to us in times of doubt, fear, pain, worry, and loss. In fact, He is always with us–the Immanuel of Christmas is the same “God with Us,” every day of the year.
I’ve relearned that everyone is beautiful and has intricate worth in God’s eyes, that we need community, and that there are many creative ways to build that sense of togetherness. People–and family members–have grown more precious to me. Heaven has grown nearer and dearer.
God has taught me more about my temperament as an introvert, and I have grown to appreciate the way He created me. I’ve not grieved this year as some have through loss of loved ones, though I’ve known many friends who have barely escaped death or who have buried a mother, a father, a grandmother, or precious acquaintance.
But still I weep. God wired me that way. Depression attempts to oppress me, too, because I feel the hurts of others so strongly–your hurts. I hurt for the losses as the requests for prayer come. They flock to my email, through Facebook, through letters, through the news–and so many ways, even if we rarely travel anywhere.
The Work of Prayer
So I pray. And my husband and I pray together. It’s one thing we can do that’s positive. By doing so, I learn to “cast all my burdens on the Lord,” and the burdens of others that can overwhelm me if I let them. But I also try to encourage. Things we can all do, no matter who we are or where we live.
I’ve learned that I will always “wish I could do more,” but I am listening closely to the pressing of God’s Spirit on my heart when He whispers, “Enough.” I will never be enough or do enough, (for my standards) but I don’t have to. Jesus is enough. My offering is the gift of words, and my work is prayer. And I sense God receiving them with open arms and a smile. That’s enough for me this year, and the next. I make the choice to rejoice.
My husband and I have grown even closer, laughed more, cried more, worried less, and prayed more than ever before. We’ve relished the opportunity to give more when we can, as we can–because we’ve all been blessed with so much. We’ve learned to treasure our time together, because none of us know how much time God will give us on this earth.
Fun Things I’ve Learned
A few new “fun” things: learning how to cut my hair and my husband’s hair (Don’t look too closely). I even made a sourdough starter and turned it into a sourdough loaf, pancakes, and biscuits. My garden has grown, even though I’ve mainly been watching, not digging this year. I’ve written a new book; I’ve made some new “virtual” friends.
We’ve learned to laugh about sewer backups, washer leaks, unexpected bills, and repeated technology challenges this year, because we serve a God who loves to meet needs. It’s who He is, and it’s what He loves to do for His children.
Ask the Right Questions
The older I get, I’m finding less reasons for “whys”. Instead, I’m learning to ask God, “How?” and “What?” How can I love You and others more?” “What can I do to help?” What do You want to teach me through all this?”
When we ask the right questions, we might hear answers coming faster than we can absorb. Don’t be afraid to ask the “How” and “What” questions, and then remember to listen.
A very blessed New Year to you–and here’s my New Year’s Prayer for ou.
My New Year’s Prayer for You
As you look back over the past year, do you see patterns that need amending, habits that need rending, and do you find yourself defending your actions and attitudes? Are you longing for something different this year? If you want to move ahead, start over, and experience a year of victory, not defeat, then maybe this New Year’s Prayer will help to inspire you.
Lord Jesus, I come to you in this brand new year with a desire to move forward, not backward. Last year is gone, and with it all the foolish mistakes I made. I’m eager to put the past behind and to press on toward the mark of knowing you, loving you, serving you, and making Your name known in this coming year.
You Gave Everything for Me
I don’t ask for cheap grace, because I know it cost You, Your life. You gave everything for me, so I could have a new beginning—every day of every year. Thank You for Your undeserved favor and unlimited mercy—and Your grace, that keeps on giving. Thank You for making me Your child.
Forgive me for ignoring Your voice at times, for pursuing my own pleasures, and for letting my priorities slip. Your promise is like gold to me: Your offer of forgiveness, Your unfailing compassion, and Your new mercies daily.
A New Year’s Prayer for A New Commitment
I need You, Lord. Without You, I can’t meet the heavy demands of life or the unrelenting pressures that I’ll face this coming year. I am making a new commitment today—not a New Year’s resolution—but a new desire to place You where You always belong, first place in my life.
Make the “I will’s” of Scripture become my affirmations: “I will trust You; I will praise You; I will follow You.” I will replace fear with faith, knowing You are always with me. And with You on my side, it will be a victorious New Year.
My Life Is Yours
I lay down my broken armor, my rusty tools, my self-defenses, and every excuse I’ve used for not living victoriously. Purge my bad habits; free me from wrong expectations; and fill my heart, soul, and mind with praiseworthy thoughts and actions. I want to exchange my past disappointments for Your divine appointments this year.
My life is Yours; my relationships belong to You; everything I have is Yours, Jesus. Set my feet on the right path this year, and grant wisdom so I can make right choices that will honor You. Let me see others like You see them, as precious ones You created. Renew the gifts and abilities You’ve so generously given me so I can bless others as You’ve blessed me.
In You, I am Complete
I realize my desire for perfection is misplaced. My relationship with You doesn’t depend on my performance, but upon Your presence in my life. I will make mistakes. But I don’t have to be perfect, because You’ve already made me acceptable in Your sight because of Your death and resurrection.
You covered my past, present, and future. You have given me everything I could possibly need for the coming year. In You, I am complete, Lord. Help me to accept my faults and make Your mirror my own. I want to reflect You daily.
A New Year’s Prayer for Victory
Because of Your love and the price You paid for my sin, I can not only enjoy a victorious new year, but a triumphant life. You put a new “want-to” in my life and in my heart. And as the calendar turns another page in this brand new year, I want more than ever, to live it for You. There is no battle in my life too great with You in my life. There is victory in You, Jesus!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV).
I will sing a new song to you, my God (Psalm 144:9, NIV).
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:19, NIV).
* I wrote this new year’s prayer for Crosswalk a while back, but I felt it was an important one to use again this year. To see this one and other prayers I’ve written, you can check them out on Crosswalk.
For more helps, read my blog 3 Keys to a Happier New Year.
It’s Your Turn
What lessons have you learned in 2020? What is your New Year’s prayer this year? How will you let His light shine in you?I’d love to hear from you anytime. You can always write me through my contact page. Just fill out the basic name and address info, and then the e-mail will come to me. Your name or info is not shared with anyone.
Share This Post with Others
Using the share buttons here or from my Facebook profile page, feel free to share about my website or this blog post with others in your social media circles so we can work together in encouraging others toward intimacy with God. If you haven’t signed up for my weekly posts and newsletter updates, I hope you’ll do so soon. I think you’ll enjoy the complimentary ebook that you’ll receive when you sign up. You can also follow me on Goodreads, and if you are visual, like me, you can join me and follow my boards on Pinterest.