Many people write down New Year’s resolutions. Another popular commemoration of the turn of the calendar involves choosing one specific word to focus on throughout the next twelve months (such as “abundance,” “hospitality,” “courage,” etc.). Normally, these resolutions and words revolve around making better choices and being purposeful with the way we spend our time. However, it’s not always easy to maintain our momentum as life gets chaotic and disrupts our carefully-curated plans. So, what’s the answer? Prayer.
Frequent prayer is already a significant and impactful New Year’s resolution in and of itself (1 Thessalonians 5:17 does instruct us to “pray without ceasing,” after all). Prayer brings us closer to God and forces us to become comfortable with fully relying on Him and not being in control ourselves—instead, having peace in His omnipotence. This intentional spiritual habit is also transformative by its very nature. In the book Liturgy of the Ordinary, Tish Harrison Warren writes, “The kind of spiritual life and disciplines needed to sustain the Christian life are quiet, repetitive, and ordinary. I often want to skip the boring, daily stuff to get to the thrill of an edgy faith. But it’s in the dailiness of the Christian faith—the making the bed, the doing the dishes, the praying for our enemies, the reading the Bible, the quiet, the small—that God’s transformation takes root and grows.”
Praying provides moments to appreciate our blessings, as well as consider our aspirations. Our time in prayer also encourages us to reflect on where we have been immoral and wrong, feel God’s grace and mercy, and ask for His guidance in every step of our days/lives. And what could be better than prioritizing this conscious practice as we start the new year? These 30 New Year’s prayers are sure to inspire you and help grow your faith in 2021!
Prayer helps you find direction in your life
When you privately pray to God, you can work through serious decisions in your life. God always listens and often provides the specific answers and guidance we seek. Even when He chooses not to answer immediately or in the way we might have hoped, prayer itself is a way to find peace.
Prayer gives you strength to avoid temptation
Jesus counseled His disciples, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation” (Matthew 26:41). Through prayer, we can overcome temptations to sin. Pray for God’s help to keep you from making wrong choices. This will give you the strength to do what is right.
Prayer aligns your will with God’s will
The purpose of prayer is not necessarily to tell God how you want Him to do things. Rather, it’s to better understand Him and His ways, bringing yourself into alignment with His will. As C.S. Lewis is often attributed as saying, prayer “doesn’t change God. It changes me.”
Prayer and regular fasting can help you accept God’s will
Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights before He began His ministry on the earth. As He did this, He communed with His Father in Heaven in prayer. Likewise, if you pray and fast, you can feel closer to God and better understand the things He wants you to do.
“Dear God, Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for all that you’ve allowed into our lives this past year, the good along with the hard things, which have reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every single day. We pray for your Spirit to lead us each step of this New Year. We ask that you will guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire you above all else. We ask that you will open doors needing to be opened and close the ones needing to be shut tight. We ask that you would help us release our grip on the things to which you’ve said ‘no,’ ‘not yet,’ or ‘wait.’ We ask for help to pursue you first, above every dream and desire you’ve put within our hearts.” — Debbie McDaniel
“Lord, thank You for the people You have divinely placed in my life who speak holy truth, love and words of wisdom. Give me a heart of discernment to know when You are using someone to speak instruction into my heart and my circumstances, and give me the strength and courage to follow through with that advice, even when it’s hard. Fill me with peace in knowing that even if I take a wrong turn, Your purpose will prevail. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” — Tracie Miles
“Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.” — St. Augustine of Hippo
“Lord, help me not to lean on my own understanding but in everything acknowledge You so that You can direct my words, thoughts, and actions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” — Sharon Glasgow
“Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it. I am weak in the faith; strengthen me. I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor. I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether. O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in you. In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have. I am poor; you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor. I am a sinner; you are upright. With me, there is an abundance of sin; in you is the fullness of righteousness. Therefore I will remain with you, of whom I can receive, but to whom I may not give. Amen.” — Martin Luther
“Today’s a new day, a chance for a new start. Yesterday is gone and with it any regrets, mistakes, or failures I may have experienced. It’s a good day to be glad and give thanks, and I do, Lord. Thank you for today, a new opportunity to love, give, and be all that you want me to be.” — Rebecca Barlow Jordan
“Father, I long for You more than gold or silver. Nothing else could ever satisfy my soul. Reorient my affections toward You and what You choose to provide. May my nearness to God be my Chief Good. Show me the beauty of Your holiness so that in worshiping Your loveliness, I exalt You. Empower me to enjoy You so that the universe marvels in amazement at how fulfilling You are. Silence all the clamoring of false lovers of the soul who would seek my attention. I want to worship You with everything I am, with undivided adoration. Give me a heart for You. A constant longing after you. Incite within me a deep passion for You.” — Bob Kelleman
“When evil darkens our world, give us light. When despair numbs our souls, give us hope. When we stumble and fall, lift us up. When doubts assail us, give us faith. When nothing seems sure, give us trust. When ideals fade, give us vision. When we lose our way, be our guide! That we may find serenity in Your presence, and purpose in doing Your will.” — John D. Rayner
“O heavenly Father, in whom we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray thee so to guide and govern us by thy Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget thee, but may remember that we are ever walking in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” — The Book of Common Prayer
“I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you,
Praised for you or criticized for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service.
And now, O wonderful and holy God,
Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,
you are mine, and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it also be made in heaven. Amen.” — John Wesley
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console,
not so much to be understood as to understand,
not so much to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying that we awake to eternal life.” — St. Francis of Assisi
“Thou Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being, we humbly confess that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ. We often give in order to receive. We love our friends and hate our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive but dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you. But thou, O God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be. Give us the intelligence to know your will. Give us the courage to do your will. Give us the devotion to love your will. In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
“Almighty God, our heavenly Father:
We have sinned against you,
through our own fault,
in thought, and word, and deed,
and in what we have left undone.
For the sake of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ,
forgive us all our offenses;
and grant that we may serve you
in newness of life,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.” —The Book of Common Prayer
“You, my Lord, are the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. You will not grow tired or weary, and Your understanding no one can fathom. You give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but when I hope in You, O, Lord, my strength will be renewed. I will soar on wings like eagles; I will run and not grow weary, I will walk and not faint. (Isa. 40:28–31).” — Beth Moore
“Lord, I’m here today with open hands and an open heart, ready to depend on you to help me through the day and all it will bring my way. Help me be like Nehemiah, help me come to you for guidance, strength, provision and protection. As I face tough choices and hard situations, help me remember my belovedness, help me remember that I am Your child and Your representative to the world around me. Help me live today in a way that brings honor to Your holy name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” — Charles Stanley
That I enter a glorious new year
To be filled with prayer and praise.
With service to God and mankind,
With inspired creative activity.
That God’s presence goes with me
Wherever I shall go this year,
By train or Ires or car or boat,
Slowly paced on foot, or high in air.
His love is shining in my body,
His wisdom guides my mind,
His peace fills me with poise,
His strength is ever at my call.
Oh I believe
That this is God’s new year.” — Elizabeth Searle Lamb
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.” — Thomas Merton
“Father God, I ask You to lead me when I’m blinded by ways I have not known, along unfamiliar paths please guide me; Lord, turn the darkness into light before me and make the rough places smooth. I pray these are the things You will do; I know You will not forsake me. (Isa. 42:16).” — Beth Moore
“Help me to forgive myself.” — Lisa Whittle
“Almighty God, who hast created us in thine own image:
Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make
no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use
our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of
justice in our communities and among the nations, to the
glory of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who
liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever. Amen.” —The Book of Common Prayer
“Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus. Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.” — Mother Theresa
“As the dawn breaks on a new year, let us give thanks for all we hold dear: our health, our family and our friends. Let us release our grudges, our anger and our pains, for these are nothing but binding chains. Let us live each day in the most loving ways, the God-conscious way. Let us serve all who are in need, regardless of race, color or creed. Let us keep God of our own understanding in our hearts and to chant God’s name each day. Let us lead the world from darkness to light, from falsehood to truth and from wrong to right. Let us remember that we are all one, embracing all, discriminating against none. May your year be filled with peace, prosperity and love. May God’s blessings shower upon you and bestow upon each of you a bright, healthy and peaceful new year.” —Rev. Marcy Sheremetta
“Dear Lord God, awaken us, that we may be ready when your dear Son comes, that we may receive him with joy and serve you with pure hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” — Martin Luther
“Govern everything by your wisdom, O Lord, so that my soul may always be serving you in the way you will and not as I choose. Let me die to myself so that I may serve you; let me live to you who are life itself. Amen.” — St. Teresa of Ávila
“Father, I abandon myself into your hands. Do with me whatever you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you. I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures. Into your hands I commend my spirit. I offer it to you with all the love that is in my heart. For I love you, Lord, and so want to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father. Amen.” — Charles de Foucauld
“Help me raise my gaze.” — Sharon Hodde Miller
“God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.” — Reinhold Niebuhr
“Lead us, O God, from the sight of the lovely things of the world
To the thought of thee their Creator;
And grant that delighting in the beautiful things of thy creation,
we may delight in thee, the first author of beauty
and the Sovereign Lord of all thy works, blessed for evermore.” — St. Augustine of Hippo
When the old year dies,
And the new comes bounding in,
I draw strength from knowing
That in the next twelve months
The snows will go
The buds will burst
The heat will rise
The leaves will fly,
That all these things will happen
According to Your schedule
And in Your time;
That there is order in Your universe,
And that I am part of it.” — Van Varner
“Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our debts and we forgive
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil,
for thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory, forever. Amen.” — Matthew 6:9-13