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A Prayer for the Year Ahead

  • Debbie McDaniel Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
  • 2017 27 Dec
  • COMMENTS
A Prayer for the Year Ahead

Whether you’ve just walked through the greatest year of your life, or are incredibly glad to see this one finally over, one thing is certain: God excels in making all things new. And although a fresh calendar year can never erase all the struggles or pain you may have faced this past year, God has the power to work through even the hardest of times, bringing renewed purpose, greater strength, and a hope that the world can’t ever offer. 

On the heels of the celebration of the birth of our King, that reminder has the power to carry us right into a fresh, new start. 

He is Immanuel, God with us. 

Still. 

Always. 

And although things and people around us may shift and change, He never changes.

Don't ever doubt, thinking God doesn't know what He's doing, or that He's somehow lost control or forgotten about you. That's a lie straight from the enemy. What He's allowed in our lives, even the most difficult of things, He will use for good somehow.

As much as we can wish it were so, God doesn't always take us around our troubles. Sometimes He leads us straight through; into the darkness, into the fire, into the deep. Or it might seem that we're left stranded in the middle of some wilderness, stuck in a deep pit, and He's forgotten us there.

But He's always faithful to carry us through. We're not meant to stay stuck in the trial or the difficult year. He won't let the hardships define us. For when we belong to Him, He's the only One who has the power to define our days. He breaths life and meaning. He says we're set free, redeemed, and He gives us a future and a hope.

Sometimes within the twists and turns of life, God is wanting to do something "new.” Yet we're still stuck in the "old." It's sometimes hard to let go of what's familiar, and what we know. It seems easier to stay comfortable, status quo, to just keep going with the flow and not mess anything up. But then "new" happens, and often sends us spiraling, on one big long loop.

For those who like change - "new" is mostly exciting.

For those who don't like change - "new" is mostly stressful.

Your family, if you're like most, is probably a mix of those two traits.

But here's what I love about God. He thinks and works outside our own box of thinking. He doesn't always work in the way that we would have chosen for our "new." He sees the big picture. He knows what He's doing. He works behind the scenes of life that unfold every day, in the places where we can't fully see or understand all the why's.

And we can trust that He has our best in mind. He's got our back, and holds our future too. 

Sometimes our “new” comes out of great blessing, fresh opportunities. And sometimes it comes through great pain, huge loss. But it still breathes this truth. You have purpose in it all; you're still here. You're rubbing shoulders everyday with people that you needed to meet in your new season, however hard it may be. 

If you find yourself in an uncertain time right now, facing the year ahead with some worry or fear, take heart, my friend, God is still at work on your behalf. And He has good in store, though you may not be able to see it all yet.

You can rest in His care for you. He knows. He sees. He works in ways we don't always "get," but there's peace in knowing we don't have to try to control it all. We can let go - of the need to figure it all out. 

He is faithful and true. 

You can trust Him.

5 Verses of Hope:

“…Behold, I am making all things new…” (Revelation 21:5).

“…but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13).

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:18-19).

"’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’" (Jeremiah 29:11).

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

A Prayer for the Year Ahead: 

Dear God, 

We thank you that you know our way and you have a plan. We thank you for all this past year has brought, for the struggles as well as the blessings, because we know that you work through all things and will use them for good somehow, and for your glory. We confess our need for you again, for the fresh filling of your Spirit. We ask that you would make all things new, in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives, for this coming year. We pray for your refreshing over us and for your deep peace within.

We ask for your wisdom, for your strength and power to be constantly present in us. We pray you would make us strong and courageous for the road ahead. Give us ability beyond what we feel able, let your gifts flow freely through us, so that you would be honored by our lives, and others would be drawn to you. We ask you to keep our footsteps firm, on solid ground, helping us to be consistent and faithful. Give us supernatural endurance to stay the course, not swerving to the right or to the left, or being too easily distracted by other things that would seek to call us away from a close walk with you.

We ask for your hand to cover us and keep us distanced from the evil intent of the enemy; that you would be a barrier to surround us, that we’d be safe in your hands. We ask that you will be our defense and rear guard, keeping our way clear, removing the obstacles, and covering the pitfalls. Lord, lead us on your level ground. We pray that you would give us discernment and insight beyond our years, to understand your will, hear your voice, and know your ways.

We pray for your Spirit to lead us each step of this New Year. We ask for you to 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 tightly. 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. Keep your words of truth planted firmly within us, help us to keep focused on what is pure and right, and give us the power to be obedient to your word.

We ask for your miraculous provision for every need, we ask for your grace and favor. We pray for your blessings to cover our families. We pray that you would help us to prosper in all you are leading us to do, and bring every plan you have birthed in our hearts to fulfillment. 

Shine your light in us, through us, over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory and purposes. Set your way before us. May all your plans succeed. May we reflect your peace and hope to a world that so desperately needs your presence and healing.

To you be glory and honor this New Year, and forever.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

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