Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

Resolutions for this New Year

  • Peter Beck Assistant Professor of Religion, Charleston Southern University
  • Updated May 03, 2024
Resolutions for this New Year
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Another New Year is upon us. For many of us there have been too many and they come too quickly. As Christians we understand the idea of new beginnings. In salvation God has given us new life and new hope. We know that we don't have to wait for New Year for a second chance to get things right. God's grace is available to us as long as we have breath in our lungs.

However, celebrating the New Year can help us to refocus our efforts, redirect our thoughts, and remedy lingering weaknesses in our lives so that we might live more holy lives. To that end, we make New Year's resolutions.

Many of my spiritual heroes made resolutions of their own.

Jonathan Edwards, the great Puritan preacher, kept a diary. In that diary he wrote 70 resolutions, things that he resolved to do. Many of us would do well to emulate his resolve.

"Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory and to my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now or never so many myriads of ages hence."

Another Puritan, Matthew Henry, had great resolve, as well.

"I do in the beginning of this New Year solemnly make a fresh surrender of myself, my whole self, body, soul, and spirit, to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, my Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, covenanting and promising, not in any strength of my own, for I am very weak, but in the strength of the grace of Jesus Christ, that I will endeavour this year to stand complete in the Will of God."

What resolutions are you going to make this year? Lose weight? Find time? Break habits? Mend fences?

I would like to suggest a few things that we all should be resolved to do in the New Year:

1. Praise God for every new day (Psalms 118:24)
2. Read through the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16)
3. Pray daily for one another and the church (1 Thessalonians 1:17)
4. Share your faith with at least one new person each week (Romans 10:14)

May Matthew Henry's New Year's prayer be ours:

"Lord grant that this year I may be more holy, and walk more closely than ever in all holy conversation; I earnestly desire to be filled with thy holy thoughts, to be carried out in holy affections, determined by holy aims and intentions, and governed in all my words and actions by holy principles. O that a golden thread of holiness may run through the whole web of this year."

3 New Year’s Eve Prayers for Entering the New Year

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray as we are moments away from the new year. No matter what your plans are for me in the next 365 days, I ask that you deliver me from any temptation or sin that may still be lurking in my life. Search me and show me in which areas I lack, so that I may become more like you this year. Help me to forgive others who have wronged me in this past year. Let me forgive them as you have forgiven me. So they may know they too can have second chances, like the one you have given me. Amen.

Jesus, remind me of your strength and power as I enter the new year. This past year I found myself in want of food or at times worried about finances and how I would pay the bills for the week or month. Please help me to recall all the ways you have come through in my past and give me comfort in the fact that we experience many seasons. Not every season ends in a harvest, but you provide for us during times of drought, famine, and need. I ask that you give me and my family our daily bread. And help to open my eyes to others who are in need of help. Allow me to be the hands and feet of Jesus this year and to aid the least of these. So that they may see you and glory you, our Father in heaven. Amen.

Lord, I want to dedicate this next year to you. I know it hasn’t begun yet, but I want it to have a wonderful start. Let your will be done, not mine. I would be lying if I said I haven’t already paved some plans for myself this next year. But if they do not align with your will, I ask that you do not allow them to happen. You know what is best for me. You know me far better than I know even myself. I ask that this be your year. I surrender myself as an empty vessel. Fill me with your joy and love, so that I may outpour it onto others. Amen.

Start the year off right before it even begins. Cover it with prayer and ask that God move in the next year. He will do so, often in a way that you don’t expect.

(Excerpted from "3 New Year’s Eve Prayers for Hope-Filled Blessing in the Upcoming Year" by Hope Bolinger)

Dear Lord, As a new year begins, I look to You for our hope, joy and peace. Give me the courage to do all that You ask of me. Please also make me brave to not do what isn’t from You. Show me how to walk in grace and embrace Your love for me even more. In Jesus' Name, amen. ~ Holly Gerth

Dear Lord, More of You is what I need… more of You and less of me muscling through this life of faith another year. I am weak, but You are strong. That’s why I don’t need more resolve this new year, I simply need more of You. In Jesus' revolutionizing Name, Amen. ~ Wendy Speake 

Father, we love You and thank You that our names are engraved in the palm of Your hand. You love us unconditionally and nothing can ever separate us from Your love. May we know more than ever before how wide and high and deep and long is Your love. And as we live out that love, may our lives be a living testimony of You. We ask this in the powerful and mighty name of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who will do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ever ask or imagine. Amen. ~ Wendy Blight 

Lord, be first in my life--today and always. You truly are the Only One who satisfies, the Only One who will never disappoint, and the Only One who deserves to be the captain of my heart. Thank You for loving me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). May I please Your heart this day with every thought I think, every word I say, and every action I take, showing You – and the world – Who is on the throne of my life. May everything I do today be motivated by my love for You and what You have sacrificed for me.  ~ Cindi McMenamin

Dear Jesus, help me trade my emptiness for expectancy. I invite you to do a fresh work in me this new year. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ~ Alicia Bruxvoort

(Excerpted from "15 Power-filled Prayers for the New Year")

Cover Photo Credit: ©Getty/Cn0ra


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