I like New Years. I am one of those folks who finds the turning from one Anno Domini to the next invigorating. I like to plan and set goals, and have found each year comes with unique opportunities and challenges. The calendar re-set is helpful to me.
Here’s 5 Reasons to Pray in the New Year
- Establishing priorities: When we pray about the year ahead, we remember what matters most, and what matters less. I find it so easy to get lost in all the things I want to do better, habits I want to change, books I want to read, and activities I want to incorporate into my life. By talking through the year with Jesus, what really matters becomes more clear to me.
- Giving God glory: By praying through the New Year, I am able to consciously and deliberately dedicate the New Year to God’s glory, to tell my Father explicitly that I want him to be honoured in my decisions this year, in the ways that I serve and work and love and act. This is important and powerful not only because it’s true, but also because this declaration then influences how we plan and what we do.
- Asking for the Spirit’s power: Knowing how important our daily lives are, and how significant God’s call is on each one of us, I ask for the Holy Spirit’s power to serve him this year. I think this is a missing piece in much of our New Year’s resolutions and plans–we need God’s Spirit to empower us, each and every day of 2017. Much current cynicism regarding goals and resolutions may be rooted in our attempts to make changes in our own power.
- Keeping oriented to God’s kingdom: In the broadest possible way, praying through the New Year keeps me oriented toward the Kingdom of God and not the kingdom of Tom. I am reminded, forcefully, that 2017 is not about my personal agenda, even through it will involve me in very personal ways. Instead, 2017 is a year to proclaim the presence of God in and to the world he loves, making his name great and demonstrating his kingdom in word and action.
- Submitting my life to Jesus’ leadership: And finally, I am able to submit my days and plans and goals and schedule to Jesus’ leadership. I declare him the leader in my New Year–not the plans I have made or the resolutions I have considered. Jesus is the one who will lead me this year, and that will mean detours and mid-course corrections, interruptions and fresh vision, all along the way.
So I encourage you, in the middle of your New Years resolutions and reflections, to talk through the year with Jesus. Every day is a gift; every year an opportunity. Let’s walk into this year of our Lord with the confidence only children of the Father can fully enjoy.