An 8-Day Prayer Challenge for a New Year

It’s that time of the year when we make resolutions, promises, goals, and dreams. When it comes to spiritual disciplines, one of those that I always seem to make every year centers around prayer. I want to pray longer, deeper, and with more intentionality. I want to pray for others better and set aside real time to pray! The problem? I sometimes don’t even know where to begin. 

How to Get Started

The first thing we do when we get started with prayer is to consciously make it a priority. Are you going to make prayer a priority? The want-to needs to start with you. Decide each day to make prayer a priority. We can ask the Lord to give us the desire to pray. We can make sure to read scripture each day to pray. Putting prayer on our calendar also shows that we want to prioritize it. 

Today I’d love to offer you eight prayers you can pray for the new year. Pray one of these for eight days and see what God can do! These prayers are not designed to just be said aloud and then you're finished. Use the scriptures to meditate on God’s Word, focusing on the truth you find there. Then use the prayers as starters, ending with your own thoughts about each topic! You can join others participating in this prayer challenge here.

Discover how the power of prayer can transform any life into one that looks to God for comfort and joy. Here are eight days of prayers to pray for the new year:

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/TinnakornJorruang 

1. A Prayer for Hope

Dear Heavenly Father, I wish I could say my heart was filled with hope as I entered this new year. But life has worn me down. The previous year had more heartache than I imagined possible. More than anything, I would love to say I hope this year is better. But I want more than wishful thinking. I’m not after vain worldly hope for this coming year. I desire hope that comes from you. All your works, both seen and unseen, are done in faithfulness and love. I pray that I focus my heart and my mind on the hope that is you. A hope that does not disappoint but instead gives way to faith. I trust with assurance that you will be with me, guiding me, leading me, and loving me. This is my hope for this year. My hope is not in what I can see, but in the God who sees me. Amen. 

Verses on Hope:
Psalm 42:11
Hebrews 11:1
Micah 7:7

2. A Prayer for Peace

Dear God, you have promised peace in this life, but this past year has been anything but peaceful. The anxiety of what I’ve been through keeps me up at night. I feel my hands shake as I think about what will happen in the future. There are things I cannot control, which is what my mind is so tempted to dwell upon. Help me change the focus of my mind. Help me keep my mind “stayed on” you. Keep me focused on the truth of who you are each day, each moment. You are holy. You are good. You are loving. You hear me when I pray. I can have peace when my mind is resting in the truth of You. Lead me down this road with peace in my heart. I don’t know what will happen this year, but you can give me peace. A peace that passes understanding because it can only come from you. Give me perfect peace today. Amen. 

Verses on Peace:
John 16:33
Philippians 4:6-7
Psalm 4:8

3. A Prayer for Goodness

3. A Prayer for Goodness

Dear Jesus, my Shepherd, guide me down this new path of a new year into the goodness you have prepared for me. Does goodness really follow me all the days of my life? Help me start out the new year knowing that good awaits me. Even on the days when goodness feels very far away - you are still good. Goodness is not a feeling but a characteristic of who you are, O Jesus. Even when life is overwhelming and disappointing, your goodness is present. The presence of suffering does not mean the absence of goodness. Let me see the good things in my life even today. The people around me. The basic needs you provide. And most of all, your word. When your word is close to my heart, there is goodness there. Help me see that in the coming year. That you will bring good things, and even when the dark days come, you are still good. Amen. 

Verses on God’s Goodness:
Nahum 1:7
Psalm 27:13
Psalm 25:6-7

4. A Prayer for Joy

Dear God, may this new year be filled with joy. I do not mean happiness. Happiness is fleeting and fickle, and depends upon outside circumstances. You provide joy that is beyond explaining and filled with the glory of who you are. Even with the burdens I carry and the grief that weighs me down - I can find joy. These burdens can be laid at your feet each and every day. I can unload my anxiety and weariness at your feet. In response, you give me joy. Joy that will live right next to sadness. You do not say to me that I must not be sad. Not that everything will be ok, but that even when everything isn’t ok, there is a joy that is there. You see me, and you love me. And I can find joy in serving you and loving you, O Father of Joy. Amen.

Verses on Joy:
Romans 12:12
Psalm 94:19
Psalm 16:11

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Tinnakorn Jorruang 

5. A Prayer for God’s Presence 

Dear God of the present, be near to me today. As this new year dawns, grant me a new way to see. Give me new eyes to see that you are both present in time but also in space. Let me remember that the past is in your hands. You were there and nothing I experienced last year will be wasted at all. Nothing I faced and endured was outside of your sovereign control. Yes, your presence has always been and will always be with me, but today I need you to be near. You said you would be near to the brokenhearted. You said I could draw near because of Jesus’ work on the cross. You have brought me near to you, something I couldn't do on my own. The nearness and presence of you in my life is a gift you will never take away. You promised it in your word, let my heart feel it. Let my mind dwell on this truth today. Amen

Verses on God’s Presence:
Psalm 139:7
Hebrews 10:19
Hebrews 9:24

6. A Prayer for Direction

Dear Heavenly Father, your loving guidance is what I need. I lift up my plans and my dreams for this coming year. Today I feel uncertain and confused. The plans I had made last year didn’t come about as I had wanted. It is tempting to think I shouldn’t even make plans. But you have called me to live a life of service. Lead me today in what you would have me do. Let me not forget that there is work and service to do for you right here and right now. Help me see those around me and see needs you would like me to fill. Help guide my steps as I make decisions this year. Help me to seek to love you and trust in you when I make those decisions. Bring the right people and the right advice my way. Help me pick friends that will lead me closer to you. Send people who will help me make good choices in my life. I pray that I will seek you before each new decision. Amen.

Verses on Finding Direction:
Proverbs 20:24
Psalm 32:8
Proverbs 3:5-6

7. A Prayer for Wisdom

7. A Prayer for Wisdom

Dear Heavenly God of all wisdom, as you guide and lead me this year I ask specifically today for wisdom. Your word says that wisdom comes from above and that you are the author of wisdom. Please grant me the wisdom I need today. Sometimes things come up and I don’t know how to respond. Sometimes I face conversions and I don’t know what to say. Help me know!  As I interact with those around me, help me to speak words of truth and peace. Let my words flow from a heart filled with your wisdom and your love. When decisions need to be made today help me to choose what is best. Please give me generously the wisdom I need to go forward. Guide me to do the things you would have me do. Let all of my wisdom be rooted in your love for me. Help me trust that you will help me know what to do in the coming days, weeks, and months. Amen. 

Verses on Wisdom:
Proverbs 2:6
James 1:5
James 3:13-15

8. A Prayer for Love

Dear God, as I enter this new year I pray you will help my love be genuine. It is easy to be bitter and jealous. It is harder to love others. But when my heart is close to yours I know that your love flows through me. Help me to rest in the truth of your steadfast, never-failing, unending love. When I rest and find my heart safe in your love I am free to love others, even those who have hurt me. I pray this love I give others will be genuine. May I love others from a settled place, full of peace and joy. Help my love to come out in my acts of service. May I reach out to those who need love and give it freely. Show me that you will keep me safe. I am free to love again and I am free to give love within my ability. Give me wisdom on how to love and how to serve those around me. Amen.

Verses on Loving Others:
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Proverbs 3:3-4
1 John 4:16

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