For many of us, the New Year is a time for setting goals and making resolutions. Especially this year, as we flip the calendar on a new decade, the new year can feel like a fresh start—365 blank pages just waiting to be written. No matter what happened in 2019, we can move forward to 2020 with a renewed sense of purpose and passion for living the life God intended for us and our family.
The New Year can also be a time of looking back on all that God has done for us in the last year. Or for a year like 2020, the last decade. The relationships He has given us or restored, the opportunities He has provided, and the forgiveness He has extended. The way our children have grown and the way we have grown. When we take the time to look back, we can see God’s hand in all of it, even the hard things.
As we reflect on all that has happened in the last year and look forward to all that will happen in 2020, one of the best ways to start our year off right is with an intentional family prayer time together.
5 Prayers for the New Year
Thanksgiving for the Past
Before we pray for God’s hand on our new year, we can thank God for all that He did for us in 2019. As a family, make a list of all of the ways that God has worked in your lives this year, both the ways that He blessed you and ways that He challenged you. Thank God for all of it—the joys and the struggles.
Dear God, Thank You for all of the ways You worked in our lives in 2019. You have blessed us with good things, comforted us in hard times, and challenged us to grow more like Jesus every day. We know that even when we can’t see it or feel it, You are always working. Help us to look for Your hand in our lives every day and be thankful. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1(NLT)
Vision for the Future
Just like many people make New Year’s resolutions, many families set goals for their family at the beginning of every year—anything from saving more money to arguing less to giving and serving more to having a regular family devotion. As a family, decide on a few goals for 2020 and pray for the Lord to help you meet those goals.
Dear God, Give us the strength to work on these goals for our family. If these are not the goals You have for us, give us Your vision for the future of our family. Help us to encourage each other to grow rather than criticize. Lord, change us from the inside out to be more like Jesus every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Put off your old self . . . be made new in the attitude of your minds, and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
Patience with One Another
So many of us seem to have the least patience with those in our families. We spend all day being kind and gracious to everyone else and when we get home, we lose it. Or it may be just because we are around them the most or because our family members really know how to push our buttons. As you enter the new year, pray for your family to have the same patience with each other that God has with you.
Dear God, Thank You so much for Your patience with us when we are not behaving as we should. Please forgive us for our impatience with each other. Fill us with Your love and kindness, so that we can be patient with one another no matter what is going on or how we are feeling. Help us to bear with each other in love and gentleness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Be completely humble and gentle. Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)
Trust in God’s Protection and Provision
In so many ways, the world can seem like a scary place these days. Some of us don’t even feel safe sending our kids to school or to a friend’s house to play. We worry about finances, that we won’t be able to provide for everything our children want or need, or that we aren’t saving enough for retirement. And there is always a chance that one of us will get a sudden and scary diagnosis. Whether it’s physical safety, our family’s health, spiritual warfare, or financial security, we really can’t trust in our own strength to handle everything that may come our way in 2020. We have to rely on God’s protection and provision. As you enter the new year, pray for God’s protection and provision for your family, and pray for you to have faith to trust in Him.
Dear God, Thank You for all the ways You protect our family and provide for us. We know that You are in control and that You have us in the palm of Your hand. Lord, protect us from evil, keep our family safe, both physically and spiritually. Help us to trust in You to provide all that we need and not to worry about the rest. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
Generosity Toward Others
Over and over again in Scripture, God reminds us that we are blessed to be a blessing. We are put on this earth to love God and to love and serve others. Our families exist not just to love each other, but to love and serve the world. As we start the new year, turning your family’s hearts and minds outward to how you can be generous to others will help your family to develop God’s heart for His people and to live as Christ did. As a family, make a list of people you know who are in physical need, people who need Jesus, people who are hurting or scared or alone, and places you can serve others. Pray for those specific people and places and for God to show you how you can serve others every day.
Dear God, Thank You for sending Your Son to earth to serve. Give us a heart like His for Your people. Show us how we can serve others in our community. If anyone is sad or hurting, help us to show them love. If anyone is in physical need, show us how we can help. If anyone needs to know You, give us the words to tell them about You. Fill our hearts with a spirit of generosity and an attitude of service. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command – ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Galatians 5:13-14 (NIV)
There is nothing more important we can do for our families than to pray together. Praying with kids is one of the best ways to instill faith in them that will last a lifetime. No matter what 2020 holds for your family, if you pray together, keeping yourselves centered on God and His will for your family, it could be your best year yet.