4 Prayers of Hope for the New Year

As we say goodbye (good riddance?!) to 2020, it’s time to turn the page, even a corner.

Posted in , Oct 5, 2020

Prayers for a hopeful New Year

For many of us, 2020 has been a year like no other—so much has been disruptive, stressful, disturbing and even traumatic. It seems as though we’ve been through one disappointment, derailment and disaster after another. We never asked for such a stormy year, but we weathered it. Now we turn a page, a corner. We may even turn over a new leaf. 

So, what should we pray as we say goodbye—perhaps good riddance—to 2020? Here are four suggestions. You can fill in your own petitions and names to tailor these prayers to your life and needs.

1)  Pray to Process the Past
For many of us, these past 12 months came at us so fast that we had no time to think or recover before the next crisis hit. So, it may be wise here, at year’s end, to breathe a bit more deeply and think reflectively. A prayer such as the following may help:

God, clear my mind and help me to process all I’ve been through in 2020. 
Give me wisdom. Enlighten me. 
Help me, especially, to see Your hand in _______.
What were the moments when I drew closer to You? 
When I strayed from You?
When I forgot that You were there, that You are always there? 
What did I learn? What do I still need to learn in order to move on from 2020? 

2)  Pray to Remember…and Forget
There are, of course, many things about this past year that we would like to forget. But let’s not be too hasty. Perhaps a prayer like the following may help make peace with regrets and nurture hope for a fresh start: 

God, this has been a year filled with loss and pain. 
Hold my hand as I grieve the losses and bear the pain, especially _______. 
Hear my prayer as I confess my sins and surrender my regrets, especially _______.
Wipe from my memory the things that aren’t worth carrying into 2021, especially _______.
Help me to hold onto 2020’s lessons, blessings and victories, especially _______.   

3)  Pray to Look Ahead in Newness, Hope, Faith and Love
Many of us saw our plans for the year demolished as 2020 got underway. But that doesn’t mean we can’t create new dreams for 2021:

God, I’m sure You understand my trepidation as I anticipate the new year. So little in 2020 went according to plan.
But those were my plans, I admit, and a new year unfolds before me. 
Let this new year mark the beginning of newness of life for me and mine. 
Let this year dawn in hope and proceed in hope; let the “deferred” hope of 2020 blossom into fruitful fulfillment in 2021 (see Proverbs 13:12). Give me hope especially for _______.   
Let this year deepen and strengthen my faith in You, especially as concerns _______. 
And let 2021 be a year in which Your love is shed abroad in my heart and the hearts of those around me, especially _______.   

4)  Pray to Begin Anew
And with new plans and dreams on the horizon, here’s a prayer to open your heart to receiving God’s love and guidance as you begin to put them in place:

God, let this new year mark a new beginning for me and those I love. 
Grant us, and especially _______, a new sense of Your closeness and care. 
Give new strength and vitality, especially for _______.   
Send a new level of hopeful trust to me, a new sense of your closeness and care, especially when _______. 
Fill 2021 with new love, new joy and new peace;
with new outpourings of patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness;
with new infillings of gentleness and self-control (see Galatians 5:22). 
Let this coming year be ruled by whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise (see Philippians 4:8).

Let those prayers be only a starting point for the end of 2020 and the year to come. Pray that 365 days from now, you’ll look back with praise and thanksgiving on all of the ways God answered, even beyond what you thought to ask (see Ephesians 3:20).

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