With a new year come new hopes, plans, and expectations. It’s a time when we reflect on the past year, take stock of our accomplishments and setbacks, and set new goals for the future. Whether we had a great year or a challenging one, how we approach the new year can significantly impact the trajectory of our lives.
So, what are you hoping for this year? You may be committed to a New Year’s resolution, or you might just want this year to be better than last year. There may be something you’re worried about in the coming year, and you’re hoping for the best but expecting the worst.
No matter how you’re approaching this year, we can almost guarantee one thing—this year will surprise you.
Your Path to Confidence This Year
In the coming year, there’ll be moments of unexpected joy, but also some unwanted setbacks. We can try to look ahead and make wise plans, but we can’t predict the future. So how can we find confidence when there’s so much uncertainty? The way forward involves finding confidence in the One who holds the future in His hands.
Set yourself up for a healthy new year.
Want to know how to set yourself up for an unhealthy new year? Make a lot of assumptions.
- Assume everything will go according to plan.
- Assume everything will get worse.
- Assume everyone you know will stay healthy and safe.
- Assume you can’t change.
Assumptions are beliefs based on what we know—or think we know. Today’s hopes and fears, coupled with yesterday’s experiences, influence our assumptions about tomorrow. And these assumptions can set us up for an unhealthy new year. Why? Because assumptions keep us stuck in old mindsets and habits.
This new year will bring new opportunities and relationships. It’ll also bring new challenges to overcome. So let’s identify and trade in our unhealthy assumptions and exchange them for one shared healthy assumption: Assume things will change this year.
Trusting God With the Unexpected
Trust in the Lᴏʀᴅ with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
We can’t know what tomorrow will bring, let alone a new year. But we know God has an ongoing plan, and He’s present with you every day. Ready for the best part? We don’t have to assume He’s present and has a plan. We can know it’s true.
So if I had one encouragement for you this year, it’s from the verse above—don’t lean on your own understanding or assumptions. Instead, lean into God’s love, provision, and presence. Allow Him to lead you through this year.
But how do we start?
The first thing we can do to set ourselves up for a great year is to seek God through prayer every day.
3 Short New Year’s Prayers
Below, you’ll find three short example prayers for the new year.
Help me find my confidence in You.
Do you need hope, courage, and confidence this year? You might be coming out of a tough year and feel worried about the coming year. If so, try starting your prayer time with this example prayer:
Father God, I ask for unwavering confidence in You this year. May I find strength in Your promises, assurance in Your love, and courage to face any challenge I might face. Help me avoid leaning on my own understanding. Instead, help me to trust You every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Help me believe things can change.
Do you feel stuck and wonder if change is even possible? Maybe you’ve tried New Year’s resolutions in the past, but haven’t found success. If that’s you, begin your next prayer time with this example prayer:
My Creator, through you, I believe change is possible. This year, please help me to make meaningful changes that lead me toward You. I know I can’t do it on my own, so help me to rely on you for strength and consistency through the highs and lows. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Help me become more like You.
Not sure what’s next for you? It could be that you’re transitioning into a new stage of life. Or you might be feeling a lack of purpose in your life. If so, there’s good news. God has called all of us to become more like Him every day. So, if you want to take a step toward your purpose this year, then pray this example prayer with confidence:
Jesus, I ask you to use this year to make me more like You. Help me to seek You daily and look for opportunities to serve others generously. Please show me ways to share Your love with people who are far from You. In Your name, Jesus, amen.
A Year Like No Other
What will this year bring? No one knows but God. So let’s take on this new year one day at a time, remembering God’s love, relying on His strength, and looking for ways to become more like Him each day.