January 1, 2013

No More New Year’s Resolutions! Instead Choose a New Year’s Prayer

Welcome to LIVING TRUTH! Oh, how I have prayed for each one of you who stops and visits today!!

Over the last few years as I have moved from making New Year’s Resolutions to writing New Year’s Prayers, God has shown up SO BIG in my life. A few years ago, I asked permission to publish my New Year’s Prayer as an Encouragement for Today Devotion, unsure if the editors would say “yes,” and unsure if it would mean anything at all to another woman.  They said “yes.”

The responses caught me very much by surprise. Precious notes and stories flooded my in-box as women shared how the prayer touched their hearts and inspired them to do the same. I am so grateful. Why? Because the Lord used what He taught me to teach others. As a Bible teacher, that is the greatest joy in my life!!

Friends, God knows that the first day of each new year carries with it a myriad of emotions that often lead to promises and resolutions. Some commit to lose weight. Some commit to exercise more. Some desire a more disciplined walk with the Lord. And some want to be better wives and mothers. We all want God’s highest and best for the new year.

But God knows too that these promises and resolutions are often grounded not in His Word but in our flesh. We focus on the end result and not on the process. There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight and exercise to feel better about yourself. It is a wonderful goal to be a “better” wife and mother. It is admirable to commit to daily Bible reading and quiet time with the Lord. But we must beware of making these things a daily duty we check off.

Committing to a New Year’s Resolution will not bring profound lasting life change. Committing your heart to God…studying, learning, and praying God’s Word…that is what will bring eternal, lasting life transformation.

I invite you join me this year in writing a New Year’s Prayer. Below find my prayer for us.

Father in heaven, thank You that You are All Authority in heaven and on earth. Thank You that You led each woman here today. You know her every need, her deepest desires, and her hurting places. Lord, as she seeks to know You more, would You open the eyes of heart to see the wonderful things in Your law?

Father, we confess that so often we live lives that do not honor You. Our actions and our Words seem so far from You. But, we do want to live lives that please You, so we ask today for You to soften our hearts to receive what Your sweet Spirit has to speak to us. Give us a hunger and a thirst for Your Word. As You reveal it to us, help us through the power of Your Holy Spirit to listen and obey. You tell us Your Word is living and active, like a double-edged sword. Father, we invite You to use it now to penetrate the deepest recesses in our hearts.

Give us hearts that desire You and Your Truth above all else. Your Word tells us that if we lack Wisdom, we need only ask and You will give it liberally. So we ask today for a fresh filling of Your Wisdom. Give us the strength to walk in Your Truth, no matter the cost. Guard our hearts and keep our eyes fixed on You. Grow in us the fruit of Your Spirit…those things that will make us more like You. As we study Your Word, fill us and saturate us with more of You!!

Today, Father, we surrender our past and look to the future, thanking You that we are a new creation. No matter what we have done before today, we have Hope in You to take all things and use them for Your good and the good of Your Kingdom. Thank You that You are Faithful. Thank You that we can make our plans but You will direct our steps. We trust in You to do a mighty work in us and through us this year and carry it on to completion until the day we step into eternity with You.

Lord, we love You. Make our lives a living testimony of Your Love. We ask this in the powerful and mighty name of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord who will do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine. AMEN.

To begin writing your prayer, examine your New Year’s Resolution and prayerfully ask the Lord for to reveal the heart issue behind your resolution. Ask Him to lead you through His Word to verses that directly address what you hear.

Listen to God’s promise in Hebrews 4:12:

For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. it exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Perhaps you want to lose weight because you feel unworthy of love due to your past, your present, or choices you have made. Find verses on God’s great love for you…His promises that He created you just the way you are because He has a great plan and purpose for your life that only you can accomplish.

Perhaps you want to spend more time in the Word but you are too busy…you just can’t fit it into your day. Find Scriptures on God’s wisdom and priorities. Proverbs is a great place to start.

Perhaps you want to be a better wife and mother, but you have a temper that flares or a tongue that cuts like a knife. Open God’s Word and find verses addressing speech, self-control, and patience. Proverbs and James are great places to start.

Once you have found your verses, take each one and personalize it. Then, put them together, along with your own heart’s cry, to make a prayer. Copy your prayer into a journal or notebook. Write your verses on pieces of paper and put them where you can see them throughout the day. Memorize them.

Listen to God’s promise in Isaiah 55:10-11:

The rain and snow come down from the heavens
and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
producing seed for the farmer
and bread for the hungry.
It is the same with My Word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it
.

Friends, Isaiah 55 is God’s PROMISE to you. If you pray His Word over your life…over your heart…over your home…He will be FAITHFUL to prosper it and make it bear fruit.

I would love to hear your heart, your prayers, and your verses. Please take time to leave me a comment. As thanks for taking time to stop by today.

Praying you have a blessed and joyous New Year,

Comments

  1. Well I wrote a prayer….a simple prayer, probably not as well worded as yours….but it fits where I am right now. Mine is below:

    I ask you Father, to make this a year of truly living and enjoying life, as you would have me to enjoy it. I also ask that you would bring me closer to you. Help me to soak in your word and make it change my life. Help me to leave the comfort zones and really live for you.

    Also I have picked One Word for 2013: Submission. I have blogged about it on my blog a few times. But all the small things I want to accomplish is nothing compared to the growth in Christ I hope to experience.

    • What a beautiful prayer! Thank you for sharing. I especially love how you said “Help me to leave the comfort zones and really live for you.” What a bold prayer. I pray the Lord takes you to challenging, deeper places in your faith in response to this prayer!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  2. Wendy, thanks so much. Love this.

    My prayer is based on Romans 12 with verse 1-2 from The Message with Sacrifice being my one word for 2013: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

    Praying that God will be honored and glorified in my everyday life in 2013!

    Love you and so thankful and blessed to have you in my life!

    • Donna, this translation of Romans 12 is my very favorite out of all the translations. These words express what God desires for us in practical, understandable, easy to follow instructions. This is a wonderful prayer for 2013!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

    • Wow! I have no earthy words to describe how deeply this touched my heart. Thanks you from the depths of my soul for sharing this.

  3. AMEN!!! (to your beautiful prayer) and
    OH WENDY… how I LOVE THIS! How very you and so personal and such a blessing for 2013! happy New Year!

    I’m sure you know about MY ONE WORD (since Rachel Olsen is part of that) like last year was LIGHT for me and the two verses I had were John 8:12 and Matthew 5:14-16. Back around the “fire”, God impressed upon me PEACE for my one word as I share today on my blog. And my first verse (cuz there will be a year’s worth) is: John 14:27.

    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (NIV)
    But now I need to do as you have suggested.

    This is so unique! and so you and so me… I <3 heart YOU!

    Plus I read Isaiah 55 (among others this morning and that so spoke to me)!!!

    So I guess I need to wait on the Lord to birth forth or burst forth more!

    Father, Thank You for the wonderful insights that Wendy has shared here on not just resolution or a Word but turning that Word back to You in prayer! Thank You for her unique wisdom from You and how she shares Your Truth!

    I seek Peace this year. But not the peace of the world. I want to believe that any peace I have is from You. Yet more than that I want others to see Your peace in me and by the way I live my life and exude Your Peace, no matter what. I want the core of Your Peace that I sense from within to be seen in the outer me.

    Thank You Jesus for leaving us Your peace! Thank You for sending us Your Peace! I will not let my heart be troubled or upset by whatever happens around me. May my character be formed by You to be like Yours, more calmness, more peaceful! May my daily image shake off the old me, the tired, angry or weary me,
    and may I put on the "new" You, a new robe of Your righteousness and gentleness. I will not be afraid. Though the enemy comes against me, I will seek my strength and put on my full armor, knowing that You go before me, with me, beside me and behind me, defeating any harm with Your Living Truth. I give You praise because the victory is already won even when I don't see it, or feel it, may
    my faith rise up and believe it is so! Because You said it. Because You won it! Because You have defeated every lie and every circumstance that the enemy seeks to do me harm, You will turn it around for good. Praise You, Lord! Greater is He that is in me, than he that is of this world. Rise up, Holy Spirit and have Your way in me. May I see more fruit of You and less of the old nature in me. May the harvest be greater and bring You and Your kingdom much glory. I give You all the honor, praise and glory now and forever …

    • Thank you for sharing your powerful prayer, Peggy. Such a great model for all of us.

      I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but for some reason I could not….user error I’m sure. :)

      Your post, though long, is full of such rich information and truths. Your heart overflows onto to paper in such a beautiful way. You are a true blessing!

      W

      • Comments may have been closed! Many are … unless there were comments.
        Yes, I have been writing at great length lately. :0( sorry that you went to one of the too long ones without success but you know I receive your love anyways and thank you for stopping over.

    • Amen

  4. Sheila Payne says:

    I love your prayers Wendy. That is what I want to be able to do in 2013–pray. My prayers are so weak. I can feel it when I pray. I am going to ask God to help me grow a powerful prayer life in this year. When I read your prayers it is like I feel peace wash right over me. I know I am in the throne room of God because Wendy is praying. I look forward to more time in prayer and more studies with you as our teacher in the coming year.

    • Sheila, I am certain your prayers are not weak. I pray for you that the Lord will build your confidence this year…your confidence in reading, studying, and praying His Word. You have studied his word for a long time and need to walk confidently in all he has taught you!!! So thankful to walk alongside you and study His Word together.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  5. Wendy, I recall you sharing this a few years back and this AM it was one of the first things I did! But tonight God has brought one more verse and area I am adding…for the third time in the last 12 hours He’s brought Psalm 37:4 in front of my eyes. Tonight I paused and asked “Why?”…it’s all about contentment – O Lord thank you for reminding me my heart’s desires won’t be found by making grand plans or striving so hard, but what I must do is delight in YOU. Father I pray You would continue to increase my desire to know You in the year to come, which also leads me to ask You for even a bigger hunger for your Word. Help me hunger and thirst for you, may my food be to do your will. In a year I pray I will look back at 2013 and see it was a delight all because I delighted in You, my Lord and Savior. In the precious and powerful name of Jesus, Amen

    As I visit your site I’m reminded of a new Christmas tradition we started; one God put on my heart thru the “So that” study. “Scripture for your Stocking” – I spent time praying about each child and my husband thru Dec. and asking for a specific verse for them in 2013. God led me to Proverbs, specifically the chapter that corresponded with each one’s birthday, I am committed to praying it over them in the year to come. I’ll admit my little people weren’t real excited, but I’m looking forward to seeing how God will use it. So thanks Wendy for playing a part in this!

    Praying for you as a new year unfolds as well!! Looking forward to hosting you in Iowa next Aug. and already praising God for what will take place!!

    • Jill, what a WONDERFUL idea. I just love it!!! Thank you for sharing it. And because you shared it with them, I believe with all my heart God will do a mighty work in their hearts and lives as they experience you praying His Word over them for a year. I pray He will make Himself very real to them this year as they watch you live out praying His living and active Word over them.

      Can’t wait to come visit!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  6. Wendy –
    I see resolutions as a set-up for failure. So I don’t make them. This is the third year I am picking ‘one word’ and a scripture to meditate throughout the year. Two years ago was hope. Last year was trust. This year is joy. Nehemiah 8:10 “…the joy of the Lord is my strength.”

    Sometimes my prayers are written – maybe they need to be more often. The prayer you wrote was beautiful. I am still awkward and sometimes uncertain of stringing scripture into a prayer. A silly fear, I know but one that still holds me all too often.

    Thank you for sharing your heart.
    Chris

    • Chris, several of you have referred to “one words.” What a great idea! I have never done that before. And “JOY” is such a rich word to focus on for a year. I pray He will reveal Joy to you in the deepest parts of your soul so that you can experience Him in fresh new ways in 2013!!!

      And no need to fret about feeling awkward writing prayers. I felt that way for years and years. Finally, as I practiced more and more, it got not only easier but also comfortable. Now I love to do it!!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

      • Wendy and anyone else curious or interested:

        Here’s the link to Rachel Olsen and Mike Ashcraft’s MY ONE WORD and BLOG an another community that shares together as One Word 365 and MY PAGE on mine.

        Chris K, I so agree.

        Heavenly Father, Chris has gone from Hope to Trust to now Joy! I ask that You meet her right where she is and then pour an extra portion of Joy, more and more all year into her life. May the strength of the Lord be Chris’ Joy from the time she wakes up until she lays her head to rest. Help her to be more confident and willing to share her prayers written and let go of any awkward or uncertainty because Chris knows that there is power in Your Word. Chris does not have a spirit of fear but one of power, love and a sound mind according to 2 Timothy 1:7 and I thank You that in 2013, Chris will become more comfortable by practicing and just doing it in Jesus precious Name…

  7. Wendy, thank you for that beautiful prayer and happy new year to you! I’ve been reviewing all my notes from “So that” and felt the need to address my prayer life so I actually sat down and wrote a 2013 prayer just yesterday, picking a specific verse or verses for each person in my family – ones for health, wisdom and gaining a desire for a relationship with Jesus. I also then picked two things I want to focus on personally and found corresponding scripture as well. Now to commit them to memory! I struggle with focus in my bible studies, taking in alot of great information in but not necessarily staying persistent and consistent so I’m hoping that having this for every day will help.

    I’ve also been using the “Prayer Notes” app on the iPad and found that very helpful.
    God bless,
    Lori

  8. A very great devotional to share at a time when we all have high hopes of self improvement, Wendy. God bless all our efforts!
    This year my goal is “more of HIm and less of me”. I don’t expect daily strides according to my reading or ‘doing’, but rather I leave my gain/victories to the Holy Spirit, in whatever battles I’ll be facing this year. I look forward to December already so I can look back and see less of me and more of Him in who I am.
    ~blessings~

  9. Amen. Thank you, Wendy.
    My verse this year is Galations 5:13- You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather, serve one another humbly in love.

  10. Oops, Galatians. :)
    Love, to all

  11. Kimberli Maddox says:

    I felt like you were speaking to God for me. Your prayer was the feelings I have in my innermost being. Thanks so much and God Bless you.

  12. Here is the verse the Lord gave me this morning during my devotions: “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.” Psalm 105:4 Then I looked the verse up in the NLT version, it says, “Search for the Lord and for His strength, and keep on searching.” So, my desire and prayer is to keep on searching, continually, for all the Lord has for me and my family in 2013. His ways, not mine!

    Blessings to you in 2013!

    Karen

  13. Here goes… Recently I had an amazing experience where I was led to 1 and 2 Thessalonians. As I read it felt like a puzzle being put together. God connected several “dots” in my life and left me feeling so encouraged. Based off of those verses that jumped off the page:

    LORD, you are faithful and true. Faithful. True. You are worth my energy, my time, my every resource. Forgive me for the many times I have lived for man’s praises and not Your own. I ask for your grace and guidance to live a life of “work produced by faith, labor prompted by love, and endurance inspired by hope in my Lord Jesus Christ (1 Th 1:3)”.

    Would you help me to change my motivation and responses to what pleases You? I want to boldly live out 1 Th 2:4-6: speaking as one approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, not trying to please people but YOU, never using flattery or putting on a mask to cover up and win the praises of others.

    Out of Your strength in me, guide me in 2013 to live a quiet life, minding my own business and working where You have placed me (1 Th 4:11).

  14. Wendy,
    Each year I look forward to your New Years Prayer…
    I lead a Ladies Bible Study and was wondering if I can pass your prayer on to them.
    Thank you for your faithfulness to the Word of God, I am so blessed by the Bible Studies
    that you have taught. They have caused me to grow deeper in love with God and His word.

  15. Thanks for the prayer!! It really hit home with me!

  16. Terri in Stockholm says:

    I am so glad I stopped by your site today! Thanks to Wendy and all who shared their prayers — mine felt too personal to share here, but let’s just say God wants me to scheme, dream and worry less and live more. (and more in Him!)

  17. Judy Redden says:

    As I am reading over all these comments and your prayer I am also making my New Years list so I can have my New Years Prayer. I am hesitant to write this because I know it is a commitment to The Lord. I don’t want to be a disappointment. All year long my husband and I have been saying we will find a church home. We have visited but have not made commitments. I have put this at the top of my prayer. I am convinced that if we do not get settled somewhere and commit to tithing our financial situation will not get better. So as I write this I ask prayers from all that I will go in the right direction.
    God Bless
    Judy

    • Judy… wow. I just finished writing a devo which revolves around my family finding a home church. I will pray for you the same way I prayed for us…

      Abba, please show Judy and her husband a stream in the wasteland. Bless them with a church home. They have made up their mind, and You will direct their steps. Give them a unified mind and give them the courage to take a turn in the road to follow Your will. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!

      And on a side note, my husband and I have tithed to organizations as well as churches. So maybe you can be tithing now even though you’re not sure on your home church? Just a thought… Hugs to you Judy!

  18. Wendy… ever since God blessed me with the gift of YOU, I’ve been writing New Year’s prayers. Here is a couple paragraphs of my prayer for my marriage in 2013. I thank God for the gift of YOU sweet friend!

    Papa God,
    In 2013, bless our marriage like never before! Help us to live out the two great commandments: loving You with all our hearts, souls and minds, and loving each other as we love ourselves. Bless us with a foundation of love which is long suffering, kind, selfless, not easily angered… a love which rejoices in the truth… a love which believes in the best of one another… a love which has deep rooted hope… a love which will never end.

    You call me to submit to Ryan with respect. When I do that, I will honor Ryan, our marriage, and Jesus. When I am submissive, it will be my quiet spirit that will always lead Ryan to You… This is the wife I desire to be! You made me laugh with the truth that it’s better to live on the rooftop or in the wilderness than to live with an angry woman. But there have been many days and nights when I know I’ve been that woman. Abba, I desire to be the grace of my home and the grace of my marriage. I want to be the Proverbs 18:22 wife… I want Ryan to be able to say he found a good thing and he has obtained favor from You Lord.

    Thank You for my marriage. I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

    I am now working on my prayers for my daughter, my work and the other roles I have in life. I TREASURE you Wendy Blight! With love… xoxo

    • Love, love, love this, Noelle. Thank you for sharing your prayers with us!!! How it blesses me to see how God is growing and deepening your prayer life. And what is most special is that He has blessed me to be the beneficiary of many of those prayers. :)

      Love you,

      me

  19. Trisch Debus says:

    Dear Wendy,
    What encouragement I received today from reading this. My ” resolution ” for this year is to work on my personal relationship with my Father. I know how very much He loves me and wants nothing but the best for me. I talk to Him out load each and every day. I want to learn how to pray better. I have always prayed, but mostly for others and not myself. To me, that is one of the hardest things to do. It’s almost like I feel selfish for asking for things for myself, but I am trying. I want to know His word better so I am trying to do sort of studying in the Bible everyday. I just don’t know where or how to start. But for today and whenever I come here to see what you have posted, I will look up the passages that you suggest and start there. I have a notebook now where I can write down my studies and how I interpreted them. I can write down my thoughts and will work on writing down some prayers to. My heart, eyes & ears are open to receive God’s words thru the Holy Spirit.
    So for this year, I think that the word that I will choose is ” educate “. I will concentrate on educating myself in the true way of the Lord and try my best to do as He wants me to. I know that with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and you Wendy, by my side every step of the way, I will blossom into the type of person that I know I should and can be.
    So thank you Wendy ! Thank you for helping me to step off into the right direction in this new year and may it be filled with many of God’s blessings !
    Sincerely,
    Trisch

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