Prayer for a New Year

by Katie Smylie

December 31, 2020


As we sit on the precipice of a new year, it’s okay to admit that we have hopes for something new to emerge. It feels a bit like we are insecurely staring at the calendar as it flips. What would we say if we could look 2021 in the eye and make it answer a few questions to satisfy our curiosity?

Will you be different? 
Will you hurt us? 
What good will you bring?

We can chat with our calendars, of course, but it’s really God who has the answers. Even when the words we want to ask are more like groans there is no language for. As we move away from what was and lean into what will be, I offer a prayer for you and for this new year.

Oh Lord, you are very great. 

You are great when the news is bad and when we don’t understand what to do next. You are great as we contemplate all the unknowns of this next year. As we walk into a room and forget why we were there—as we come face to face with our limitations and failures, you are great. You are great in the healthy places, in the places of growth and renewal. Your greatness is never diminished or drowned out. You are challenged by no man, no ruler, no power of darkness. Lord, you are very great.

You are the God who sees. 

You see each soul who feels alone, left out and abandoned. You see the one suffering with illness and the one who is waiting for illness to be healed. Your eye is on each one that is overwhelmed with fear and afraid to admit it. You see the one who is tempted toward bitterness and rage. You see the divisions that pull us apart. You see where love overflows. God, give us courage to put off the sin that has yanked us into the pit. Give us grace to put on what is lovely instead. Lord, you are very great and you see it all.

Your kingdom come. 

All of what comes this year is yours, God. The plans we had are all question marks on our calendars. We have come to admit that the control we long for is an illusion. Teach us to ask you where you are at work and to join you there. Help us to be open to new things and new habits, over-the-top ready for the good works you ask us to dive into. Draw us onto our driveways and balconies to pray for our cities, our people and the circles we live in. The only thing that matters is that you are glorified in our lives and that your will be accomplished here. Lord, you are very great. You are the God who sees. Your kingdom come.

Yes, Lord. Please, God. 

Train us with your grace, that we will look more like you. So that the love and sacrifice of Christ will be our driving force. That our bodies and minds will fall into your rhythm each morning, each afternoon and evening. So that our souls will rest knowing your greatness over all things. That we will find comfort in knowing you see everything. And that we would live for your kingdom only.

Katie Smylie has had her new calendar ready for weeks. She will ring in 2021 with her family of six (plus the best dog in the world) and filled with the hope of Christ.