Can I be honest with you? I love starting the new year with God. More recently, praying for the new year, and more specifically, choosing a word for the year, has become one of my favourite times of the year. There is just something beautiful about the end of year crescendo, as we celebrate Jesus, into the sudden stillness of the new year, as January takes a breath.
I can’t think of a better way to start the year than beginning the new year with prayer—sitting with God, delighting in him, seeking his heart and listening for his voice, as you look at the year ahead.
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
New Year’s Resolutions for Christians
While we can be quick to start planning our New Year’s Resolutions, there is a beauty in finding ourselves at the feet of Jesus and seeking what he has in store for our new year. You may even find that your goals and dreams for the new year have greater purpose and meaning when they flow from a place of intimacy with the Father.
One of the top Christian New Year’s resolutions is to read your Bible more. But by the time February rolls round, you already find yourself falling behind from your latest Bible reading plan. But what if we shifted our focused to our intention behind the task? For example, your New Year’s resolution may be to deepen your intimacy with God, which is done through reading your Bible more.
So, as we farewell 2022—all the joys and disappointments, celebrations and mourning, and everything in between—there is a unique sense of hope and refreshment that a new year brings.
So before you pull out your planner, sign up for the gym, or reorganize your finances, here are two things you can do to start your year focused on God.
Choose a Word for the Year
If you take one thing away from this post, I hope it is this—choose a word for the year with God. One word. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be a super spiritual, or ultra Christian word, it just needs to be a word that you believe God is saying for our year ahead.
Dear friend, hear me on this, there is no right or wrong word. Choosing a word for the year is simply an opportunity to align your heart with God’s, and shift our eyes to a heavenly perspective.
Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm. Colossians 3:2
Choosing a word for the year gives us a foundation for knowing and seeking God more. When I pick up a book called ‘Joy,’ I anticipate the book to be about joy. When my word for the year is ‘Joy,’ I anticipate opportunities for God to reveal and teach me about his joy.
Read more: How to Know and Hear God’s Voice
There are so many different ways on how to choose a word for the year. This year, we are coming together to listen to what God is saying about your 2023. Fully Focused 2023 is a free 3-day series, where we will seek the Father’s heart for the New Year. During this time, we will also go through choosing a word for the year.
Each day you will receive an email, that will help start your 2023 with more intention and purpose. Join with other passionate, kingdom-minded women and click here to join Fully Focused 2023 for free.
Choose a Bible Verse for the Year
Choosing a scripture for the year is another way to help you keep your focus on God and what he is doing, throughout the year. The word of God is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12) and a powerful anchor for your year.
So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
God is faithful to his word and his word will not return to him empty—it’s accomplishes all that he intended for it to do. What a beautiful, powerful promise!
The scriptures are full of promises and truths are still true for you now. So, with your chosen word in mind, ask God to highlight or show you a verse for the year.
Take note of this—you don’t even have to know what or what the verse is relevant. That’s the beauty of choosing a verse for the year! Choosing a verse it is an invitation for the Holy Spirit to reveal to you whatever he wants to. As you sit and meditate, as you refer back to the verse throughout the year, lean in and follow where ever he leads.
Read more: 20 Meaningful Bible Verses About Purpose
Prayer for the New Year
Oswald Chambers says it well, “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.” Choosing a word and a verse for the year is different to New Years resolutions or goals, in that there isn’t a way to not achieve them. But rather an open, intentional, invitation for God to reveal his plan and purposes for your year ahead. And more importantly, it is an commitment knowing the One who is leading.
So as you look to the year ahead, allow your heart and mind to feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm, and be filled with hope for all the God has planned for you. Choose your word and verse for the year, and let them be a reminder to continue to seek God throughout the year.
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
Want to join us for Fully Focused this year? Sign up for free here, as we seek God’s hear for the new year.