Thinking About A New Year

Hey, Sweet Things! I’ve been praying for you this very day. I’ve especially been praying for those of you who’ve commented about how much you want to do the Scripture memory but you’re scared of failing. First of all, I pray that God is going to give you a glimpse of what your brilliant little mind is capable of doing when doused in His Word. Second, if you spend the year meditating on 24 verses, I pray that you’ll realize that you cannot fail. It will produce a harvest whether or not you get each Scripture down word for word. The captivated mind that tears down strongholds is what we’re after. Keep that before you. Pray for a supernatural unction to internalize Scripture then thank God for it in advance. He makes a way for us to obey what He wills for us to do.

Now, on to something that I keep pondering this morning. Like many of you, I’m a thinker. Years don’t come to ends or beginnings without me getting caught up in what’s behind or in front of me. That’s good if it leads to change. That’s bad if it leads to dread. We’ve all heard this definition of insanity: doing the same thing the same way and expecting something different. Yet, for the most part,  we live life in that maddening loop. One of the things God has taught me along the way is to try to hear from Him about one area at a time that He’s pinpointing for change. Much more than that is too overwhelming. Anyway, He’s a God who’s into process with the lives of His children. We need look no further than Philippians 1:6 for proof of that. What He may begin in an instant He may complete over a lifetime. Instead of making a list of resolutions for 2011 that are broken by the time they’re spoken, is there simply one thing about us we really wish to change? I could think of a dozen things I’d like to change but this is the one I think God is pinpointing as our joint effort for the top of 2011: a mental loop I tend to get into when I get offended or hurt by someone I love. I have come to believe that my first minute’s reaction is what determines the cycle of the next (usually miserable) two days. So, here’s my specific prayer for the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011.

My Dearest Abba Father,

I’ve lived long enough to know that any 12-month period of time on Planet Earth winds a pathway through thicket and thorns. It’s just too long a period of time not to get hurt or offended. I also know that You have tucked many joys in the oncoming year and I don’t want to miss them because I can’t quit obsessing over what’s hard. You’ve gone to measurable lengths in the last year to show me how the enemy of my soul operates in one specific area: he can’t block You from blessing Your children so he tries to block Your children from enjoying it. I do not want him to cheat me of reaping from anything rich You send my way this year. Even the treasures hidden in darkness. As this year ends and a new one begins, I am so thankful that I have Your Spirit without limit in my life and that, with You, change in a long pattern really is possible. You’ve done it before in my life. Come do it again. I am asking You in particular, Abba Father, to run to my aid in that first moment when an opportunity for offense happens and urge me by Your Holy Spirit to head into a thought-loop that spirals upward rather than downward. Simply put, help me to get over things fast. Honestly, Lord, sometimes I just make life harder than it has to be. Some things that wound me aren’t even about me. Help me to see where I’m jumping into somebody else’s loop and to quit getting hung by my own. I choose joy in resting this petition at Your feet, Lord, and I refuse self-condemnation or fruitless regret. You never would have brought this to the forefront and called for it in prayer if You didn’t have something good in mind. You began this work. Now come and take it to the next level. I’m excited about it, Lord, and see a glimpse of liberty on the horizon. Thank You, Father.

If you also want to post a prayer about ONE THING you’re asking God to do in you toward a more victorious 2011, feel free. There’s something about writing it down in a public place that makes it memorable. A record you can go back and read can be a beautiful thing. Try to resist wallowing and writhing in these  public requests. It’s Satan who tries to make prayer a dreaded exercise in self-loathing. In God’s economy, even when our prayers are mostly pleas of repentance, they lead us to relief.

Hey, Siestas, let’s not respond to each other’s comments this time. By all means, let’s pray for each other but let’s leave the response space to God.

I’m honored to walk with you into 2011, dear sisters. We’re getting closer to the 1st! Hold your head up or you might miss your new beginning!

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804 Responses to “Thinking About A New Year”

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  1. 701
    Shelly says:

    Isaiah 43:18-19

    “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

  2. 702
    Holly Swaim says:

    Holly,TN, Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. NIV

  3. 703
    Tamara says:

    Father, I want this year to be another one that is focused on you and what you have for me. I want to live in freedom – the freedom that you have helped me find in this past year. Continue to show me areas of bondage in my life so I can break those chains with your truth and live in the freedom you offer. I want to be free to experience all that you have in store for me. Give me courage to step out and do what you have asked me to do. I love you Father and look forward to what you have in store for me in 2011.

  4. 704
    Shane Sutherland says:

    My prayer for 2011:
    Dear Father, You are so tender with me. Thank You for Your patience as I have complained, fought, wrestled, screamed, and ranted since my son’s death on 8/31/08. But, I fear that I am getting stuck. I have traveled this journey long enough to know that I will never be the same person I was before my sweet Zach left me. But, Lord, please help me to embrace life again. Help me to laugh and really feel it. Help me to rest in Your love and care when joy is forever tethered to pain when I remember my precious boy. Renew my mind so I can think clearly again in my day to day activities. Heal my heart so that fear does not overtake me when I think of losing another one of my children. Help me to be a real wife again, a woman whose heart is fully open to her husband. The pain has so often come out sideways onto Brian Lord, and he deserves so much better. Help me to embrace You fully in 2011. I know that is where true hope and healing will prevail. I love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

  5. 705
    Darla Baerg says:

    2 Corinthians 3:18 … “But we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with every-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

  6. 706
    Tiffany says:

    Tiffany, Sandwich, IL “You crown the year with Your good blessings, and You leave abundance in Your wake.” The NET Bible

  7. 707
    Victoria says:

    Dear Father: You know the struggles I have in the present circumstances, and the self-loathing I feel for allowing them to keep me from doing what you have set before me. Not only do I want to do it, but I want to take delight in it as I do it well. Worse yet would be to contine on in this cycle of self-loathing and self-pity that has kept me from starting, doing, pursuing, finishing, and taking the joy in it that awaits me. Forgive me for putting my needs before a precious other’s, and before your will. I give this to you as an offer of intentional trust that as I do your will, and take advantage of this opportunity, you will give me delight in it and act to allow me to do it well. Thank you for your love. Thank you for the responsibility you have entrusted to me. Thank you that you will provide all that is needed to carry it out as I trust you. I lean on you for energy, strength, creativity, the ability to persevere, and the joy in the doing. In your precious Son’s name I pray. Amen. Your daughter, Victoria

  8. 708
    Wendy says:

    Wendy
    Waterford VT
    “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” NIV

  9. 709

    Father,

    As I move into this new year, I ask for your Spirit to pour over me. Fill me up to overflow! This daily I pray. Thank you for bringing me to choose one word for 2011.

    Thank you for giving me that word….FAITHFULNESS.

    I know that is what you desire from me. Father as I’ve prayed in secret, I pray openly for the world to see… I desire to be faithful to you.

    Faithful to prayer, Faithful to study your word, Faithful to move when you call me to move, Faithful with my time, Faithful with our finances, Faithful to cling to you in any circumstance that may come this year!

    I pray for your Holy Spirit to instantly speak me me Lord! May He guide and direct my way and my thoughts and may I be obedient to be faithful.

    Only through your mighty grace and strength!
    In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, Amen

  10. 710
    Charlene, Houston says:

    I recently finished your study of the Patriarchs and one thing I prayed about during that study was as Abraham had to do – leave UR. I have wanted to leave my “Usual Routine: and still do. I get my feelings hurt by my husband and loop it around in my heart and mind till I am crazy and often depressed. I am asking my Heavenly Father to fill me so full with His Spirit that I respond to hurtfulness with kindness and love rather than returning evil with evil.

  11. 711
    Kristin says:

    I’m so thankful I checked the blog today. Beth, it’s like you were able to take all the jumbled up stuff in my mind this morning and make a coherent prayer out of it. I am much too easily offended these days and it’s confusing and disheartening. Thank you for reminding me that the Lord is with me and He most definitely has the power to change my heart and my mind!

  12. 712
    Darla says:

    Darla Joseph, Colorado
    Phillippians 1:27 NIV
    “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy
    of the Gospel of Christ”

  13. 713
    Jennifer says:

    Jennifer, Colorado Springs “Those who sow to please their sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; those who sow to please the Spirit, from the Spririt will reap eternal life.” Galations 6:8 TNIV

  14. 714
    Barbara says:

    Barbara from greensboro, NC. Psalm 63:1 (NIV)”O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you, My soul thirsts for
    you, my body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

  15. 715
    Trina says:

    In response to Dec. 29th blog: My simple prayer for this season is that I want to truly count it all joy. All. Not some, or the good, or the comfortable…but All. God works through many uncomfortable situations, and these can be some of His most powerful works. I want to quit bemoaning what He is doing even when it is painful. He is up to something good I can feel it even through the pain 🙂

  16. 716
  17. 717
    Jen G says:

    Lord, I ask that you will give me strength and patience as I try to do what I believe I’ve been called to do. The task has been daunting and the light at the proverbial end of the tunnel seems to shine as if through a peep hole. I’m in this for the long haul with you Lord. I just ask that you will give me the wisdom I need to execute this plan to your perfection and the tender words to encourage a young girl’s future in the mean time.

    Thank You….

  18. 718
    Mary Jen says:

    “This is the day which the Lord hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

  19. 719
    Stacy says:

    Stacy, Magee, MS Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV
    “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

  20. 720
    Melissa says:

    Philippians 4:8
    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is nobel, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. (NIV)

    Melissa
    Atlanta, GA

  21. 721
    linda says:

    I want to pray I will have self control in the area of my sexuality.

    • 721.1
      Julie Harris says:

      Just a thought for you as you struggle. Perhaps you might pray for His control over your sexuality not yours. We are flawed and we are meant to crave. My prayer for you is that you crave God’s love more than any other perceived love or thing. Your sexuality is part of you and when you offer it in true love as the Father meant it, holy and sanctified, you give to the person and to yourself the gifts God intended just for the two of you. So do not give yourself away. Hold onto the gift until God ordains it. If you have given some of yourself away then RECLAIM it in His holy name. All things are possible through Christ Jesus. Do not just believe in God, BELIEVE GOD.

  22. 722
    Gay Dillman says:

    Gay,Cypress, Jeremiah 32:17, NIV

    “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and your outstretched arm.
    Nothing is too hard for you.”

  23. 723
    Jodi says:

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love,joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galations 5:22

  24. 724
    Sharoni says:

    Father, this year I continue to refuse to see challenges in life as anything other than opportunities to say, “Thank-You..thank you for Your love…Your grace…Your mercy….your peace ….and mostly thank-You for making a way for me to be Your child and a part of Your life eternally. That’s what it all boils down to, and as I move another year forward in this life’s journey, it becomes so much clearer. Everything is about the Glory of Your Name and the advancement of Your Kingdom….may I bring You honor every day in my life in fulfilling that great purpose. These are easy thoughts and feelings to have when someone who has been close to you and important in your life passes, but they are becoming so close to my heart in ways I never imagined possible before. Thank You for that. Yay 2011! And thank-You for that!

  25. 725
    Christine says:

    Beth, it’s like you and me are in the same boat! This is the one area I feel like God is really calling me to address this year.

    Father, I pray that you help me to let the offenses of my ex-husband make me rubber and him glue. Help me get to the point where I can say, “whatever” to his insults and control so that I can stay focused on serving this wonderful new family you have so graciously given me. I no longer want to wallow in my depression, but to spring forth boldly in your strength, forgiving his offenses, no matter how often they happen. 🙂

  26. 726
    r says:

    My prayer for the coming year: to (Please God) finally have deep friendships/relationships with godly people who will actually love me and the person I am…and to reach goal weight/that my weight appearance no longer interfere in my relationships in the eyes of others or myself….

  27. 727
    Carrie says:

    I want this year to break the stronghold of fear in my life especially in one particular area. This has been a destructive pattern in my life for too long.

  28. 728
    Sondra says:

    I’ve been thinking about this ever since I read the post a few days ago. The one thing that God keeps drawing to mind is learning to let go. My prayer for this year is that God will enable me to learn to let go totally and completely. I need to let go of hurt, anger, self loathing, things I try to control, things I have no control over, and much more. I no longer want to allow Satan to take the joy out of the wonderful blessings that God has for me.

  29. 729
    Sheryl says:

    Sheryl, Jacksonville.

    “Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” Romans 11:33 NIV

  30. 730

    See, I was having a hard time putting into words what my issue is that I need to work on, but I think it’s basically the same as yours. I think I’ll just steal your prayer if that’s okay with you! I’m always obsessing over every word or action to figure out where I went wrong and it never gets me anywhere, and there are certain people that really get to me and then I obsess over them and what I should or shouldn’t have said or how to AVOID them next time! Ugh! I am horrible about this! So, stealing your prayer if you don’t mind?

  31. 731
    Gayle says:

    Lord,
    Plese help me be an even bigger influence to my family this year, to be an example of your love and compassion.

  32. 732
    Bobbi in Orange, TX says:

    Father God, I ask for courage to go further than I ever have before to fulfill Your call on my life. To step out in faith to witness and to be You to the people around me. To dare to experience your Promised Land now, today, this year. All for the glory of my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. And it is in His lovely name I ask it.

  33. 733
    Julie Harris says:

    Dear Loving Merciful Lord,
    I come to you in prayer asking that you intentionally lead my life this year by lifting my hands to serve you. Lord, I ask you to lift my hands to serve you as a daughter of Christ, as a wife, a mother, a sister, and as a friend. Lord I ask you to help me see and do what my hands can do for you in each of these roles. Lord, this has been a year of great change and now more than ever I want to live as you would have me live. I want to be the best Christian wife I can be and I need your help. I need you to actually physically lift my hands in joy with the tasks it beholds especially when it comes to cooking and caring for my family. I have done so many other things and done them well ,such as nursing, but the one thing I desire more than anything is to revel in the joy of serving you in my home. Lord help me to make my home Your home as well. Teach me to make my home a place of refuge, a place of comfort, a place of encouragement, a place of peace. Lord let me serve my husband and my son in a way of immeasurable worth to You, Father. Help me to nourish their bodies spiritually through you and physically as well with nutritious meals that I have prepared for them. Lord I thank you knowing that all things are possible through you. Yahweh, you know me, please mold me and refine my heart. Carve me with your hands as you lift mine to serve you. In the name of my Saviour, Jesus Christ. Julie

  34. 734
    Erin D says:

    I’m new-ish to this blog – in that I have followed it for a long time, but have never actually commented or felt like “part of the gang.” My prayer for this year is simple – I signed up to do the SSMT and I am praying for hardcore follow-through. Come to think of it, I could use some of that in an awful lot of areas this year, not just in memorizing Scripture.
    That’s it.
    Amen.
    Erin

  35. 735
    Mom of Three says:

    My family is going through a time where we have let things we do or say to each other effect us all. I must say your prayer hit the nail on the head. I want us to be able to put the past year behind us and move forward with Christ as the center of our family. Let us not let prejudice interfere with the love we have always shared. And may the Lord put his hand over our mouths when we are about to say something offensive. Lord give us all a love for each other and all people that we do not want to cause hurt or anger. In Jesus name, Amen.

  36. 736
    Monica & Robert in Gig Harbor says:

    Psalm 65:11 NKJV
    You crown the year with Your goodness,
    And Your paths drip with abundance.

    We are also working on Psalm 34:8-19 with our 4 & 6 year old boys.

    Thanks for the encouragement to know God’s word!

  37. 737
    amanda says:

    Amanda from Cartersville,GA. Psalm 18:2 NIV

    The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

  38. 738
    Sandra says:

    This year I’m praying for great treasures to be given to each one of us, through his awesome word. As we memorize scripture, that it will penetrate into our hearts, and that the Holy Spirit will reveal precious gems to us. God Bless everyone of you.:)

  39. 739
    Kim Brubaker says:

    Beth, my hope is the same as your prayer written out. Spoken so eloquently and exactly what I was hoping for my own new 2011 life, but couldn’t find the words to express that new hope.
    In the words of our high school pastor: “We will never be able to wrap our arms around God’s new life, if we can’t let go of the old one.”

  40. 740
    anita says:

    Thank You Jesus for another year to serve you. Amen

  41. 741
    Jodi Battle says:

    Proverbs 4:23 Therefor do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.

  42. 742
    Twyla mcAmis says:

    You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.Psalm 65:11[NLT] Twyla, Cleveland,Tennessee

  43. 743
    Janice says:

    Father, I just come to You thanking You for catching me as I was ascending into a downward spiral this very minute. You knew that I would need to read this today, so You directed my path to the words written in this blog that were mirrored in my heart. I know what you have promised me & I know that you are always faithful to your promises. Like Beth said, the trick of the enemy is to keep us from enjoying Your blessings, since he can’t stop them from coming to pass. Father, this year I pray that I will have a deepened relationship & closer walk with Thee, so that I am so in step with you, there is no room for downward spirals or eating to chase away sadness. Help me Father to be filled with all joy & peace as I trust in You; to be led by & obedient to Your Holy Spirit which dwells within me. Thank You Father for loving me; never giving up on me. I love You too. Your daughter whom You love,

    Janice

  44. 744
    Kathleen Bensi says:

    Philippians 2:14 NIV
    Do everything without complaining or arguing

  45. 745
    Tina Gottlieb says:

    Isaiah 43:18-19

    Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
    I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

  46. 746
    Stacy Currie says:

    JAMES 1:17 NIV

    EVERY GOOD AND PERFECT GIFT IS FROM ABOVE, COMING DOWN FROM THE FATHER OF THE HEAVENLY LIGHTS, WHO DOES NOT CHANGE LIKE SHIFTING SHADOWS.

    STACY
    CHAPIN SC

  47. 747
    Lori says:

    Lori, Norwood, “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” Proverbs 16:23, NIV

  48. 748
    Jennifer- Southaven, MS says:

    But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31, NIV

  49. 749
    Amy says:

    Dear Father, My Rock of Refuge…

    I meant to post this earlier and I’m going to do all I can to not let this be an indication of the speed with which I run to Your knee this year.

    I’m never much for themes, but… this year, Father, I want to be Love Poured Out. In every direction, to the people who need it, without restraint and limit. I prayed that at the beginning of the year, mostly because I was sick of always feeling like I didn’t have enough kindness or compassion to go the extra mile. But in the short span of eleven days You’ve taken the time to show me just how much people (in general and especially around me) need Your love, God. This year is either going to be exhausting and life-draining without You, or a life-giving, jubilant journey with You.

    I don’t have much in me right now. In fact, my heart hurts a lot, Daddy… I miss my parents so much and it kills me that every time I have to say goodbye to them, I don’t know if we’ll all make it to the next time we’ve planned to meet. I want them to know You and see You and hear You and love You so much I can’t see for the tears that are blurring the screen… but I’m so, so comforted to know that You love them even more than I do.

    So, in as much as I am asking You to make me a vessel of love to be poured out to people around me this year, I pray also to be a pray-er embodying Your heart for my parents and others who have yet to know how wonderful You are. It’s an odd thing to say, but teach me to pray in a way that reflects Your own heart, pleases You, and tugs at Your heartstrings. Please be here powerfully this year… in me. And thank You so much for the grace by which You reached down and drew me to You, without cause.

    In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  50. 750
    Brandy says:

    Brandy from MD, I just heard about this and would love to join. My first verse for the month–Isaiah 54:10

    For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed,but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”says the LORD, who has compassion on you.(Isaiah 54:10 ESV)

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