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January 02, 2023

Discarding New Year’s Resolutions for Something Better

Many folks make New Year’s resolutions and then break them within the next few weeks—or even the next day! It’s not easy to try to change something in your life—such as losing weight or getting organized—by gritting your teeth and trying harder.

It’s often next to impossible.

That’s why I never make New Year’s resolutions. Because if I resolved to lose weight and relied on my own efforts, I’d be savoring chocolate mousse hours after the ball dropped in New York’s Times Square. My resolve would be shot by New Year’s Day.

Instead, I have learned to think about what I want to be different in my life and make New Year’s prayers. And then, I pray for those things most every day.

In my own strength, I cannot. With God’s power at work in me, I can. And you can too.

So, what do you want to be different—in the next year? 

What do you need MORE of?

What do you need LESS of?

Maybe you want less weight and more in your savings account. Or, more time to do what God’s been nudging you to do but you haven’t made it a priority. Maybe you want less time in front of the TV or your phone and more face-to-face time with people you enjoy.

Whatever your hopes and dreams are for the future, be sure to check in with the One who loves you most for His guidance and strength.

With resolutions, it’s all about my effort. What can I do in my own strength to make this goal happen? Contrast that with prayers, which are about God working in and through me to bring about His best—His will, His way, and His timing.

A New Year’s prayer is about surrender.

And in that surrender of yielding to God what I want, I am trusting that He will work all things together for the good. I pray, ask, trust, and then follow Him every day. It’s a peaceful and powerful way to live because I know my heart’s desires are in good hands—the best hands possible.

Prayer is a holy conversation, natural and from your heart, talking and listening with God. In addition to asking for what you need, prayer is an opportunity to confess what you’ve done wrong and find forgiveness. It’s a place to worship and tell God how amazing He is. And it’s the best place to say, “Thank You” for all He has done and will do.

So I challenge you to place your requests before God and trust Him for his absolute best in this New Year. Get to know the God of unconditional love, awesome mercy, and great grace. Plug into His supernatural power for living this hard and messy life every day.

God is at work. And He loves to surprise His kids—His sons and daughters like you and me—with good things. And even in the tough times, God is still at work. And we can trust Him to bring about healing and resolution, in this life or the next.

Grab on to this verse (the words of Jesus Christ himself): "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)

This year, and always, I choose New Year’s prayers over New Year’s resolutions.

How about you?

Prayer for a New Year
Lord, thank you for a brand new year. I ask that you would give me the courage to look forward with hope for all you have for me and those I love in the coming days. I ask for your protection and provision. Fill me with your joy and strength—and renewed energy—to do all you have for me to do, and to be the best person I can be. I ask for your wisdom and guidance, your healing, and your peace. May this be the best year possible! For your glory. In Jesus Name. Amen.