1. A prayer for a fresh start:
Lord, thank you for another year of life and all that you provided for us last year. We lay before you all the disappointments and unfinished work, and we ask for your mercy, peace, and joy as we look to the year ahead. May we delight in the gift of your presence as we discern the journey you have for us in this new year.
2. A prayer for our habits:
Lord, we confess that we spend much of our day thoughtlessly consuming the things around us. Our habits often lack intention and cause us to live distracted, self-focused lives. Would you bring to our attention the unhealthy ways we spend our time, energy, thoughts, talents, and money? Show us old habits to turn away from and new habits to practice. Shape us by your Spirit into more merciful people who love you and neighbor with greater intention.
3. A prayer for relational healing:
Lord, there are many ways we fall short in our relationships. We failed to carry each other’s burdens, we harbored offenses, and we judged each other’s motives. Help us to confess our sins against each other. Help us to forgive and seek forgiveness. May your Spirit heal wounds and bring unity to fractured relationships—that we might love one another as you love us.
4. A prayer for the weary:
Lord, the last few years have been filled with sickness, death, job loss, isolation, anxiety, fear, and division. We are weary. In our weariness, we confess our cynicism and our skepticism and we ask for your renewal. Give us eyes to see the kingdom life Christ has promised—and fill us with a hope that allows us to live each day with soberness, generosity, and joy.
5. A prayer for the lonely:
Lord, you are the father of the fatherless, and you place the lonely in families. This year, help us join you in that work. Give us eyes to see those around us who may feel alone. Help us to notice the orphans, single parents, the elderly, the incarcerated, the homeless, and the refugees in our midst. Expand our capacity to be hospitable to those who desire belonging and family.
6. A prayer for those suffering:
Lord, bring to mind those in our lives who are suffering, and help us to be faithful in prayer for and service to them. We also ask that you strengthen your servants, scattered around the world, to be the hands and feet of Jesus—especially in places where war, violence, famine, and sickness are devastating families and communities.
7. A prayer for our neighbors:
Lord, help us to notice our neighbors more this year. May we learn the names of those who live next door to us, the people who serve us coffee and gas each week, and the families we run into at the park. Remind us to be a source of blessing, even in the most ordinary and simple ways, as we learn to abide in your love and extend it toward our neighbors.
8. A prayer for our work:
Lord, you have placed Christians in every industry and city. Help us to steward our work this year—not only for our families, but also for the flourishing of others. Allow us to be a restorative presence in our places of work. Align our organizations to reflect your creativity, goodness, and justice. Help us to act righteously and generously to those whose work is often marginalized by society.
9. A prayer for Christian community:
Lord, help us not to be consumers in our local churches, or to think transactionally about our fellow brothers and sisters in the faith. Instead, show us how to nurture true Christian community in our lives this year. Give us the initiative and insight to know how to cultivate a greater love for God’s people. Help us to share our lives with one another in such a way that the people we meet are ultimately drawn closer to you.
10. A prayer for our hands and feet:
Lord, bless our hands to serve you more faithfully in the year to come. Guide our feet to walk in your steps, imitating the example you set for us during your time on earth. Help us to follow and obey you. Empower us by your Spirit to love one another in consistent and creative ways.
Dennae is the co-director for The Crete Collective, Surge Network, and City to City North America. She serves at Roosevelt Community Church in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Dennae and her husband Vermon have 5 children.