A Prayer For The New Year
The problem with “New Year, New Me!” is that the New Year isn’t new for very long, and the “New Me” isn’t new at all. Though the Earth has completed another revolution around the sun, “there’s nothing new under the sun.”*
We quickly replace our love and excitement for what is new with the disappointment that it’s suddenly become old and outdated. As soon as something new arrives, something newer takes its place. A child plays with his toy until he sees a better one on t.v. We purchase new vehicles only to regret we didn’t wait until the refreshed model was released three months later. Even our love for the new year is tempered by about 12:01 am this January morning.
There is, however, a door to experience something new every day. There is a way to experience the jubilation of a new creation every minute for the rest of our lives. There is a faith called Christianity where every day is a new year, every hour the clock strikes midnight, and every second is the eve of January 1st.
Every moment of his life is a marked celebration for the Christian. He’s constantly renewed and sanctified - turned into something new, something better - while also remaining secure in his eternal salvation. Though he only be saved once, the Christian’s salvation is renewed at every instance and mercy in his life. Because the Lord Jesus Christ is unchanged, the Christian is changing all the time.**
The only way a man can say “New Year, New Me!” is actually to become someone new. He cannot merely be reformed, nor can he be merely refreshed. Instead, he must be born again. The old man must die (spiritually), and the new man in Christ Jesus must be resurrected. There is no such thing as a “New Me” unless the “Old Me” is gone. The only way to enjoy “something new under the Sun” is to be “someone new under the Son.”
Thus, here is our prayer for the New Year:
Lord of Salvation,
Our eyes sparkle at the sight of something new; our mind glistens with the thought of something fresh. We love the spring because it brings spring flowers; we love the winter because it brings new snow.
But while all of these things are new, we are very old. We see the world being renewed around us while we stay the same. We passively watch the years go by as the Earth regenerates, but we do not. While the flowers bloom in April spring, our bodies begin to crumble and fail.
New Year's Day is supposed to be a reset. We try to be new, and we try to be better. Lo, we find we consistently fail. The “New Me” turns out to be the “Old Me,” and even if our exterior changes, the interior stays the same or deteriorates.
But with the new year comes the reminder that we indeed can start anew! Lord, we do not want just to be refreshed; we want - we need - to be born again! We want to be new! We want to be saved by grace through faith.
Lord, look how many do not know You. Let them listen to the bells of the gospel of the Lord Jesus in 2023. Bring about repentance in our nation. Sound the alarm! We pray men and women who do not know You would see that they’re descending into Hell. By Your salvation and Your people’s subsequent rebirth, install the Christian joy of newness within them. That is, after all, what You do. As You sit upon the Throne, You announce to the Heavens and the Earth,
“Behold, I make all things new.”*`
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*` Revelation 21:5