There’s something special about the beginning of a new year. Even though January 1st follows December 31st the same as any day follows the previous one, to many of us, entering a new year brings with it the feeling of a new beginning, a fresh start. Last year is now behind us, and there are new horizons ahead.

At the beginning of any new endeavor, it’s wise to ask God for His direction, guidance, and blessing. This is equally true as we face the adventures that the next year will bring. There will no doubt be challenges, victories, wins, and losses. And we will need God’s presence, help, and comfort through it all.

In pondering about the year ahead, I compiled the following prayer list and Bible verses for the New Year, which I hope will inspire you as it has me.1

To know God and His will

I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.—Ephesians 1:16–17

We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.—Colossians 1:9

To hunger for God’s Word

Blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.—Luke 11:28

As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.1 Peter 2:2 NKJV

To bear fruit

The way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.Colossians 1:10

When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.—John 15:8

For patience, strength, and joy

His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.Colossians 1:11 CEV

To keep from temptation and evil

Keep us from being tempted and protect us from evil.Matthew 6:13 CEV

To be generous

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.—Luke 6:38

For those who are ministering to others

Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes.2 Thessalonians 3:1

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.Colossians 4:6

For God’s protection

The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you.2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV

For persecuted Christians

Most of us can practice our faith in peace, but that is not the case for many believers around the world. According to one organization which ministers to persecuted Christians, there are 215 million Christians who experience high, very high, or extreme levels of persecution. Our suffering brethren need our support in prayer.

Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.—Hebrews 13:3

For those who are mourning

Many grieve the death of someone they were close to. Those whose lives are touched by tragedy and are filled with grief, who face the loneliness of bereavement, are in need of prayer.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.—Revelation 21:4

For our families and loved ones

Asking God to protect our loved ones and help them make wise choices is a way to show them love and better their lives. Even if there is conflict within the family, we can pray for the healing of misunderstandings and hurt.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.—1 Timothy 2:1

For those who don’t know Jesus

That they will “open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people.”2

God wants everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth.—1 Timothy 2:4 CEV

I pray that your year ahead will be filled with God’s love, joy, and peace, and that His blessings will be abundantly poured upon you and your loved ones.

  1. All Scripture quotations in this article, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New Living Translation.
  2. Acts 26:18