How do you end and begin your year?
Consider ending and/or beginning your year in God-focused prayer.
End of the Year/Season: Some of the most meaningful times of reflection are at the end or beginning of a new season.
The church I grew up in held “watchnight services” – a special service to end the current calendar year and begin a new calendar year. It was a blessed time in the Lord – with testimonies, songs, and prayers of God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout the year.
Often in the scriptures, God’s people are reminded to “remember” the things God has done – because we have a tendency to forget…
A simple “watchnight service” could consist of a Scripture Reading from a memorable theme or message for the year, a song and prayer to remember God’s faithfulness and provision, testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness during the year, a time of reflection to consider a “word’ or “theme” for the year, then praying with a pastor or member to ask God to make this a new year of commitment to Him.
The service could conclude with a song, prayer and recommitting our lives to God for the new year. We would gather at church about 10pm with the goal of praying in the new year – of being in prayer with the church family at midnight.
The best part for me was searching my heart to remember and give praise to God for all the amazing things he did that year – and hearing others do the same. Voices raised in victory and praise, while tears of regret were shed for failures and what “could have been.”
We ended the evening being reminded how faithful God is – with renewed hope for a bright new year.
If you have a chance to attend or lead a “”watchnight service,” your group will be blessed. Contact me if I can support you in planning a meaningful “watchnight” or new year service.
Resource for Planning and Preparing for a New Year/Season.
1. Consider beginning or continuing a Bible Reading Plan:
Click here for ideas: biblestudytools.com/bible-reading-plan/
2. Purchase or access a daily devotional:
Click here for ideas for devotionals: crosswalk.com/devotionals
Review devotionals for purchase at your local church bookstore or on-line Christian bookstores like: Lifeway Christian Resources: lifeway.com or Christian Booksellers christianbook.com
3. Use the Prayer Assist “New Year Goals Worksheet”
View of download here: prayerassist.org
The worksheet helps us focus prayer in 5 areas of life and ministry:
1. Specific goals and outcomes, 2. Provision God has given to achieve the goals, 3. Obstacles to achieving the goals, 4. Specific prayer requests to pray toward the goals, and 5. Other people and circumstances to pray for.
Consider using the worksheet with your family, small group, ministry team – as a way to pray for each other throughout the year.
Jan 1, 2023: New Year Prayer:
We encourage you to join the “FirstFruits Prayer” service at Mt Helix in La Mesa on January 1. (Mt Helix 4901 Mt Helix Dr, La Mesa, CA 91941)
Believers from many churches, business people, mayors and public officials from East County and beyond join together to being the new year as “One Church” on that day.
For more information, click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/first-fruits-prayer-gathering-tickets-468878507237
Reminder: Begin and end your year in God-focused prayer.