Ready, set, reset

New Year’s resolutions are easy to make but hard to keep. Lately the trend is to forget resolutions and instead focus on a word that inspires or reminds you of your purpose or goals.  

While I don’t make resolutions and haven’t picked a word, I am a fan of clean slates.

Lamentations 3:22,23 says, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

As we start a new year, it’s time to wipe the spiritual slate clean. Here’s how:

1. Forgive

Who are the people who hurt you this year or maybe a year or two previous? Go ahead. Think of some names. 

Ok, now pray:

Heavenly Father, forgive __________ for the hurt they caused in my life. Replace the pain with grace, the same grace you feel toward me despite the hurt my sins have caused. Give this relationship a clean slate. Restore and repair what is broken. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

2. Love

Who do you struggle to love? Is there a neighbor who is inconsiderate, a coworker who has annoying habits? Has someone at church taken you for granted or slighted you? Is a child or a parent set on bringing you grief? 

When you have a name or names pray:

God of infinite love, fill me with your love. Let your love in me be a powerful testimony to ______________. Help me to overlook minor offenses and let go of bitterness. Let all my ways be ways of love. Soften his/her heart to be kind to me too. I come to your throne through the blood of Christ. Amen.  

3. Serve

Has the Holy Spirit been prompting you to serve in some way? Have you put it off thinking you don’t have time? Is there another obstacle keeping you from service in God’s kingdom?

Pray this: 

Almighty God, give me a willing spirit. Open doors for me to serve you in mighty ways. Speak to my heart at this season of my life, and move me to serve as you would have me serve. Jesus, be my guide. Amen.   

Just think of the difference we could make in our corner of the world if we could forgive from the heart, love without limit, and serve our fellow human beings. 

Dear Lord, bless our efforts!


Amber Albee Swenson has authored four books, writes an occasional devotional blog, and is a regular contributor to several Christian organizations. In 2011 she started speaking to women with the intent of bringing the Bible to life in tangible, applicable ways.