Prayerfully Speaking

Hope from the Truths of God's Word

Choosing a Prayer Focus for 2016 + a simple prayer


For the last few years, I’ve chosen a word or phrase to focus on for the year. This has been SO much more fruitful than any New Years resolution I’ve made. The pressure to perform is eradicated. Instead of a focus on what I want to accomplish, this becomes for me a focus on what God wants to do in me. I simply bring the word or theme God has highlighted to me back to Him in prayer.

What Has Been Your Prayer Focus?

In 2014, my word was “intimacy.” One of the ways God prompted me to pursue intimacy was to set prayer alarms on my phone. On Monday morning, the alarm reminded me to ask God for a fearless marriage. On Tuesday, the phone would alarm with a prompt to pray for a pride-free marriage. There were several other ways God prompted me to pray about intimacy throughout the year. Within 6 months, I had a major breakthrough. It came just a few days after starting a fast. That one simple prayer focus in 2014 is still bearing fruit.

In 2015, my phrase has been “pure love.” God helped me to see that some of my motives in relationships were less than pure. As I began to research the concept of pure love in the Bible, God highlighted this verse:

Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 1 Timothy 1:5

One of my sweet friends who models a life of intercession gave me a copy of Jennifer Kennedy Dean’s book, He Restores My Soul. God used this book to help me see that I was relying on relationships with people to fill me instead of my relationship with Him. This launched a much healthier pursuit of His pure love which has greatly improved my experience of joy this year.

Bring on the Breakthrough

Just in the last few weeks, God has given me wisdom and breakthrough as a direct result of prayerfully pursuing “pure love.” He showed me how I have continually complained about a specific relationship rather than praying about it. He reminded me how I had overcome self-pity in a different relationship problem by speaking blessings over the person (Luke 6:27-28). This reminder helped me choose the life and peace that comes from focusing on the Source of pure love instead of the human frailties I was facing in myself and others (Romans 8:6).

Through His Word and the counsel of His Spirit, God has helped me step into peace. He is breathing life into this relationship. I am delighted to report that this simple act of obedience has helped me experience the reality of His yoke being easy and His burden being light. It is a beautiful thing.

What’s Next?

I’ve chosen “Abide” as my prayer focus for 2016. I have a tendency to pursue productivity over being still and seeking God. The less than funny thing about that is I don’t seem to accomplish much anyway. I want to be fruitful because I have heard from God and acted on His prompting. I don’t want to waste a moment pursuing something that seemed like a good idea but wasn’t God’s idea.


I want to focus on worship, listening prayer, Bible study and renewing my mind for the soul purpose of my relationship with God. I don’t want to skimp on my time in His presence.

There are hurdles I need to overcome. I’m choosing not to make the hurdles the focus of my upcoming year. I know that living in a more consistent flow of communication with God is the key to receiving the insight and empowerment I need.

A Simple Prayer

I want to be more aware of Him, so I am using the word AWARE as an acrostic prayer to direct my attention to God. My hope is to rehearse this every morning before I have time to think of anything else.

A – Abiding in Awe. God, I am in awe of You and I am ready to abide in You today.

W – With me. I celebrate that You are with me today.

A – Alert. I am alert to Your presence and Your voice.

R – Rest. I am resting in Your love for me. I do not strive because I have a secure and glorious place in Your kingdom,

E – Expecting. I am expecting Your miraculous within the ordinary of my day. I await Your wisdom, Your generosity, Your leadership, and Your power to be made perfect in my weaknesses.

This song is one of the inspirations behind my choice of for this year’s word. The bridge rings in my heart:

Open up your doors, O my heart and soul

Open up your doors

Let the King come in, Let the King come in

Click here for the rest of the lyrics.

Did you choose a word for 2015? Have you seen God bring fruit from it?

What will your prayer focus be in 2016?  I’d love to hear your story. Please share it with me in the comment section of this post.

About Jennifer O. White

I'm a simple wife who has discovered God's amazing gift of prayer. Here at Prayerfully Speaking I share my journey of unwrapping this gift. God invites us to ask Him, but His enemy works diligently to keep that from happening. I hope to offer you encouragement to believe God is ready to pour more into your life than you've ever imaged.

15 Replies

  1. Rachel Newman

    What a beautiful post, Jennifer. Just what I needed this morning. I have never chosen a prayer focus for the year before. But as I ponder on what mine might be for 2016, the word “trust” comes to mind. 2015 has been a year of unfamiliar trials. Losing our first child at a time when my confidence in God seemed unshakable taught me that there are things people go through about which I am totally clueless. And my launch into parenthood this next year with our new little bun in the oven will take me places I’ve never imagined existed. My prayer focus will be a new level of trust in God and His goodness. I long to be in a place more sure, more confident in Him than I have ever known. Complete trust equals fearlessness, and His perfect love casts out all fear.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience and your word for 2016. I’m eager to see how God meets us in this pursuit of more of what He is offering us. Big hugs to you friend.

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  2. Annie Chapman

    Thank you Jennifer for heart you have for God. Focus is the word for 2016. I tend to get really excited when God says yes then something fails, its because I don’t let God finish what he is saying. So I need to let him finish and foicus on one or two things at a time.

    1. Thanks for sharing your word Annie. I’m looking forward to hearing how God reveals Himself to you this next year as you FOCUS on Him.

      1. Annie Chapman

        I was wondering if you could help me on my word Focus. I would like and acronym for my word. I was wondering if you could help me with that.

        1. Annie, I will be thinking on this for you!

  3. Karen

    My prayer focus for 2015 was forgiveness. I divorced my husband Feb. 2015 due to infidelity. We were married only 7 months. And because my prayer focus was forgiveness, I have not only been able to forgive him, but also the other woman. I even pray for her and have come to love her as Jesus loves her and as Jesus would have me love her. God has not only helped me forgive, he has healed my broken heart, He is melting away the aweful memories, restoring my soul, fills me with peace, finally convinced me of his deep abiding love that I have always craved. How amazing is that! My prayer focus for 2016 is trust. I’m praying for marriage reconciliation and I’m “trusting” God to bring this about. I have actually started my 2016 prayer focus today. To trust Him as my source for all my needs, not myself or others, as I have done in the past. I’m so looking forward to this journey with Him.

    1. Karen, I’m overjoyed about your 2016 prayer focus and your faith in God to restore your marriage. Let it be so Lord!

  4. Natasha May

    Hi Jennifer, my name is Natasha and I am new to here. I have been reading your blog for the last few days and I am ready to start my walk this New Year with God. The word I have chosen for the year is Love. I want to know all about God’s love . Can you help me with ano acronym for this word.

    1. Kapricha

      Hi Natasha! You can see if you like this acronym:
      L- lead me. Lord lead me in the path of righteousness. Let your light so shine thru me that others will see the works you have done and going to do.

      O- open my eyes. Open the eyes of my heart. If there is anything in my heart that you don’t see fit replace it with love.

      V- vow. Lord I vow my life to you.

      E- expecting. Lord I am expecting all of Your miraculous love to be all that you said it would be. For I know You have prepared a place for me.

      1. Natasha May

        Kapricha, thank you so much.

      2. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing that with Natasha and all of us Kapricha!

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