Now may fervent prayer arise. J. Newton. [New Year.] The third of thirteen "Hymns before Annual Sermons to Young People on New Years' Evenings," published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. ii., No. 9, in 7 stanzas of 6 lines. It is in common use both in the original and in the following forms:—
1. Bless, 0 bless the opening year.
2. Bless, 0 Lord the opening year.
3. Bless 0 Lord this opening year.
4. Bless 0 Lord each opening year.
These forms of the text generally embrace stanzas ii., iii., vi., vii., and are in use in Great Britain and America.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)