Sunday, December 26, 2010
A Prayer for New Years
We praise you for your constant care and love, for your presence that has been like the cool shade of a tree in the summer heat and the warmth of a fire in the winter cold. You have led us through this year like the good shepherd you are. You have both fed us and when it has been time for us to move on you have prompted us disturbed us and called us to follow you afresh. You know what is good for us and often it has meant that you led us out of our comfortable fields into uncertain places, new horizons where we have to trust you more fully.
We thank you for the good times this year, when we have seen your hand and known your favour. We praise you that in the times when we have felt alone and abandoned far away from you that it was not true even though we could not feel or see you, you were closer than our own shadow. We even want to praise you for the dark times of sorrow, confusion and pain in this year. Not because we must because you are some egotistical deity, but because it was true that you are the one in those times that walked through the deep shadows with us, your rod and staff providing comfort; Your constant love our only hope, hope as true as a new dawn after a sleepless night.
We acknowledge in Jesus Christ your goodness and righteousness that you have been constant and loving towards us. You have acted justly and with mercy. You have called us to repent from the wrong we do and turn back to you. You have forgiven us and restored us.
It is light of that we stop and see that we have fallen short of this love, we are fallen, sinful and there is darkness within that you son came as light to banish. We confess our sin before you.
We acknowledge that there are people that we need to ask forgiveness of for the wrongs we have done them. We pray for your forgiveness and ask that you will help us face them and ask their forgiveness as well.
We acknowledge that there are people we have withheld forgiveness from. We hold grudges we have broken relationships in our life and we need to seek reconciliation and healing. Forgive us and aid us in seeking to right these wrongs.
We acknowledge there have been times when we have let you down and not done what you would have us do and as we remember them we pray that you would forgive us.
Hear the good new that as we confess our sins God is faithful and just and will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Jesus has paid the price and has set us free.
Lord God, You are not only the God of yesterday and today you are the God of tomorrow and as we turn to look at a new year we acknowledge that we can face it with assurance that ‘our times are in your hands’. We pray that you would fill us afresh with your spirit that we may move into this New Year following Jesus, being made more and more into his likeness. Showing his love and mercy to all who we meet. Living our lives according to Your word and in the power of the spirit.