A Prayer For The New Year
Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Matthew 28:20
I did something I rarely do: I wrote a letter to God about the year that is upon us. I suspect some of my thoughts may mirror yours as well. Listen in.
Dear Father, I feel a little overwhelmed right now—it's a collection of things that I know you can handle but presently I'm a little overwhelmed by life. I know you have met me at every crossroads in the past, but this one seems to have kind of gathered "comrades of concern" and attacked things that I know aren't that important but still keep me awake at night. It's rather annoying.
No, I haven't doubted the fact you will take me through this, but I just need your help for today. You said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you," and that promise has my name on it, I am sure. I remember how, a few days ago, you impressed upon me the truth of your word, "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him," but resting isn't just part of my DNA. I always want to jump in and try to solve situations that only you can handle. I guess that's my "thorn" in the flesh—at least one of them.
Yes, I remember how you have always met me and I know you will give me strength to do what needs to be done and the right time to do it. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the New Year and bring across my path those who can help carry the load, and will give me the strength to do what you want me to do.
First, Lord, thank you for your grace and the promises of your word that have never, never failed. I look back through my tattered Bible and see dates and memos to myself reminding me of your faithfulness and your help in the past. As I've grown older a kind of strange thing happens. I wake up with songs that I haven't heard for years humming in my head. Maybe it's the result of growing older, but I really think it's your way of reminding me of truths I already know, like the one this morning, an old hymn written by Fanny Crosby.
"All the way my Savior leads me. What have I to ask beside? Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who through life has been my Guide? Heav'nly peace, divinest comfort, Here by faith in Him to dwell! For I know, whate'er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well; For I know, whate'er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well."
Sometimes I have to remind myself of what I already know: nothing happens in the lives of your children that is beyond your watchful care. The events that often seem so frightening or challenging are filtered through your hands. And then what you told Paul when he was complaining about having a thorn in the flesh is still true: "Your grace is sufficient to meet every need."
Lord, you told the disciples, "Without me, you can do nothing," and, therefore, I know that I cannot rely on my strength but humbly ask you to take complete control of my life. Grant that what appears to be a challenge will only be an opportunity to see your hand intervening, guiding, supporting and enabling.
One more request: please help me not only to accomplish what you want me to do in the coming year, but—far more important—to be all that you want me to be—more compassionate, more understanding, more loving. Now, I'm ready, Lord. Let's take on the day together.
Resource reading: Isaiah 46:3-13