Looking back on this past year, we feel a mix of emotions. Some of us are rejoicing that 2016 is behind us; some of us are fighting fear in the face of a new beginning. There were challenging seasons and moments of great joy. But through it all, You never changed, Lord. Your character remains the same and so regardless of the shifting nature of this world, we rejoice in Your faithfulness.
When life gave us hard things that we didn’t understand, we knew the depth of your goodness.
When our bank account was low we knew the generosity of your provision.
When the grief blindsided us with tears we couldn’t control, we knew the tenderness of your comfort.
When nothing in our lives or in this world made sense, we knew the gift of your peace.
In the darkest and loneliest hours we knew the power of your presence.
As we enter into the unknowns of another year, we pray that our lives would be willing vessels for your work in us and through us. We pray that we might know you more fully and live for you more completely. May we be needy and broken, not to glory in our weakness but to glory in your power to change us.
Teach us to love those we don’t understand.
Teach us humility when being right feels too important.
Teach us forgiveness when we’d rather give the cold shoulder.
Teach us how to carry grief without losing sight of the joy that is found in you.
Teach us to steward our time, not waste it, and the wisdom to discern the difference.
Open our eyes to see our sin and recognize it for what it is.
Open our hands to give generously and to receive in our own time of need.
Open our ears to listen to the cares and joys of others, and a willingness to carry each other’s burdens.
Open our hearts to the work of the Spirit to be taught, corrected, convicted and instructed in righteousness. Not to look good or appear holy, but that we might walk in a manner worthy of you.