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.
Guard us from the attacks of the evil one.
Guard us from our own bent toward sin.
Guard us from the desire to love lesser things.
Give us faith to believe that you are always good.
Give us faith to believe that your power is made perfect in our weakness.
Give us faith to believe that you are enough to satisfy the longings of our hearts.
Give us faith to believe that your love is better than life.
Give us faith to believe that dying to ourselves is the way to truly live.
Show us how to embrace a life of faith in Christ as an abiding life. How feasting on your words empowers and strengthens and grants the joy needed to keep pressing on.
Show us your power, your grace, and your holiness, that we might worship you in humility and awe.
Show us our desperate need for you that we might walk in complete dependency, full assurance, and utter confidence that Christ in us is the hope of glory.
Show us that you are working in us to bear fruit and to bring you glory.
Grant us a yielded faith to release our desire for control.
Grant us a joyful faith to receive everything that comes from your hand.
Grant us a focused faith to fix our eyes completely on you.
Grant us a persevering faith to stand firm to the end.