A Prayer For The New Year
A Prayer For The New Year
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us, Your people redeemed by the blood of Christ, humble, repentant hearts. Hearts that embrace Your will, even though it brings us suffering.
O Lord, we confess our sins are so many in this past year. We deserve far worse than the viral plague we are presently enduring. We praise You and thank You, our God, that in Christ Jesus You “do not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:10).
We confess, O Lord, that in spite of the hundreds of times You tell us in Your Word not to be afraid, we have feared greatly. Feared for our health. Feared for our lives. Feared what others would think of us. Feared for our politics. Feared for our world. Our fear of the things of this world has often caused us to neglect the next world. Our fear of death has caused us to cower while our neighbors die without Christ, having never heard the gospel from our own lips. Forgive us, God. We plead only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Help us fear only You. In the year ahead, may we “know the fear of the Lord that we might persuade others” (2 Cor 5:11).
We confess, O Lord, that even in Your Church we allowed and embraced man-made philosophies that are not according to Christ. We have been sullied into believing we can address the sin of partiality or racism by abandoning the biblical view of one race in Adam, hopeless unless transferred by Your power to the saved race of the Second Adam. Instead of tearing down walls of hostility in Jesus’ name, we have erected even more. We confess we have allowed our culture to define terms, and we have bought into far too many of their categories. Rather than rejoice that in Christ there is no Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free, we have hyper-emphasized those subordinate identity markers and embraced a hyphenated Christianity. In doing so, Lord, we have castigated entire people groups and held others up as superior. We have sown discord in Your blood-bought Church. Forgive us, O God. We plead the blood of Jesus. Return us to the level ground at the foot of the cross, where the only distinction among all humanity is Your saving grace.
We confess, O Lord, our pride and arrogance. It has been on display in 2020 like never before. Forgive us, Lord, for giving up so much freedom in order to supposedly spare human lives, even as we continue to smile upon abortion mills. Forgive us, O Creator, for tearing down statues and canceling anyone in our history that we think had anything whatsoever to do with a bond-servant or slave, while continuing to ignore the fact that there are more slaves in the world today than ever before. Forgive us for empowering and inciting that very slave trade by our lust for sex. We are hypocrites in the third degree. O God Almighty, we have no plea other than the merits of Christ Jesus our Lord.
O Lord, we confess we have proven this past year that by-and-large, we evangelicals do not really believe Your Word is totally sufficient for all of life and godliness. Forgive us. Bring us back to a 2 Timothy 3:14-17 faith. For the sake of Christ, we pray You give us courage to do Church Your way, and to defy any authority that places itself over and above You and Your Holy Word.
Set our feet upon the Rock in 2021, dear Lord. May we hallow Your name once again. Give us new hope in Christ as we prepare to suffer well for His kingdom. Help us, teach us, to long for heaven. To set our minds on things above, and not on things on earth. To fix our hearts and minds on Christ, seated at Your right hand. To pine to be revealed with Him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4). Give us grace. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit. Empower and sanctify us by Your Word (John 17:17). Send us out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Ready to give an answer for our hope. Not surprised by fiery trials (1 Peter 3:14-15; 4:12-13). Help us not count our lives as anything, but only to seek to fulfill our service to Christ our King (Acts 20:24). Keep us in Your care this year. Be exalted in and through us. Give us good courage to go in Your sovereign power and authority to make disciples of the peoples of the world (Matthew 28:18-20). Bless all Your servants who are suffering for Your Holy Name, Lord Jesus. May their testimony and in some cases martyrdom bring many of Your enemies to cry out for the saving mercy of Christ alone.
“Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:13-17). Amen.