A Prayer for the New Year

As 2013 wanes and prepares to draw to a close, I find myself pensive, reflecting on the year gone by and a new year ahead. As I’ve considered the year that is almost upon us, I have been helped by this prayer from John MacArthur’s At the Throne of Grace. I think you’ll enjoy it too.

Thank you, Lord, for calling us into Your kingdom and family. Two of our responsibilities as family are to restore with humility those who have been caught in sin’s web, and to help carry one another’s burdens. In such actions, we fulfill the royal law of Christ, which is distilled in the principle of love. We recognize that all the moral duties Your law sets forth are precisely the same virtues that arise out of authentic love. May we be faithful vessels of the love Your Spirit sheds abroad in our hearts. May we never be guilty of hiding the light of Your love under a bushel.

Your Word often reminds us of the inexorable law of sowing and reaping. Whatever we sow we reap, spiritually as well as physically. May we always sow to the Spirit and not to the flesh! We confess that we cannot do that without Your gracious enablement, and so we seek the aid of Your Spirit.

You have also taught us that the one who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will reap bountifully. May we always be liberal and open-handed in the sowing of good things. We’re reminded especially of our duty to share in all good things with those who have taught us the Word. Fill us with gratitude and with generosity; then open our hearts to be channels of blessing, especially to those who have so wonderfully blessed us.

Help us to be both wise and aggressive in taking advantage of the opportunities we have to do good to all, especially our own dear bothers and sisters in Christ. Harness our gifts and abilities—along with all our human faculties—and employ them for Your glory. Empower us to work harder, serve more faithfully, labor more diligently, and still press on—even when the trials and distractions of this life seem to offer compelling motives to turn away from the needs of others. Energize us by Your Spirit and keep us faithful to our calling.

You know, dear Lord, that our lives here on earth are full of burdens, heartaches, and disappointments. You permit those things to use them for our benefit. May we bear them with grace and courage. We thank You for the grace that sustains us in the midst of all our troubles. We pray that through the trials You send our way You will keep our hearts filled with that peace which surpasses all comprehension and guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Thank You that when we falter or fail, You always restore us. You give us grace upon grace without measure. You abundantly supply every need we have.

But we confess, Lord, that one of our greatest needs is for holiness. We are prone to sin, predisposed to folly, given to stubbornness, and easily confounded by our own self-will. Guide, guard, and sustain us to keep our feet from slipping, and keep us ever mindful of—and firmly anchored to—the solid foundation You have given us in Christ.

Give us a greater love for Him, so that all our service flows from hearts of gladness. Give us a holy longing to be free from sin in both mind and action. Whether Your plan for our immediate future entails prosperity or adversity, blessing or suffering, joy or sorrow—or a loving mixture of all those things—prepare us to respond with uprightness of heart and Christlike holiness. Your grace is sufficient for all these things, and Your truth strengthens us for all things.

We bow our hearts to worship You in Your Son’s blessed name. Amen.

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