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Happy New Year!

Dear Friends,

I guess that since it's New Years Eve I should start by wishing you a Happy New Year! In fact, since it is New Years Eve, I started out earlier looking for a prayer to send out that would express what I would want for us all this upcoming year. Unfortunately I could not find one that said exactly what I hoped it would say, so I ended up writing one myself. I know my thoughts are usually taken from the books of others, but this one is from me personally to you. It's my prayer for all of us in the upcoming year. May His blessings rest upon you.


A New Year's Prayer
Merciful God - Father of our Lord Jesus Christ - we pause on this last day of December to give you thanks for so graciously sustaining us through yet another year. Forgive us that like little children hoping to receive even more gifts, we are so prone at times like this to forget to simply offer you thanks for all the countless blessings we have already received from your hand.


Whether we leave behind a year of joys and fond memories, or a year of difficulty and loss, we pause to offer you thanks. Not only have you sustained us through them all, you are changing us through them all – working all things together for the good of those who love you and are the called according to your purpose.


In all things we can have hope, for your promise is to renew, restore and complete the work you started in us. So true is your promise: Your mercies are new every morning – so great is your faithfulness. Thank you for the precious gift of new mercies that come with the dawning of each new day.


May the year to come be blessed - not by shielding us from all difficulties, but by drawing near to us to strengthen us for whatever comes. We ask not for the path of ease, but the path that brings us to cherish you more. Not the path of unbroken sunshine, but the path where the sense of your presence rains down to refresh our thirsty souls even in our struggles and hardships.

And Father, in a world where self-concern and self-interest so dominate, move us to be more selfless. Make us more alert to the struggles of others, quicker to care, more willing to sacrifice, and far more civil, wise, understanding, compassionate and loving to every neighbor and stranger in need. We ask these things in the name of Jesus, your Son and our Lord. May His kingdom come, and His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.


Until next year, may His grace rest upon you all, Pastor Jeff






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