Friday, January 2, 2015

Prayers for the new year

It was my turn this week to write the World In Prayer prayers. With my deadline on January 1, of course I was thinking about the new year. I realized how odd it is that we give this one arbitrary day such significance as a time of new beginnings since every day gives us that same opportunity, so I decided to write prayers that could actually be used at any time. I didn't refer to any specific world events, but certainly for me there was a lot of subtext in what I chose to focus on. But I wanted to leave them open enough for people to include whatever is on their own hearts and minds.

I fussed around quite a bit with which order to put the intercessions. It's not perfect, but then, they never are.

At any rate, here you go. 

World News This Week in Prayer

Gracious God, our lives are new every morning. Each day we are given opportunities to love you and to love the people you send to us. As we begin a new year, we use this moment to rededicate ourselves to your service and our gifts and talents towards creating your kingdom in this world.

Your kingdom come, O Lord.

We rededicate ourselves to compassion: give us courage when we find ourselves encountering pain and suffering in others and in ourselves. Free us from judgment and self-righteousness and give us the gift of humility in all we do.

Your kingdom come, O Lord.

We rededicate ourselves to reconciliation: let us ask for forgiveness of those we have hurt; help us, in your mercy, to do the hard work of forgiving those who have hurt us. Where there is division between individuals, races, or tribes, may we be bearers of light and understanding.

Your kingdom come, O Lord.

We rededicate ourselves to hope: when we hear of wars that seem unending and see scars of conflict that run to the bone. In the face of natural disasters or calamities that we ourselves have made, inspire us with your hope to continue to seek your presence and your will.

Your kingdom come, O Lord.

We rededicate ourselves to justice: to fighting against unfair and unequal laws and treatment, and to exposing systems that benefit those who have much and penalize those who have little. Give wisdom to those in authority in this and every land, and give us courage to hold our leaders accountable for their actions.

Your kingdom come, O Lord.

We rededicate ourselves to peace: help us to respond to hatred with love, to anger with kindness. Fill us with your peace that we may share it wherever we go, that by our witness and our actions peace may fill the whole world.

Your kingdom come, O Lord.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, this day, this year, now and forever. All this we ask through the holy name of your son, Jesus Christ, who entered this world that the world may be saved. Through him we offer these prayers as we dedicate ourselves to you, today and always. Amen.

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