Prayer for a new year

Approx. read time: 2:50 min.

People have been saying “Good riddance” to the year that is now passed.

I understand their feeling. “A year like no other” is shorthand for what is too complicated, too onerous, to recap.

The past year was, like every other year, a gift, given in great love and full of every possibility for the good. 

A year given to me to make of it something good, and fresh, fashioned in love and justice and possibility.

A year given to us who inhabit this precious blue-dot planet, to make of it something worthy of our capacities and stature as human community.

The results were mixed.

So I cannot say: Good riddance. As though the year was something that happened to me. 

I had work to do. Each of us did. Each of us was somehow, by grace, deemed the right person to meet the demands of this moment in which we live.

These times are not a mistake. Our being here, in this time and place, is not a mistake.

What can I say?

Thank you, I whisper to the heavens, for the opportunities to be caught off guard when work vanished, and to imagine new ways to stay true to the fire within me for the work I do.

Thank you, I whisper to the Unseen God, for daily invitations to love with compassion and to pray for those who sow confusion and damage rather than life-giving possibility.

Thank you, I whisper to the Spirit ever present, for patience and resilience in this rocky season of pandemic, as unrest of every sort pushes us toward new ways of being humanity.

Thank you, Jesus, revelation of God Who Is Love, for the closeness of your friendship, and consolation of your steadfast presence, whether I am attentive or somewhere else.

In this fresh new year I want to see things differently. To not presume injustice everywhere but to presume grace already at work, especially in the most needful places where injustice would rule the day. Especially when grace is expressed through those whom I am quick to judge.

I want to presume that the power that flows from Jesus’ resurrection is at work, anticipating our need for revelations of the reign of God on earth, as in heaven.

I want to feel purified. I want to begin again—fresh, forgiven, and confirmed in holy possibility. I want to live with purpose and a joyful generosity.

I pray: No more tired eyes. No more weary soul. No more forgetting my capacity—our capacity—to manifest the vision and desiring of God’s own heart.

I pray to see things differently. 

I pray that my attitude will be Christ’s, at all times, as the Apostle Paul insists.

I pray for conversion of heart. 

I pray that I’ll get it right. Soon. Maybe this year.

Hold me accountable to these words.


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Photo credit: Mary Sharon Moore, Blue Heron at Abbey Pond, 2017

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