Thanks 2016. It’s been real. Time to welcome a New Year 2017. Ring it in with a prayer.
Thank You, Lord God, for another year to live for You! To bring people to see the mercy and grace You offer us in Your Son Jesus Christ. Thank You for all the good that happened to us in 2016 and all the ways You watched over us and protected us. Thank you for valuable Kingdom work to do and people to love. Thank You for all You are planning on doing in this New Year 2017. We thank You that Your mercies are new every morning and Your grace is more than enough to cover us and to see us through any difficulties ahead. We praise You that nothing takes You by surprise and somehow–even when we cannot see how it is possible–You still specialize in the impossible and use impossible people to accomplish Your will.
For those whose 2016s were marred by death and violence, by sadness and job loss, by alienation and unfriending, by injury and illness, and by any of the other tragedies large and small that afflict us on this planet, we ask for Your healing hand. Your special care and loving touch so they will know they have not been forgotten or forsaken by You. Remind Your people of ways we can minister to each other in the body of Christ and to trust in You. That You will pay back the years the locusts take away and to bestow that crown of beauty instead of ashes. May we know Your favor and comfort. Lord, help us to share Your good news with those who need it the most. Pour Your Holy Spirit out upon this land and upon this people. May we bring glory to You in 2017 by our faithful obedience. For Your lovingkindness lasts forever and our gratitude is eternal. Amen.
A Scripture of hope quoted (in part) by Jesus as He proclaimed its fulfillment in Himself:
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7 Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. 8 “For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed.” 10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
Happy New Year 2017!