New Year’s Prayer
I’m not one for breathlessly optimistic pronouncements and predictions at the outset of a new year—a pessimism realism born out of too many unrealistic and unrealized ideas and intentions over the years, I suppose. Nonetheless, another spin around the sun does represent a good time for reflection, a good time to pause and think about the year to come.
My deepest wish for you is not that you would have a Happy New Year. Most of us have been around long enough to know that entire years can rarely be adequately described as “happy,” “sad,” or any other solitary and lonely adjective. We know that our years are mostly mixed bags. They may contain joy and prosperity; they may bring pain and confusion; they may bring both, in greater or lesser degrees and many other things that fall between these extremes. This is what our years seem to be like.
My hope and prayer for you, rather, is that you would have eyes to see and ears to hear the coming of Christ to meet you in the midst of whatever you may face in this New Year. I hope that whatever triumphs and obstacles mark your path, that Christ will be at home in your heart, that you will learn from him and be more closely conformed to his image as a result of having walked with him wherever you go and whatever you do.
I came across this prayer today, and thought it wonderfully summed up my hopes for this coming year—both for myself and for all of us. From Frederick Buechner:
Thou Son of the Most High, Prince of Peace, be born again into our world. Wherever there is war in this world, wherever there is pain, wherever there is loneliness, wherever there is no hope, come, thou long-expected one, with healing in thy wings.
Holy Child, whom the shepherds and kings and the dumb beasts adored, be born again. Wherever there is boredom, wherever there is fear of failure, wherever there is temptation too strong to resist, wherever there is bitterness of heart, come, thou blessed one, with healing in thy wings.
Saviour, be born in each of us who raises his face to thy face, not knowing fully who he is or who thou art, knowing only that thy love is beyond his knowing and that no other has the power to make him whole. Come, Lord Jesus, to each who longs for thee even though he has forgotten thy name. Come quickly