Originally, this post was going to be titled "A Christmas Prayer" - because it arose out of a prayer used for my church's Christmas Eve service. However, life got busy and I didn't have time to get this post typed up right away, so it has become a New Year's Prayer instead. I think this is good - this prayer is not just for Christmas time, it is my prayer for the entire year of 2017.
As I mentioned this was the congregational prayer used during the Christmas Eve service at Ankeny First United Methodist Church (Faith Chapel) - I don't know if the same prayer was used at all of the church's Christmas services at each of their three sites - but the words of this prayer took hold of my heart. The credit for this prayer goes to Ankeny First, I have modified just a few words to make it fit as a New Year's prayer. It's a prayer that could be said everyday in this new year as we as individuals, as a country, and as a world face many changes.
Amazing God, you come to us in the strangest ways: sometimes in the stillness at the eye of the storm or in the midnight of our lives; sometimes in the raging whirlwind of our responsibilities; at other times in the moment of birth when all is potential and the future cannot be known.
We gathered on Christmas to celebrate your very real birth. May this year be a time when we believe again. May we hold to the knowledge that LOVE is stronger than FEAR, that PEACE is more enduring than HATRED, and that no DARKNESS will ever defeat the LIGHT. You transformed the world on that first Christmas, we ask that you transform it here again. Create, redeem, heal, and sustain with your presence here, now. May Christ's LOVE be born anew in our lives and in our world. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
May your 2017 be blessed with God's LOVE and LIGHT.