NIGHT PRAYER: Saturday 12/30

NIGHT PRAYER: Saturday 12/30

Through the past year, Lord,

    we’ve nursed grudges and resentments

    and carried backpacks of anger

        weighing heavy on our shoulders,

    keeping us apart from family and neighbors,

        colleagues and classmates

           – and even old friends…

Now we find ourselves 
    just hours away from a new year
and we say we want a fresh start,
    a second chance, a clean slate 
– but are we willing, are we resolved
    to do what we must 
       to begin anew? 
Or will we be content, once again,
    to carry last year’s burdens
    right through New Year’s Eve
        and into 2024?

Will we cling to bitterness and suspicion
    as we sing our Auld Lang Syne?

Will we begin another year
    in the shadows of mistrust,

with chips on our shoulders,
    our hearts burdened
        with the weight of selfish pride?

If we haven’t time to mend all this

    before tomorrow’s midnight
then help us resolve in 2024

    to be the first 
       to take the steps

        toward making peace

            where peace has long been wanting…
Help each of us move forward
    to forgive the ones who’ve hurt us
and seek pardon
    of any we’ve offended…
Give each of us the honesty,
the courage to acknowledge 
    where we’ve been wrong
    or hasty in judgment, 
    quick to lash out,
    hostile and unkind,
    cold and unfriendly,
    conceited and proud,
too busy to notice, to care, 
   to reach out and to heal,
   to mend, to repair and restore
      what we’ve broken and treated poorly…
Help us, in the new year ahead,
    to listen for your voice, 
    to hear your word,
    to follow where you lead,
    to do what is good,
    to love what is just
    and to walk humbly by your side…
We need your help here, Lord,
    because up until now, sadly,
    we’ve not managed to do this on our own…

Help us, Lord, we pray, make all things new:
    within us, among us, and round us
    through our thoughts and words and deeds
        in the new year just ahead…

Protect us, Lord while we’re awake
    and watch over us while we sleep
that awake, we might keep watch with you
    and asleep, rest in your peace…

New Beginnings  by Justin Gray