Best New Year’s Prayer You Could Ever Pray

by Scott B

Some prayers change lives. This one will change yours.

“I was asked to pray an extended prayer for the New Year. Here is my prayer, which I wish for all of us in 2018:

• You tell us we don’t have because we don’t ask. So today we want to ask.
• You tell us if we ask according to your will, you hear us and you give us what we ask. (1 John 5:14).
• So today we ask according to your will, as best we know how.

You tell us your will for us as individuals.

• You said it is your will for us to be filled with controlled by the Holy Spirit
• You tell us that when we are, we produce fruit like love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. So make us people who are possessed by you, who are filled with these virtues that are so rare in our world.
• You tell us it is your will is for us to be holy

– set apart from immorality and set apart for your special use. 1 Thes 4:3. So we ask, keep us from temptation, guard us from evil, use us as people set apart for you.

– We even want to ask you requests for our own health and our work and our money, the best we know how:

• You never turned away people who asked you for healing. In Deuteronomy you tell of a world in which people are not afflicted by horrible diseases. So based on this, we ask you to give us
– health that reflects the fearful and wonderful way you designed our bodies to function,
– the health we need to serve those around us, and
– the health it takes to enjoy the life you’ve given us.

• For money,
– Free us from the love of money,
+ because it is you who meets our needs, and
+ you say “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
– At the same time we ask you to give us the resources we need to
– be safe and healthy
– have enough to generously share and give
– be free from bondage to debt
– leave an inheritance to our children and their children
– save for tomorrow.

• In our work,
– give us favor with those we serve, as you did with Joseph and Daniel in their work.
– Let us be diligent and work from our hearts, because we know we are really working for you, whatever our vocation.
– Fill us with your wisdom beyond our human capacities, so we can be effective
– Let our workplaces be safe and healthy for both the powerful and the powerless, for both the young and the old, and for both men and women.

We believe we ask this in accordance with your will, and that you will answer us.

You also reveal your will in Scripture for how we should live toward each other. So this year make us people who

• are devoted to one another and are kind and compassionate toward one another,
• love each other as brothers and sisters
• live in harmony with each other
• encourage each other,
• serve each other,
• submit to each other,
• not judge each other,
• not grumble against or slander each other,
• but forgive and bear with one another.

We believe we ask all this according to your will, and we know you will answer us.

Also, make us better people in our interactions with those who were not yet your followers.
• Let us treat them like Jesus did.
• We know you will for us to follow Jesus, to be like him.
• So we want
– To do the kind of things Jesus did,
– to say the kind of things Jesus said,
– to treat people like Jesus did.

Make us people like Jesus:

• Who noticed those who others did not, like the woman who touched the hem of his garment.
• Who shared meals with people, like he did with Zaccheus
• Who looked at people and loved them, like he did with the rich young ruler
• Who called people names, like son and daughter and friend
• Who gave people hope and lifted their burdens by saying things like
– “Don’t cry.” Luke 7:13
– “Take heart.” Matthew 9:2, 9:22
– “Go in peace” Mark 5:34
– “Don’t be afraid.” Mark 5:36
• Who did not condemn those who do not know you, like he told the woman caught in adultery, “Where are your accusers?…neither do I condemn you.”

Let us also follow Jesus by doing what he told us to do:
• To show people in every tribe and tongue and people and nation what his love looks like
• To care for foreigners and prisoners and the naked and the hungry and th sick.

We believe we ask this in accordance with your will, and that you will answer us.

We also pray for our leaders.
• We pray that they will fulfill the most commonly mentioned duty of leaders, to defend the afflicted among the people and save the widow and the children of the needy.
• You say that leaders must not accept gifts that cause them to favor one group over another. We ask that you move our leaders and judges to reform our political system which is built on these gifts.
• We pray that our leaders would follow the traits you prescribe for them: being blameless, peace-loving, quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, full of mercy, and without hypocrisy.

We believe we ask this in accordance with your will, and that you will answer us.

You also show us your will for this world – you describe the world you want to see one day.

• Your vision is for our world in which never again will there be
– an infant who lives but a few days or
– an old man who does not live out his years.
• The world you dream of is one in which
– people build houses and live in them and
– plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
• In which nation
– will not take up sword against nation,
– nor will they train for war anymore
• The cities you envision are ones in which
– the foreigners,
– the fatherless and
– the widows may
+ come and
+ eat and
+ be satisfied Deut 14:29
• You describe in Isaiah your vision for a world in which people live
– in peaceful dwelling places,
– in secure homes,
– in undisturbed places of rest.
• So we ask you to
– bring peace to our conflicted world and
– give us peace in our homes and neighborhoods.

You have told us what your kingdom looks like, what the dream you have in heaven, looks like. And we love that we get to part of that kingdom. So we ask, may your kingdom come, your will be done, right here on earth just like you envision it in heaven.

We believe we ask this in accordance with your will, and that you will answer us.

So as we enter the New Year, let us forget what is behind and press on toward the goal of loving you and loving people more.

We ask all this, believing it is your will, and we look forward to you answering and to us receiving with joy your good gifts to us in 2018. Amen. “

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