God of all times and seasons,
On this threshold of a new year, I turn and return again to you.
The year spreads before us with possibilities and challenges, joys and concerns.
There is beauty all around: in the smiles of children, in the love offered between friends, in the beauty of the earth.
But there are also challenges already surfacing.
In the closing days of last year we have seen the images of war torn countries,
terrorist attacks, hunger, poverty and despair.
Your heart grieves when your children anywhere are hurting.
My heart grieves too.
Then again, I know that even in the midst of winter there is hope for spring,
and even in the midst of grief there are signs of hope:
children embraced, lives touched by grace, heroes who surface in times of trial.
In the midst of the good and the bad, hear my prayer for this New Year.
May you help me to love a bit more deeply,
See the beauty around me more clearly,
Listen more earnestly,
Speak more honestly.
May I be troubled by injustice and be moved to act.
May I be led by compassion and be moved to serve.
May I walk softly upon this earth and be gentle towards your creation.
May I be a courageous and bold witness for you.
May I be a living example of your gracious love, not only in word but in deed.
And may I daily give thanks for the others in my life and in the world that do the same and more, every day, in innumerable ways.
For the promise in this New Year, I give you thanks.
Help me to live it wisely and well.
(Source: Sandy Messick, Worship Words)