January 1, 2016, Friday.
Praise be to you, Lord, for a new year, a new day, a new start. I praise you that you have already been through this year and in your sovereign knowledge know all that will happen.
I praise you that you have laid out a course for each of your children to run the race you have for us (Heb. 12). Help us both to lay aside all the weights and sins that so easily entangle us, and to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:10-18).
I praise you now for the protection, the guidance, the grace and the goodness you will give. I thank you for how you will lead us through valleys, up steep hills, over the top with a wider view, down into another valley. You will take us over, around and through obstacles.
And each step of the way there will be opportunities to honor you by offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving in the little frustrations, disappointments and failures as well as in larger losses, tragedies and evil happenings. Help us to praise in all, knowing that whatever happens you will be with us every step of the way: “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me” (Ps. 23).
I praise you, too, for the many opportunities you will give us to grow (James:1:2,3). And through those opportunities to do the dance of grace on the stage of faith that those around us may see you at work in our lives.
Help us to trust you so that you may fill us with all joy and peace, and so that our lives may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom 15:13). Thereby we can be hope-carriers to all those around us.
Give us discernment each day so that we can understand what you are doing and join you in it, first in prayer, then in action. Help us to recognize the opportunities you will give us to share about you with all those around us who are ready to hear. Bring them to us, give us the words and bring many into your Kingdom this year.
May we be glory-givers, grace-receivers and grace-givers. May you be honored, exalted and pleased with what you hear from our lips all year. Amen.