Father, as we enter the New Year, we want to first enter Your gates with thanksgiving, and Your courts with praise, (Ps. 100:4) knowing that You inhabit the praise of Your people. (Ps. 22:3) Father, we desire to have You in our midst, so we exalt You Lord, as God of all creation, maker of heaven and earth and ruler of all nations. All things have been created by You and for You, and in You all things hold together. (Col. 1:16-17) And Father, we seek You first and Your kingdom of righteousness, knowing that You take care of the rest and we will have need of nothing else except just to love You and love others. (Matt. 6:33, Romans 13:8)
Lord, we are mindful of the variety of individuals who seek guidance and direction in the coming year. Many are excited at what the year holds, with hearts ablaze in passion and enthusiasm; others enter hesitantly, in a spirit of skepticism with hearts that have waxed cold following a disappointing year of burden and grief.
You remind us, Lord, to not let our hearts become troubled when the peace that the world offers falls through, but to believe in God and believe also in You. (John 14:1) Thank you, Father, for sending the Helper to help us in our time of need, (John 14:16) to comfort us in our pain and sorrows, (2 Cor. 1:3-4) and guide us both day and night. (Neh. 9:19) Restore to the weary and heavy-laden the joy of Your salvation and grant them a willing spirit to sustain them. (Ps. 51:12) May they find their rest in Christ, Whose yoke is easy and Whose burden is light. (Matt. 11:28)
Bring Aarons and Hurs to Your anointed leaders to support and sustain them in their call, (Ex. 17:12) not only in prayer, but in practical ways as well. We know the battle is Yours, Lord, but You use people, and sometimes Your people need help. Thank you Lord, for giving us shepherds after Your heart who will feed Your people on knowledge and understanding. (Jer. 3:15) Enlarge their boundaries Lord (1 Chron. 4:10) as You prepare the hearts of the lost in which You came to seek and save, drawing them into the paths of those who can lead them to You. (Luke 19:10)
Father, help us to be ever mindful of Your sheep who wander away from the protection of the fold, especially those who walk off willingly in search of greener pastures. Keep our hearts and minds in right standing with you God, regarding these “wanderers”, (2 Peter 3:17) and as Jesus did, go after them in a spirit of love and mercy to lift them up out of the ditch of deception, (Luke 15:4) to offer them the same comfort and grace in which we ourselves received in our days of wandering. Give us clean hands and pure hearts Lord, to love them back into right fellowship with You and their brothers and sisters in Christ. (Gal. 6:1)
Thank you Father, that when we humble ourselves and pray and seek Your face and turn from our sinful ways, You hear us from heaven, forgive us our sins and will heal us, our family, our communities, and our land. (2 Chron. 7:14) Now to Him, who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. (Eph. 3:20-21) Amen.