Weekly Prayer: January 10th, 2021

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Almighty God,

We come into your presence with humble hearts. We know we are sinners. We have forgotten who you are. We have forsaken your ways. We have turned to other gods, idols of gold and power. We have grabbed the banner of darkness to wave, and rejected your banner of love.

We have mocked you with our words and deeds. We have disgraced and dishonoured you by doing wicked things in your name. We have sinned against you, Lord.

We come to you, humbly, repentant, asking for mercy.

We pray not just mercy for us, the individual, Lord. We as a people, as a nation, have sinned against you. We have all acted, we have built systems, we have done evil for so long we do not know it. And all of it against you.

Be merciful to us. Be gracious, dear Lord.


This prayer first appeared on Christian Thought Sandbox.

Weekly Prayer: January 3rd, 2021

Holy God,

We have embarked on a new year, with fresh dreams and renewed hopes. We begin this new season anticipating better things, greater things than we knew in the year prior.

But in all that excitement, in all the preparation of new endeavours, in all the fanfare of what could yet be, we pause to thank you for the year past.

2020 was not the year anyone planned for. It was not something that we would have wished at all. The year was full of struggle, disappointment, challenges, and losses. The hurts may still linger, the difficulties may still present as we continue.

But…but through it all, you were there.

You were there. Emmanuel, God with us.

Even when it didn’t feel like it. Even when we hurt. Even when we cried. Even when we lost. You were always by our side.

Lord, as we embark on 2021, help us to remember that. We have rose-coloured glasses now for this new year, but things can change quickly. Help us to remember that no matter what happens, just as you have always been in the past, you are now. You are here. And as you are now, you forever will be. You will be with us. Every step of the way. Through the highs and lows of 2021.

God, bless us as we go. Walk with us, showering us with grace and mercy. May your presence forever be upon us this year.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen


This prayer first appeared on Christian Thought Sandbox.

A New Thing

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It’s a new year…so? Now what?

It’s 2021 now. The old has passed. 2020 is no more, but the problems still linger. Covid is here to stay. The problems that it has created are still impacting families everywhere. The issues we had on December 31 are present on January 1.

We know this. We don’t really think that everything will magically go away, but we hope that things will still change. We talk that way. We lean into the anticipation that 2021 will be everything that 2020 wasn’t.

But is wishful thinking about a better year what we really need? Do we want to be blissfully ignorant, lost in a cloud of whimsical desire that everything is going to be okay? Or do we want something of substance?

Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

We could talk about how making resolutions is a good and bad idea. We could wrestle with the ideas of traditions and new ways of doing things. We could about the arbitrary nature of starting things on the first day of the year. And those would be worthwhile conversations.

However, for all the talk, for all the ideas about making a new you, a new life, new job, new whatever, what we really need is new mercies.

We need new compassion from God. We need a fresh reminder that we are loved despite being stained by sin. We need the daily experience of the faithfulness of our Saviour. We need that every day. A new revelation of the depth of Christ’s love for us.

This doesn’t magically happen because the calendar year has changed. It hasn’t come because we’ve gone around the sun. It happens every day because the love of God is so boundless. There is no limit to how much compassion, mercy, and goodness He has for us.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17-19

I don’t know what 2021 is going to bring. There is no way to know what we will encounter over the next 12 months. But what I do know this is, I want…I need to experience the fresh mercies of God. Everyday. I need that.

So I pray that I will see them, recognize them as the year goes by. And I pray that you will know the great mercies of God as your experience 2021, day by day.

Everything else, the new habits, the new you, all that can be left behind. But we cannot live without knowing the new mercies of God this new year. May that be your 2021.


This article first appeared on Christian Thought Sandbox.

All Scripture references are provided by Biblegateway.com. Check them out if you are looking for a verse, some commentaries to help you understand a passage or a devotional to keep you in the Written Word every day. Or check out their app, available at the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Fire.

Weekly Prayer: December 27th, 2020

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Almighty God,

Emmanuel,

You are here. You have come. The great gift of salvation is present. With your Son arriving on Christmas Day, our hope and peace are now real.

The world is not condemned to damnation. All that is broken, fractured, and tainted by sin will be renewed, refreshed, and restored because of Jesus.

As we wade into Christmastide, as we think and meditate on Christ being born, let our hearts and minds be soft and moldable. Let not the pain and harshness of this year hinder us from feeling the power of your Spirit as it reveals the truth to us. Let the love that pours from your heart, Lord, revive us.

Revive us with yourself.

Because you are here. You have come. You are Emmanuel.

Amen.


This prayer first appeared on Christian Thought Sandbox.

Merry Christmas!

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The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Luke 2:10-11

There is so much going on in the world. So much is happening with the novel coronavirus. Now multiple vaccines are making the rounds. But people are still living in complete fear, dreadful isolation, or so much worse. Jobs have been lost, financial situations worsened, and countless lives have been lost. The future is not as clear as we would like, and ‘normal’ is still only a memory and not a part of our tomorrow.

But even so, the angel still said. Even though things around us are terrible, we feel miserable, and everything about tomorrow appears bleak; the angel says, do not be afraid. In the midst of a world gone wrong, there is good news.

Salvation has come. Someone has arrived and with them, the end of what is wrong in our world. The Saviour has been born.

From this moment on, everything is different. Everything has changed. While the problems, the crises have not magically gone away, there is a renewed hope that they will. A Saviour promises a better day. A Saviour promises that things will not remain as they are. A Saviour is a cause for great joy, a refreshed outlook of our lives.

It is not something forced onto us, however. It is something you must accept. It is something you must invite in. While 2020 might almost be through, we all need to stop and consider what will we do with the news the angel proclaimed.

Will we let the words of the angel bring us joy? Will we let that news of a Saviour change the attitudes we have, the way we think and act in the world? Will Jesus change us?

I hope that wherever you are this Christmas season, you will see and know that there is a fresh joy to be had in the knowledge that Jesus was born. A Saviour was sent and has changed everything. There is no longer a reason to fear tomorrow, because of this special baby born this day.

Merry Christmas, and may God bless you today.


This article first appeared on Christian Thought Sandbox.

All Scripture references are provided by Biblegateway.com. Check them out if you are looking for a verse, some commentaries to help you understand a passage or a devotional to keep you in the Written Word every day. Or check out their app, available at the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Fire.

Weekly Prayer: December 20th, 2020

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Peace is the last thing on my mind, Lord,

Though it is all our church is talking about…

The calm, the quiet, the wholeness…

Peace, Lord, can you give it to us now?

Continue reading “Weekly Prayer: December 20th, 2020”

Weekly Prayer: November 29th, 2020

Righteous Father, seated High in the courts of Heaven,

We praise you for your goodness. We marvel at your justness. We revel in your generosity. We worship you.

How good is the Lord, God Almighty! The nations sing your praise. And when they are silent, the mountains call out.

Continue reading “Weekly Prayer: November 29th, 2020”