God of new life, God of life made new,
We begin this new year as we ended the last–
embraced by your spirit of love
your presence of peace
your gentle power.
We leave behind the old year
with prayers of gratitude for the love we have known,
with prayers for mercy in the pain we have experienced.
We release now the disappointments of the past year
and pray your peace will calm the fears that we carry.
Lead us now into the abundant life of the new year.
Give us eyes to glimpse your presence in each moment.
Give us ears to hear the quiet promptings of your Spirit.
Give us hearts open to the joy and the pain of the lives that surround ours.
We set our feet once again
on the way walked by Jesus.
These steps of peace may be difficult in a terrain that slopes toward violence.
These steps of justice may prove tiring as we walk against the winds of injustice.
These steps of love may be painful in the face of so much hatred.
Give us the wisdom
Give us the strength
to take these steps anyway.
Each day a new step.
Each step a faithful movement toward your kingdom.
Each step taken only by your grace
only in your power
our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.
This post is slightly revised from an earlier post.