Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
How can we ever thank you? How can we thank you for another year of life. Another year of blessings. Another year of your presence in our lives, whether we choose to hold on to you or not. Here we stand, Lord, at the beginning of a new year of life remembering this past year and thinking ahead to the next. While there is so much to consider, worry and look forward to in the next year, there is still so much to remember from the last. Help us, God, to gives thanks for the good and send us comfort for all the things which brought your people hurt, distress, and sadness in the last.
Lord in your mercy; renew our sense of gratitude.
Lord, we lift up all who have struggled this past year, in particular those who have been left behind after their dear ones have gone to be with you in their new heavenly homes. We lift up the many who have and continue to suffer and die in Yemen. We lift up your children in all war-torn places who continue to suffer due to conflicts, wars, and crises which cover so many places and yet about which little is known in other parts of the world. We ask that you walk alongside your dear children. May your strength wash over them as a blanket of healing.
Lord in your mercy; renew our strength.
While this next year may bring pain and heartache to some of your children, may we find hope in knowing that you will always walk with us regardless of what may happen. We ask that you be with the many families who are still separated from their little children at Mexico’s border. While so many of us will never understand this kind of separation, we know that your presence is so necessary for your terrified children and their devastated parents.
Lord in your mercy; renew our hope.
As we reflect on this past year, we remember all those who will no longer be a part of our lives in the coming days and months. We already know that our lives will not be the same without them, and yet we know that their memories will live on with us even though their presence feels so far from us. We particularly pray for the many who have died and the many still missing because of the volcano eruption and landslides in Indonesia. May you bring solace to those overcome with worry because of their still missing loved ones.
Lord in your mercy; renew our memories.
God, while it may seem that this year will be the same as the last, help us to cling to you and have the courage to share your hope and divine love with everyone we meet as we re-imagine our lives as not only our own, but as your own blessed children. For this and for your hope, we give thanks. May you continually nurture our voices that we might share your love with all. Hear these words, Lord, that we might continually draw near to you.
Lord in your mercy; renew your people.