Dear Loving, Holy, and Gracious God,
As this year comes to a close and we prepare for a brand new year, we’d like to take a moment to stop, reflect, and prepare – reflect on all that you have done through out the year we just had, and prepare our hearts, with you, as the new year comes.
*Pause in silence for a time of reflection. Perhaps think about some of the times during which you saw God at work or heard God speak in 2017*
Lord, we acknowledge that to many, this year has been filled with suffering, sickness, pain, trauma, loss, tragedy, and heartbreak. We ask that you would wrap your strong yet tender and gentle arms around those people, who found 2017 to be a year that they would rather not remember. We pray that you would help them to see you clearly and remind them that you are with them always. Help them remember that it is okay to feel whatever it is that they feel from those experiences, and that you love them through it all.
*Pause in silence for a time to remember all those who have lost loved ones, and to remember loved ones whom you have lost in 2017*
We ask that you would take the hardships we endured in 2017 and help us see light in those situations, as well as the strength we gained from those situations. As hard as it is often times, we thank you for the difficult times, acknowledging you did not once leave our side through those darker times.
*Pause in silence for a time to remember the hardships you endured this past year, and allow God to hold you through whatever it is you feel from them*
Lord, we thank you and we praise you for the wonderful and memorable times we had in 2017. We thank you for the joy that we shared with the people we love. We thank you for the triumphs we had and even thank you for the challenges 2017 brought, acknowledging that every triumph, challenge, and even failure we endured has made us to be more like the people you have called us to be.
*Pause in silence for a time to thank God for all the joyous things he has done in your life and in the lives of those around you*
God, We thank you for the endless grace that you offer to us daily. We acknowledge that we do not and will not ever deserve your grace or love, but that you give it to us each day, and for that, we thank you. Far too often we do not acknowledge the presence of you or of your grace in our lives, and for that, we are sorry. We ask that you would forgive us for the times in which we have sought to glorify ourselves instead of you, for the times we have ignored you or turned away from you, and for the times we have neglected to give you praise for amazing things that have happened in our lives that only you could have done.
*Pause in silence for a time to ask God for forgiveness*
We pray for the wisdom to know where you are leading us each day. We pray that you would guide our steps when we are unsure which way to go, and even when we think that we are sure.
Lord, take the plans we have made for ourselves, and wreck them completely.
Show and tell us of the marvelous plans that you have for us, while helping us to remember that our plans are always insufficient compared to yours.
This year, God:
Take our fears and replace them with your promises.
Take our anxiety and replace it with your peace.
Take our sorrow and replace it with joy.
Take any obstacles and use them as opportunities for growth.
Take any desires to glorify ourselves and replace it with desires to glorify You.
Help us seek You over the things of this world.
God, we pray for growth in this new year.
We pray that you would give to us open minds to talk with people who are like us, as well as with people who are not like us. Help us to remember that we are all Your children, no matter ones race, political party, age, sex, ethnicity, physical, or mental state. We pray for your help in always remembering that no difference between any two people is great enough to prevent us from showing them the love of Christ. We also pray that we would always have open ears with which to listen to those who simply need to talk, may we be present and alert to those in need. We pray that we would have open hearts to welcome into our lives anyone who may need to experience the love of your Son, Jesus. And also open doors, to welcome both strangers and friends into our churches, homes, and lives, for we are all brothers & sisters in Christ.
We ask that you would bless this year of 2018, God.
We pray for the strength we’ll need that only you can provide, to face any challenges that may arise in 2018. We pray for a focus in 2018 that is constantly on you, and when our focus shifts, we pray that you would guide our eyes straight back to you.
We pray that this coming year, you would place in our lives an abundant amount of opportunities to serve in Your Name – opportunities to give our time, money, and love even when we feel we have nothing to offer – opportunities to serve others even when we would rather not – opportunities to be kind even when we’re having a bad day and would rather turn away – help us always choose to serve, and grant us the vision we need to always see those opportunities, and not turn a blind eye as we would often do.
In this new year, God, we pray that we, your servants, would be the hands & feet of your Son, Jesus. And finally, we pray for Your will, in 2018 – nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.
Optional: The Lord’s Prayer written below
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
This marks the end of this guided prayer. If you have any prayer requests at all that you would like to share, please feel free to leave them written in the comments section below.