2020 has not been the year we hoped it would be.
As I look back on 2018, there are tears in my eyes.
The last twelve months have hurt so very much.
There are people I love who are no longer here.
Parts of my body have stopped working well.
So many of my hopes and dreams didn’t come to pass.
So many fears came crashing in.
There were days when it seemed impossible to press on. Moments when I felt so very alone.
And I know, without any shadow of doubt, that I have hurt others with my actions and words.
I want to forget. I long to push the year away.
If only I could turn the page in my diary and know that things will be different.
How I long to find a quick fix that would make the problems vanish.
But there’s no point in pretending, I know the brokenness isn’t suddenly going to disappear.
So, this year, I simply pray that you will help me turn to you in trust.
Let me find in you my comfort, strength and hope.
Help me go forward into the future, committed to following my Shepherd,
Equipped by the Spirit and under the Lordship of my King.
Surround me with brothers and sisters who can spur me on,
And give me the servant-heartedness to long to encourage them in return.
Remind me afresh of your sovereignty, intimacy and grace.
Let me revel in the love and purpose that you have lavished into my life through Jesus’ work on the cross.
Continue to grow me, one faltering step at a time.
Make me quick to run to you in repentance, confident that your mercies never fail.
Enable me to persevere in holiness and faith.
Help me to delight in your word and be eager to come to you in prayer.
And let me want your glory above all else.
Help me, here and now, at the start of 2019, to commit the coming year to you.
How can we keep praying when it appears God isn’t answering?
By Catherine Haddow
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