2020 has not been the year we had hoped it would be.
For many of us there has been deep loss. Bereavement, unemployment and a shattering of hopes and dreams have left us feeling broken. So much of what was precious and familiar has been stripped away. We’ve had to learn so many new things. We’re exhausted. Many of us feel we have nothing left to give. And the stress, anxiety and depression are hard to bear.
Lord, help us lament the year just gone. Enable us to pour out our pain to you. We know you care so help us run to you with our tears, our fears and our questions of faith.
Yet you, Lord are still on your throne. Your goodness has not failed. Your purposes are still progressing, your love and mercy continue to flow. We, your children, have seen your sustaining hand – we’ve experienced your provision day by day. We’ve had opportunities to reach out in new ways and, precious Father we are so grateful for those moments when you have used people like us, in times like this, to hold out words of life and hope to those around.
Lord, help us to praise you even now. Enable us to overflow with thankfulness at your care, your leading and the wonderful way you have brought new people into your Kingdom.
And help us to commit to following you into the new year confident that, however we are feeling, whatever hopes or fears we are carrying, you are equipping us to live for you day by day. You don’t promise us ease but you do promise life in all its fullness and so we choose to trust you for 2021, to depend on you for all we need.
Lord, as we root ourselves in word and prayer, help us not just to survive but to thrive in the circumstances you have placed us. And enable us to look forward to the new year not with naïve optimism but firmly established confidence in your sovereignty and care.
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)