The turning of the calendar from one year to the next changes nothing about our relationship with God. It changes little in our relationships and responsibilities with the people around. But it is an opportunity. An opportunity to reflect on the goodness of God in the past and an opportunity to affirm our commitment to faithfulness in what lies ahead, whatever the specific pressures and pains of our personal circumstances.
Finding the words can sometimes be hard, though. And so, at the start of 2023, the Biblical Counselling UK family is sharing a prayer in which you are welcome to join. Based on a small section of Paul’s letter to the Colossians (chapter 1), it is a chance to commit to looking forward to the future with our eyes on Christ.
You are so glorious and good. Your sovereignty and holiness are far beyond what we can understand; your grace and mercy beyond what we deserve. Yet you love us. Thank you for your unending tender care, your salvation through Christ, your leading, and for your commitment to holding us firm.
As we enter 2023, we are conscious that we are not all we should be. Nor do we, in and of ourselves, have the wisdom we need to navigate the days ahead. Some of us are struggling. Some of us hurting and confused. But we are grateful that you are generous and kind. In the power of your Spirit, please continue to give us the wisdom we need. Help us to understand and enjoy your word. Even in the dismal months, give us the privilege of knowing you more.
And in the process, please change us to be more like Jesus. Help us to live lives of increasing fruitfulness in whatever circumstances you have placed us. Help us to keep going, with our hearts full of praise, even on those days when we feel desperately weak. Enable us to shine like stars in this fallen world, speaking faithfully of your goodness and call. And help us to do that with an attitude of kindness and patience towards those we meet. All those we meet, Lord – even those we find hard.
Each day, Father please fuel our walk with the knowledge that perfection is coming. Help us not to get so distracted by the pressures and pains of the here and now that we forget your kingdom – enable us to hold firm to the promise of eternal life. On the days we struggle, remind us that you have washed us clean, included us in your family and conquered death. Help us to remember the difference that makes. And help us to be prayerful for one another – constantly encouraging each other by bringing our requests to you.
In Christ, we are secure. We are free. We are blessed. We are together. We are yours. Let us, as one body, pursue holiness with passion and live joyfully to please you every day of the year to come.
We ask these things through Jesus Christ our Lord,
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:9-14)