In Times Like These, We Need an Anchor
A Prayer for the New Year

Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor
Heritage Baptist Church,
257 Lake Joy Road
Perry, GA 31069

   Heavenly Father, as our Eternal God, we know Your days are without beginning or without end. From everlasting to everlasting, You are God: a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

However, by design, you divided our lives into increments of time; eons, eras, epochs, years, months, weeks, days, hours, moments, and even seconds. As your Word says, all our days decline in Your fury – we finish our years with a sigh, for even in their pride, there is but labor and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

For many of us, Father, this past year has been one of the most difficult of our tenure. Some of us have said goodbyes to our loved ones, and perhaps what hurts us most is that those farewell words, those hugs and kisses, and other expressions of love had to be from a distance. Thank You for being Who You are through the pain of these separations, for their absence reminds us of our need for Your strength, Your grace, Your power, but most importantly, Your presence.

We have also had to adjust to a time of unexpected difficulty; financial losses we had not prepared for, restrictions to our freedom we had not anticipated, unsettled political issues that have led to severed families, and civil unrest. Thank You for proving Yourself faithful to us, for when our faith faltered, You were there to hold us up, and without You, we would have surely given up hope.

As we face this new year, we would like to look forward with a renewed hope. However, in all honesty, the dark clouds of despair are still there to discourage us. Lord, we ask for Your wisdom, Your understanding, and Your courage to face these uncertain days in faith and not in fear. We ask that you grant us Your discernment to know Your ways, to hear Your voice, and to accept each day as according to Your will. Would You whisper in our ear when we need to be silent, and would you prick our hearts when we need to speak up or stand firm in our faith?

Finally, Father, not only do we dedicate this coming year to You, we also submit our lives unto You. Remove the falsehood and lies of this world far from us; Give us neither poverty nor riches. Feed us with the food allotted to us, lest we be full and deny You, or lest we be poor and dishonor You. Let Your light shine through us, that we may reflect Your peace and Your hope to a world that so desperately needs to know You. Let Your gifts flow through us freely, so You would be honored with our lives, and others would be drawn to You, and we ask all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Lord. Amen!