Friday, January 1, 2016

A Prayer for the New Year

Part of Johann Starck's (1680-1756) prayers for the new year:

"O my God and Father . . . Let me love and esteem my Jesus above everything.  Let me by Your power follow in His holy footsteps, and ever let that mind be in me that was in Him also, so that at all times I may most intimately be united with Him and please You for His sake. . . .

"Grant me the power of Your Holy Spirit that I may become truly godly during this year and live as a true child of God, that I may be devout in my prayers and be a careful hearer and doer of Your Word.  Grant that in the new year the condition of my heart may be described like this: "The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Let there be in me new longings for You, new love toward my fellow human beings, a new zeal to enter into communion with You and to abide in it.  Sanctify me wholly, that my entire spirit, soul, and body may be kept blameless until the day of Christ Jesus.  Give me new zeal in my Christian faith that I may grow and increase in whatever is good.  Bless my calling and labor, my going out and my coming in.  Give me whatever blessings You have in store for me.

"However, let me also remember that some time the last year of my life will begin.  Grant that I may always keep myself in readiness, live in a state of repentance and faith, have my lamp burning and dressed to welcome You, my Bridegroom and my gracious God, and to enter into the kingdom You have prepared for me from the foundation of the world.  Give me a new mind and a new spirit in conformity with Your will, teach me unwaveringly to fulfill what You command, and keep me, body and soul, a habitation of Your Spirit."

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