Prayers of the People for the New Year

Here’s a prayer of intercession from the people at World News This Week In Prayer, written December 29, 2011.

Prayer of Intercession
for the New Year

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
(Isaiah 60: 1-2 NRSV)

Most Holy God, we gather before you in prayer, celebrating your presence and your light in our lives and in our world.

The old year has ended and a new one lies before us; a new year full of promise, hope and potential. As we enter into this New Year we pray that your Holy Light will shine upon all nations, all people and all of creation leading us in love, peace and joy.

We pray that your guidance and wisdom will lead us in this New Year; that your voice will encourage us to live in your ways and that your Spirit will enliven us as we grow, learn and work together.

In the midst of our celebrations we hold before you those who suffer alone this day - those who ache with pain or hunger - those who tremble in fear or anxiety - those who feel empty and unfulfilled - and those who feel unloved and unwanted.

We pray for all who are touched by conflict and war remembering the 90,000 people who have been displaced because of clashes between militant Islamists and the security forces in Nigeria's Damaturu city. We hold before you all who live in refugee camps, all who live in foreign lands and all who are homeless. May your presence and your peace surround all who are in need.

We pray that your grace and your wisdom will be with the entire world's decision makers; may their hearts be softened to your ways of peace and justice, may their negotiations be fair and may dignity be restored to all people. We pray for Bosnia's Muslim, Croat and Serb leaders who have agreed to form a central government, ending 14-months of political paralysis. May peace and justice prevail.

We pray for all who mourn the loss of loved ones, we remember the people of the Philippines as they slowly recover from the devastating floods; we remember the 35 who died in an air strike near a Kurdish village when Turkish warplanes attacked; we remember the people of North Korea who are mourning the loss of their leader Kim Jong-Il and we remember those whom we name in the silence of our hearts. May all who mourn feel your light upon them this day and always.

We praise you, O God, for pouring out your light upon us. May your living word call to us and may we, in faith, answer. All of this we pray in the name of your beloved child who came to us all those years ago and lives among us today. Amen.

World in Prayer is a ministry of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist Lodi, California, USA, and is written by a team of writers representing different denominations throughout the U.S., Canada and Great Britain.

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