Prayers of the People: New Year

Here’s a prayer of thanksgiving and intercession for the new year.  It was written by David Arnott, and posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website.

Prayer for the New Year

A thanksgiving for life at the beginning of a new year
An offering of gratitude for blessings received
An awareness that throughout all the days that have gone
You have been present, Lord God.

In the dark of the darkest night
In the loneliness of the loneliest day
In the stumbling, searching, groping of our living
You have been present,
To bring light into our darkness
To bring companionship into our solitude
To bring direction into our wanderings

And for that act of faith in us
For that belief in us through Jesus Christ
We offer today our thanksgiving, Lord God,
And in thanksgiving our prayers for others

For those for whom the advent of this new year
has brought no peace or joy.
For the troubled land that is Afghanistan
For our forces there
For the families left behind, and the children too young to comprehend
For the fatherless and the angry;
Lord God, may your peace descend slowly like a dove upon that land

For those for whom there will be no new year celebrations
because of the continuing aftermath of natural disasters
that flooded homes and swept away villages months ago

For those still scrabbling for a pittance of food
to keep body and soul together.
For those who found little warmth in the doorway or the dark alley,
For those addicted to their habit of drink or drugs,
For all victims of domestic violence at this time,
For those for whom anxiety and ill-health has blighted this stage of life.

Lord in silence we lay before you now the needs of those
for whom especially today we wish to pray . . . . .

But today of all days
and in this place of all places
we pray for our town /city/ village
and for all the churches within it;
That your holy spirit may lead and direct
our thinking and our being together
so that our town /city/ village
may flourish and prosper
by the preaching of your word
and the doing of your will.

As we have begun the year worshipping
may that spirit of harmony and togetherness.
Typify all our relationships from this day forwards
by placing you, Lord God, at the centre of our lives
and by placing us at the centre of yours.

These we ask and pray through Jesus Christ our Lord

— written by the Rt Rev David Arnott, and posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website.  

For more worship resources for the New Year, click on New Year in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page, or visit this Index of New Year Resources.