Holy and Eternal One, as we mark the last hour of 2014, we thank you for the many gifts we experienced this year. We recall memories created amongst friends and kin; journeys safely ventured; new challenges explored; and important lessons learned. We thank you for each of those people in our lives who helped us to love more, worry less, think harder, or walk taller. We thank you for the memories of those people we love but see no longer.
As we look ahead to the first hour of the new year, we ask that you renew in us a deep love for you. Bless us with a faith that is strong without being rigid; quiet without being passive; and steady without being stagnant. Strengthen us in our prayer life, our community ministries, and our global awareness, that we might bring your light to areas of darkness or discontent. Let our faith infuse us and inspire us, that we may recjognize your presence in every person and situation we encounter.
We pray for all in authority, that this may be a year of progress toward wisdom, mercy and respect for your creation and for all of humanity. We pray for the many frightening situations in this world that seem beyond our ability to solve, and we trust that with your help, they are not. We pray that this be the year when people who live with war may find peace, and those who suffer oppression may find freedom.
“Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, and shield the joyous.” At this time, let us each remember, aloud or in our thoughts, the people whose circumstances sadden us, the situations that sorely trouble us, and the global problems that overwhelm us. We remember, too, those occurrences of grace and gladness for which we offer you our thanks.