A New Year Prayer

O Lord,

Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed in thy presence, in thy service, to thy glory.

Give me grace that precedes,

     follows,

     guides,

     sustains,

     sanctifies,

     aids every hour,

          that I may not be one moment apart from thee, but may rely on thy Spirit

               to supply every thought,

               speak in every word,

               direct every step,

               prosper every work,

               build up every mote of faith, and give me a desire

                    to show forth thy praise;

                    testify thy love,

                    advance thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,

     with thee, O Father, as my harbour,

     thee, O Son, at my helm,

     thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.

Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,

     my lamp burning,

     my ear open to thy calls,

     my heart full of love,

     my soul free.

Give me thy grace to sanctify me,

     thy comforts to cheer,

     thy wisdom to teach,

     thy right hand to guide,

     thy counsel to instruct,

     thy law to judge,

     thy presence to stabilize.

May thy fear be my awe, thy triumphs my joy.

– The Valley of Vision: Puritan Prayers and Devotions

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Christmas is War

We all know the words “So have yourself a merry little Christmas…” but in reality for many there is nothing “merry” or “little” about it. Instead it is a dreadful season of fatigue, resentment, financial pressure, separation and loneliness. But that is not all. For others it is a time of relational conflict between siblings, cousins, in-laws, step-parents, grandparents or fill in the blank _______________. In other words, in many households Christmas is war. Is that the case with you or someone you know? If so take a few minutes to watch this thoughtful movie produced by Igniter Media. I think it will encourage you to be intentional about leaving a legacy of peace and conflict resolution.