We’re getting ready to ring in a brand-new, unsullied year of clean, white pages of opportunity. Let’s pause a tick and put a gospel checkmark in the ledger of 2017, shall we? Whether we failed or succeeded…or failed a bunch, this is how we sigh it out, sort it out, and send it away. In style.

Let this prayer be our Selah.

Nothing of our prior journey has been wasted and the Lord is taking the raw material of this passing year – rawer for some than others – and still, somehow, shaping it on his wheel into something that brings him glory.

Here’s a prayer that will signal to the heavenlies we are ready to face whatever comes, and swivel our heads away from past happenstance to future hope:

Photo ©️ Scott Mitchell

Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. Psalm 115:1-4

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Heavenly Father, as I sit quietly before you on the eve of a New Year, I’ve got a healthy case of sad and glad going on inside of me. As I reflect over the past year, both of these emotions dance about, more like allies than enemies… for both are evidence the gospel is at work.

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The glad? The highlights and headlines of the past twelve months compel me join the Psalmist, in praising you for your love and your faithfulness. Abba, as with each of your children, you loved me all year long with an everlasting, engaged, unwavering love… irrespective of anything I did or didn’t do. You didn’t love me more when I acted like your beloved child. You didn’t love me less when I acted like an orphaned fool.

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You loved me every moment just as much as you love your Son, Jesus, for you’ve hidden my life in his. Thank you, for your steadfast love and fresh mercies that came every single day this past year… when I was aware of them and when I wasn’t. Great is your faithfulness. Concerning my life, you did everything this past year that pleases you. Not one of your plans devised for me was foiled or failed. This makes me very glad.

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The sad? It’s precisely because you love your children so irrepressibly that I also feel grief in my breast. There were more than a few times this past year when I joined the nations in saying, “So where is your God?” You usually heard this complaint from me when you were busying doing what pleases you, and not what pleases me. When I wanted a butler you remained God. When I wanted a masseur you remained Master. Those were the times I began to look to my voiceless, sightless, senseless, powerless idols more than I trusted you. I own and grieve my foolishness.

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Father, here’s where the gladness trumps the sadness. I will not always be a man in two minds with a divided heart. You will bring to completion the good gospel-work you’ve begun in each of your children. One Day we’ll no longer even be tempted to worship anything or anyone but you. Hasten that glad and glorious Day.

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Until that Day, even on the eve of a New Year, prepare us for the next twelve new months of groaning and growing in grace. Bring much glory to yourself, as the gospel does its work in and though our lives. So very Amen, we pray, in Jesus’ faithful name.

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– Scotty Smith, Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith

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Post Author: Pasturescott

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