A Prayer For 2017

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As we prepare to say goodbye to 2016, I have a prayer for the New Year. With the passing of one season, we align ourselves for what is up and coming. We embrace the newness that is before us.

So, as January first rolls around, there is a prayer I have for my life, my world, and my future. I hope you’ll join me in praying too for this new year that is before us.

Regardless of where you were last year, or who you were, or what happened, the clock is reset. That is the beauty of January. You get another twelve months. You get another year.

And this gift is also a mystery, for there is no way of knowing what this new year will bring.

If history is a teacher of any sorts, we know that this new year will be full of joy and laughter and good times. It will also be full of heartache, pain, and disappointment. There’s no escaping that, even in a new year.

We can’t control what is outside of our control. Naturally, though, we get a choice with how we will approach this next season. The invitation has been sent out and no one gets to decide this except you.

That is the beauty of it all, really. Who do you want to be? Where will you go? The year is open and ready and willing. It’s your chance to pray and dream who you want to be.

It’s been said that time is like the ocean. You can only hold a little in your hands. Our vantage point is limited on December 31st, but we can certainly dream for the kind of year we want to have.

As I dream about another year, I know the kind of year I’m praying for.

I want to experience the thrill of living to the full.

I want to take nothing for granted.

I want to enjoy each moment I’m given, but live for something more than the moment.

I want to share in the joy of community and fellowship.

I don’t know about you, but this is the way I want to live, as though I treat my life like the gift it truly is.

How will 2017 work out for you?

To be certain, there are a lot of variables we have no way of knowing at this point. We can’t predict success or failure or health or safety.

But what we can do, even right now, is embrace the year before it’s here, and get the life out of it. That is something, regardless of what happens, we can all do.

I envision a year of hope, of love, of friendships, of memories. I want this year to be a banner year, one for the record books. And not just to look back on it and say, “Wow, what a year,” but to remember it while I’m living, to be in a beautiful state all the time and to love the time I have.

My prayer is that we would become more alive because of 2017.

I pray that we would learn to love better, share better, care better, and forgive better.

My prayer is that the church would be the church in ways it wasn’t in 2016. I pray that we would continue to stand for the things we believe in, even if it’s unpopular, even if it causes rejection.

And I pray, perhaps most of all, that we’d understand something about the beauty of our differences, and the grace of getting along and loving one another regardless of them.

Jesus prayed for his followers to have unity in John 17. It’s a prayer that we need to take seriously and do our part to find that sense of togetherness. Who knows? Perhaps 2017 will be the year of John 17.

A lot of us have bemoaned the existence of this past year. We’ve complained and cried out. There were painful events for sure–the election, umpteen amounts of terrorist attacks, and what seems like an unprecedented number of deaths.

For real–there’s a lot we can leave behind in this past year. But in the pain and anger and seemingly universal qualms from 2016, there were still good, good things. It’s important to remember the moments of love and beauty.

Weddings happened in 2016. New relationships blossomed. Children were born. Significant moments took place. The same will be true for next year.

We carry with us the good and bad; we remember so we can go to another place, propelled forward from where we’ve been before.

This is, in my mind, some good news. As January rolls around, let’s say goodbye to 2016 in all its intricacy and embrace the new season. Let’s move forward together, praying for the New Year and our chance to rewrite history.

Another year is grace. Another year is a gift. Let’s joyfully receive it.

That, my friends, is my prayer for 2017.

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