On this the ninth day of Christmas I want to suggest a guided way of praying, of confessing and celebrating the gift of Jesus Christ. By reflecting on the passage above and following the prayers below let us make this near year a great beginning for God's new work in us.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION AND PARDON
As we come to the beginning of a new year we are faced with opportunities to see how we have failed in the past, and how we might amend our lives in the days which lie ahead. You have given us pleasure for our joy, but we often abuse your gifts until they serve neither you nor us. You have given us time and season for everything, but we try so hard to control it, not yielding to you, the author and creator of time, that we waste it and the opportunities that lie therein. Where we have failed you and your will, where we have squandered your gifts, forgive us, good Lord. Cleanse us by your Holy Spirit, and give us new strength to follow your word. As we seek to begin again, good God, hear and answer our prayers, not as we desire but as you know is best for us, for we offer them through Jesus Christ our Lord.-from And Also with You, Year B, and Timothy J. Crouch
The God of mercy says, "Behold, I make all things new." In the name of Jesus the Christ, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND SUPPLICATION
O blessed and ever-giving God, with joy and thanksgiving we come before you this day to offer our heart-felt praise to your glorious Name. The world and all that dwell in it are your creation made new in Jesus Christ. We sing to you our new songs.
Time and time again you have sent your messengers, the prophets, to bring your good tidings. So man times we, caught up in our own things, have not listened to them. Yet, you do not despair of us. Today we rejoice in the good news brought once again that you have made us and redeemed us as your own. So fill us with newness of life that we may hear always what you call us to do.
In the beginning was the Word, and by the power of your Holy Spirit that word continues to us today. Pour out that same Spirit now that we might be the messengers who announce your good news to all the world.
As we rejoice, there are many who have no cause to rejoice. Many are bound by diseases of the body or the mind. Others are immersed in poverty of resources or of the spirit. Let your light shine in the darkness of their lives this day; let not the darkness of despair overcome them--or us. You gave us power to become children, so hear us now in the name of your child, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.--And Also with You, Year C; Timothy J. Crouch