Prayers for the First Week after Christmas (December 31, 2023-January 6, 2024

single beeswax candle

Watchword for the Week – But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. Galatians 4:4,5

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.
For he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. 

Psalm 148
Praise God! Praise God from the heavens;
praise God in the heights!
Praise God, all you angels of God;
praise God, all you host of heaven!
Praise God, you sun and moon;
praise God, all you shining stars!
Praise God, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of God,
for God commanded and they were created.
God established them forever and ever;
God fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.
Praise God from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling God’s command!
Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Beast of the forest and all cattle,
crawling things and flying birds!
Rulers of the earth and all peoples,
   nobles and all leaders of the earth!
Young men and women alike,
old and young together!
Let them praise the name of the Sovereign, whose name alone is exalted;
whose glory is above earth and heaven.
God has raised up a horn for the people,
   and praise for all the faithful,
for the people of Israel who are close to God.
Praise be to God!

Confession of Sin (from the Moravian Book of Worship Liturgy for New Year, pages 143-144, used by permission of the Interprovincial Board of Communication)

With a number heart, let us confess our sins before the throne of grace, praying together:
God of mercy, as we begin this new year, we confess our weaknesses, failures, and transgressions:
Our broken vows,
Our slackness and misuse of time and opportunity,
Our selfishness and our love of ease,
Our unkindness and indifference,
Our self-indulgence and our pleasure taken at the expense of others,
Our moments when we have not been true to ourselves,
Our lack of faith in your providence.
For these sins of commission and omission, have mercy upon us. 

Lord Jesus Christ, we remember in your presence our losses and griefs, our hopes and treasures which the departing year has carried away, the disappointments we have known, the friends who are no longer with us and whose steps we shall hear no more. We pray for grace to cherish the spirit, which brings good out of evil and prevents adversities and sorrows from embittering our hearts. Give us comfort and a deep sense of your goodness in every circumstance of life, and when, despite our good intentions, we fail, be our strength and stay.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end, AMEN. 

Take time to read today’s Daily Texts. Remember that God speaks to us through the inspiration of scripture, so approach the opportunity to read the texts as a privilege, eagerly anticipating what might be spoken to you today. How might today’s Word make a part of your life new again? If you do not have a copy of the Daily Texts, you will find today’s texts posted in the margin on the right side of your page (at the bottom of the page if you are on a mobile phone). When you have finished praying, continue as follows.

Lord God, Father, hear us as we pray the prayer that you taught your disciples:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen. 

The message of the Christmas season is that God has shown his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, he sent us his Son, Jesus Christ, to be the forgiveness of our sins.
May our thanks for this most precious gift be shown in the conduct of our lives this coming year.
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but so that the world might be saved through him.
We give thanks and praise for this most precious gift.
As we look forward to the year ahead, we have faith that God will supply our every need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
God will never fail us. In our dwelling place, God will endure forever. In our mission to serve, God will sustain us always. Amen.