Pause for Prayer: THURSDAY 12/30

For so long, Lord, for much too long,
    we've nursed grudges and resentments,
    we've carried backpacks of anger
        weighing heavy on our shoulders,
    keeping us apart from family and neighbors,
        colleagues and classmates
        and even old friends...

Now we find ourselves 
    just hours away from a new year
and we say we want a fresh start,
    a second chance, a clean slate 
        - but do we?
Do we really want a new beginning?
Are we willing, are we resolved
    to do what we must to begin afresh? 
Or will we be content, once again,
    to carry last year's burdens
    right through New Year's Eve
        and into 2022?

Will we cling and hold fast
    to past grudges and resentments
        as we sing our Auld Lang Syne?

Will we inaugurate yet another year
    in the shadows of mistrust
with chips on our shoulders,
    our hearts hardened and burdened
        with the weight of our selfish pride?

If we haven't the time to mend all this
    before the clock strikes 12 on Friday night
then help us resolve in 2022
    to be the first to take the steps
        toward making peace
            where peace has long been wanting...

Help each of us move forward
    to forgive those who've hurt us
and to seek the forgiveness
    of those we've offended...

Give each of us the honesty, 
the guts to acknowledge 
    where we've been wrong,
    hasty in judgment, 
    quick to lash out,
    unkind and hostile,
    cold and unfriendly,
    conceited and proud,
    too busy to notice, to care, 
        to reach out and to heal,
        to mend, to repair and restore
    what we've broken and treated poorly...

Help us, in the new year ahead,
    to listen for your voice, 
    to hear your word,
    to follow where you lead,
    to do what is good,
    to love what is just
    and to walk humbly by your side...
We need your help with this, Lord,
    because up until now, sadly,
    we've not managed to do this on our own...

Help us, Lord, we pray:
    make all things new
    within us, among us, around us
   and through our words and deeds
in the new year just ahead...





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