Sharing Our Faith Together

Praying in the New Year

by Rev Jacky Quarmby 31 December 2023

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown”.  And he replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.  That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!”

Reading:  Psalm 27:  1 – 6

Tomorrow will be the first day of a new year.  The first month, January, is named after the Roman god Janus, whose name comes from the Latin word for door.  Janus is seen as the god of the doorway, the month of January being the doorway to the New Year.  The god Janus is pictured as a god with two faces – one looking forward to the new and the other looking backwards to the old.

The two faces of Janus remind us that at every point in our lives we stand on the threshold between the past and the future.  That threshold is the here and now – the present moment – and how good ours will be will depend upon whether we are able to learn from the past and look hopefully to the future.

So as we approach the New Year, let us each take the time to reflect on the year that is past and look forward to the year that is to come.

Loving God,
We thank you for bringing us safely to the end of another year.
You have provided for us and blessed us,
And we give thanks for all that we have received;
For happy days and peaceful nights
For the beauty of creation and the changing seasons of the year
For friends and family, fun and laughter
For food and health and the joy of work well done
For your truth revealed in Jesus Christ, your Son
And your power and love gifted to us by the Holy Spirit.

Merciful God,
In the silence we look back over the year and offer it to you, asking forgiveness for the things that we should not have done, and for the good things that we failed to do.


Forgive us the hatred which divides nation from nation and splits apart families.
Forgive us the hardness of heart which refuses to forgive
Forgive us the pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God
Forgive us the envy which leads us to crave the wealth and happiness of others
Forgive us our indifference to the plight of the homeless and the refugee
Forgive us the greed which exploits human labour and lays waste the earth

Forgive us and help us through your Holy Spirit to become instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love in your gentleness
Where there is vengefulness, let us sow forgiveness which brings reconciliation
Where there is indifference, let us sow the hope that inspires action
Where there is greed, let us sow the mercy which brings compassion
And where there is pride, let us sow the humility which recognizes our need of God.
For we ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen

Hymn:  Make me a channel of your peace

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Eternal God,
As we look to the year ahead, we pray for Your guidance …

To people we have yet to love and answers we have yet to find
Eternal God, guide us and lead us.

Through challenges we have yet to face and for courage we have yet to need
Eternal God, guide us and lead us.

Through suffering we have yet to feel and pain we have yet to know
Eternal God, guide us and lead us.

In the renewing of our nation and the inspiration of new life
Eternal God, guide us and lead us.

In the pursuit of justice and the care of all creation
Eternal God, guide us and lead us.

In the protection of the vulnerable and the nurture of our children
Eternal God, guide us and lead us.    

For we ask these prayers in the name of Jesus, Amen

May God the Father set us free from fear surround us with love and strengthen us in faith.  Amen

May God the Son guide us in the way lead us in truth and bring us to life eternal.  Amen

May God the Holy Spirit give us grace to meet whatever comes with fortitude, patience and joy.  Amen