Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. (1 Peter 4:10)

A Prayer for a New Year

My dearest Father, I went to sleep thinking about You last night, and while I was sleeping, You brought Your world into a New Year. And I woke up in this New Year feeling thankful and full of anticipation. 

This new year doesn’t happen — it never gets here — without Your love and grace. You are the God and Creator of the Universe, and the Universe is full of You and of Your glory. It is immense, beyond measure, and You are even beyond that. And still You love and care for and nurture Your people one by one by one, loving each for the unique self You brought into being in Your infinite wisdom.

Father, the more I know about You and how You love me, the more I want to know. And here I am this morning, looking ahead to this New Year You have given me.

Right here, right now, Father, I offer it back to You. I offer it in the same spirit of love and trust that Hannah offered Samuel back to you. What she longed for and prayed for and was granted, she gave back to You in love. I do the same with this new year. Take it, as You did Samuel, and please make of it a wonder of love and service and everything You want to accomplish through me. 

Father, in You I love myself and cherish each day that You give me in life. You love me enough to make me a part of Your plan of salvation. Let me live each day, and each moment in each day, the way a redeemed and beloved child lives. 

For myself, Father, my prayer is simple: teach me, please, to love and trust You so completely that I stay free of concern about things that don’t matter and remain free of mind and heart to listen for Your call each day, see You in all the people I encounter, and willingly serve You in all the ways You ask me to. 

Grant me the grace, please, to remember to offer myself and all that I do to You each day.

Make my work and all my actions in life a prayer, one that is given merit by Your own beloved Son’s redemptive act, and use it for all those inentions I pray for daily, especially for those suffering from addiction, mental illness, and physical illness, for the souls in Purgatory, and especially for all those on earth and in Purgatory who suffer and wait and have no one else to pray especially for them. I ask for Your healing power and for the grace that comes from the Holy Spirit to be poured out on them, their families, and their caregivers. I seek for them the grace to recognize Your healing and Your love, even when it comes in ways they are not expecting. Please let them feel the peace and comfort of Your hand on them, Lord. 

Dearest Father, I find my biggest challenge is in praying for this great country I live in and the world that surrounds it. Both are troubled, both are victims of greed and all kinds of other sin, and both seem, to the mind that does not know You, to be in a hopeless state. 

I know better, though. You are the One for Whom nothing is impossible, and Your Son is the One Who promised that whatever we ask of You in His name, You will grant it. 

And so I ask, Father, in Jesus’ name, that in this coming year You fix this world and this country that so desperately need Your love and grace. Speak in the hearts and souls of leaders, monarchs, elected officials, and self-appointed dictators, and pour Your grace on them so that they act in the best interests and for the good of the people in their charge. Please help and heal all who suffer as a result of natural disasters, and help all of us to become better stewards of the environment in this beautiful world You have given us. 

Grant that Your Holy Spirit may infuse the hearts of Pope Francis, the cardinals and bishops, all the clergy, those consecrated to religious life, and all those who teach and carry Your Word to Your people, so that they act in love and with moral integrity. 

School the hearts of Your people to stand against sin in all its forms and against Satan and all his blandishments. Give Your angels charge over us all to lead us and guide us and remind us of Your love, to keep us safe from both physical and spiritual harm. 

Lead Your people, Lord, through this coming year; lead them past all obstacles to true faith and trust. Lead them to fulfill Your plan for them, in Your infinite love for them as so many unique individuals. 

Lead Your people, Lord, to praise Your name for all to hear. Lead Your people to bear witness to You, for You and You alone are the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of all the world. 

Father, You love us each in such and intimate and personal way. Grant to each person the grace to deal with his or her doubts, struggles, issues, sins, and pain and to know the joy and peace that come with loving and trusting You. 

Father, on this first day of the New Year You have given us, we honor Mary, Your handmaiden who sought only to do what You asked of her; through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of Jesus and given by Him to be Mother of us all, and in the Name of Your beloved Son, Jesus, I ask that You hear and grant my prayer and that You lead me to pray always with my heart and soul and with my actions. Amen.

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