Evangelist Billy Graham, who God used to bless so many in Jesus Holy Name, wrote a prayer published in the Saturday Evening Post in 2008 and is so relevant for us in 2021:
“Our Father and our God, as we stand at the beginning of this new year we confess our need of your presence and your guidance as we face the future.
We each have our hopes and expectations for the year that is ahead of us, but you alone know what it holds for us, and only you can give us the strength and wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to humbly put our hands in your hand, and to trust you, to seek your will for our lives during this coming year.
In the midst of life’s inevitable disappointments and headaches, help us to turn to you for the stability and comfort we will need.
In the midst of our daily preoccupation and pursuits, open our eyes to the sorrows and injustices of our hurting world, and help us to respond with compassion and sacrifice to those who are friendless and in need. May our constant prayer be that of the ancient Psalmist: “Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.” (Psalm 119:33).
We pray for our nation and its leaders during these difficult times, and for all those who are seeking to bring peace and justice to our dangerous and troubled world. We pray especially for your protection of all those who serve in our armed forces, and we thank you for their commitment to defend our freedoms, even at the cost of their own lives. Be with their families also, and assure them of your love and concern for them.
Bring our divided nation together, and give us a greater vision of what you would have us be. Your word reminds us that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,” (Psalm 33:12).
As we look back over this past year we thank you for your goodness to us — far beyond what we have deserved. May we never presume on your past goodness or forget all your mercies, but may they instead lead us to repentance, and a new commitment to make you the foundation of our lives.
And so, our Father, we thank you for the promise and hope of the new year, and we look forward to it with expecting and faith. This I ask in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus, who by His death and resurrection has given us both hope for this world and the world to come. Amen.”
Dr. David Bouler of Global Faith Ministries, Chattanooga, Tennessee, contributed this column to the Journal Review. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.