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Prayer Column - January 2022

The turn of the year

As a new year approaches we tend to wonder what lies ahead, hoping always to shake off the past’s bad record and for something better to come, as if hoping could make it so. We wonder about next year because of course we don’t know what lies around the corner (however great the store of human knowledge, and however thorough our Googling). Search as we may, and it’s a royal honour to do so (Prov 25:2), some things are known only to God: times and seasons fixed by his authority are not for us to know (Acts 1:7), for the future is his.

This is a time to remind ourselves of God’s omniscience: he does know (Rom 11:33). He knows the plans he has for us – plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future (Jer 29:11). And it’s time to remember also that God is not far-off and aloof, but a loving, heavenly Father who wants a close living relationship with each of us, day by day and breath by breath – he sent Jesus to bring us back to him. So we can put our hand in his and be led and guided into and through the future that is unknown only to us – to a place and a time where with him all shall be well, for ever.

So today, as long as it is called ‘today’, seek the Lord and get to know him as loving Parent. Read his word to us (the Bible) and let it read us, for it is living and active, inwardly searching thoughts and intentions, and deeply revealing (Heb 4:12-13). And as we pray, share with him our thoughts and fears, our praise and hopes – in words, or just incoherent feelings, for he understands. But also listen, for there is much he wants to say to us: as he leads and guides, challenges and corrects, promises and reassures.

Roy Lorrain-Smith

A prayer for each week

Dear Lord – such uncertain times! But its only us that don’t know. So please, Lord, lead us safely through the year ahead, whatever your plan. Amen.

Dear Lord – such threatening times! But the victory is always yours, and through Jesus can be ours too. Please give us faith to trust and obey. Amen.

Dear Lord – such unstable times! But though nations may seethe and rage and totter on the brink, please give us inner peace, through Jesus. Amen.

Dear Lord – such wayward times! But though many cast your guidelines aside, please help us trust in your word as the only secure foundation. Amen.

Dear Lord – such hopeless times! But despair creeps in when we’re deaf to your word. Please open our ears and hearts to your glorious future. Amen.

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