A Prayer for the New Year 2016
At the start of each year, members of the Western Pennsylvania-East German Conference Partnership offer a Prayer for the New Year.
The prayer is prepared in alternate years by a member of the partnership committee in Western PA or in Germany so that congregations in both areas can unite in prayer on the first Sunday in January. It may also be used by individuals or groups as the Spirit leads.
The 2016 prayer, composed by Rev. Dr. Werner Phillip, currently serving as pastor at the United Methodist Church in Dresden.** (Phillip's church is just two blocks from a camp set up to house refugee children, many of whom arrived in Germany without parents or caregivers. Read more about how German partners are welcoming refugees.)
We adore you, gracious God, for coming to us as a little child and becoming like
us in order to be close to us. You became human, lived, suffered, died and rose
again so that we may obtain salvation.
We adore you, merciful God, for embracing us with unlimited love, patience and
compassion and offering us forgiveness for our sins.
We adore you, almighty God, for creating us and loving us and faithfully
guiding us throughout our lives. Our time is in your hands.
We adore you, loving God, for making us to be your children who can trust in
you in every situation. You remain steadfastly at our side, and you protect and
We adore you, eternal God, for giving us hope and prospects beyond those
which we ourselves can possibly imagine. You give us hope and certainty in the
face of the mortality of our lives and of this world.
Lord, our God, at the beginning of a new year, we thank you for the fellowship between brothers and sisters, as people who are connected by you serving as Christians in your church.
We thank you for our worldwide church and for every ministry taking place in your name for people throughout the world. We pray for our church and everybody who bears responsibility in it.
We thank you for the strong bonds of the partnership between the Western Pennsylvania Conference and the East German Conference.
We are grateful for the lively interaction between the partner congregations.
We thank you for the personal relationships and friendships spanning the ocean which continue to deeply enrich our experience and expand our horizons.
We thank you for the many team projects that help to relieve distress in the community and guide people to you.
We pray for our partnership. Let us be messengers everywhere you will send us
to in the coming year. Help us to do your will.
Lord, our God, at the beginning of a new year we come to you with our anxieties and sorrows and beg you to have mercy on us and all mankind.
We observe that our world seems to be torn apart by war in many countries, by worldwide terror threatening lives, by millions of refugees fleeing from violence and hunger and rarely welcomed, by fanaticism and hate that poison the relationship between religions, peoples and individuals, by companies greedy for profit that recklessly exploit nature and destroy the habitat of plants, animals
and human beings, by unjust economic structures that exclude many people from sharing in the wealth of the world.
Lord, have mercy on the earth and all living things. Let us learn to live with love, compassion and peace. Let us be messengers of your justice. Appeal to the conscience of those in positions of power, influence and responsibility so that they are not selfish, but make decisions that decrease poverty in the world and serve the cause of peace.
Lord, our God, at the beginning of the new year we also come to you with our personal needs and sorrows. You know how things are going in our family lives and for each of us individually. You know our failures. You know the burdens that each of us has to carry. Help us be assured that you are on our side supporting us with your love and mercy.
Lord, our God, at the beginning of the new year we see each other as partners and friends, sisters and brothers, as your followers safely held in your hands. We begin the new year full of joy, because we know that we can put everything that weighs upon us in your hands and go through the year surrounded by your presence.
Praise be to you, O Lord. Amen.
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