Midday Prayer, Wednesday, News Year’s Day: Numbers 6:22-27; Psalm 67; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:16-21 ~ promise and hope

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentence

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us. Establish Thou the work of our hands; establish Thou the work of our hands.

Morning readings

Aaronic Blessing (Western Wall, Jerusalem)

Aaronic Blessing
(Western Wall, Jerusalem)

Numbers 6:22-27 NLT:

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing:

‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’

Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.”

Psalm 67 NLT:

May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us.

May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere. May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. Let the whole world sing for joy, because you govern the nations with justice and guide the people of the whole world.

May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us. Yes, God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear him.

Galatians 4:4-7 NLT

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

Luke 2:16-21 NLT:

They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived.

Reflection/Prayer:

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 the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to humbly put our hands into Your hand, and to trust You and to seek Your will for our lives during this coming year.

In the midst of life’s uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love.

In the midst of life’s inevitable disappointments and heartaches, help us to turn to You for the stability and comfort we will need.

In the midst of life’s temptations and the pull of our stubborn self-will, help us not to lose our way but to have the courage to do what is right in Your sight, regardless of the cost.

And in the midst of our daily preoccupations 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 on 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 to 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 to us, but may they instead lead us to repentance, and to a new commitment to make You the foundation and center of our lives this year.

And so, our Father, we thank You for the promise and hope of this new year, and we look forward to it with expectancy and faith. This I ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, who by His death and resurrection has given us hope both for this world and the world to come.

Amen

Billy Graham

Canticle

Teach us, dear Lord, to number our days; that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Oh, satisfy us early with Thy mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all of our days. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish Thou the work of our hands. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish Thou the work of our hands, dear Lord.

Blessing

Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you; all things are passing, God never changes! Patient endurance attains to all things; who God possesses in nothing is wanting; alone God suffices.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

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Peanut Gallery: The Morning Prayer readings are from the USCCB Daily Readings and the format from the Daily Office of the Northumbrian Community as available online here… and in the book form, Celtic Daily Prayer available on Amazon.com. The website and prayer book are rich in prayer resources and I commend them to you.



Categories: Life in Christ

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3 replies

  1. Happy New Year, Art. God bless you and your family this year and always.

  2. May the Lord make is face to shine upon you this new year, Art.
    The Aaronic blessing is very deep and meaningful. May it be so.

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