As We Start a New Year, We Hold Up to You Old, Unfinished Needs.

By Jim Hall, January 11, 2015

Lord, as we start a new year, we hold up to You old, unfinished needs and needs that are newly on the horizon.

We know well that You have given us the only safe way forward for the world, the way of love and peace. Yet when we see what is going on in the Middle East and in Africa, it is easy to feel that this way is as unattainable as it ever was.

We ask us to show us what we can do to help Your way become the only way both as individuals or as communities or societies. There is also the grief of major ongoing infectious diseases, particularly Ebola in West Africa. Here we can only continue to pray that others, individuals, NGOs, and governments will act properly on our behalf.

Then there is the growing problem of the misuse of technology in our society, and especially the effect it is having on our young adults. Please guide us here what to do, though it may be unfashionable, both individually and collectively.

Lord, this year is to be a time of decision for Canada. How we decide will affect our priorities within the country and the role and example Canada will set in the world. Help us, Lord, to weigh carefully the economic, social, political, and environmental issues so that the outcome of our decision making is a good step in Your intended direction for human society and this world.

This is also a year of decision making for the St Johnís community. We pray that we choose the best form for the future of our Christian community such that it may serve our society in ways that You would wish and also continue to provide the love and care that we all need for our little ones, our young adults, our couples and parents, and our older people.

We pray, too, Lord for your protection of all of us, and especially those in our society who have no home of their own, from this bitterly cold winter weather. And we hold up to you Lord our dear friend Linda and all the members of her new congregation who are in shocked grief for their three members who died in the house fire on the Guysborough Road.

Lord, help us all to learn and understand what is at the heart of being Christís follower throughout our lives. Help us to safely pick our way through the maze of possibilities that come easily to mind: What is the relative importance of listening ourselves to your voice as the Holy Spirit, to looking for scriptural guidance, or following other human teachers?

And how important are community, denominations, buildings, and financial security? And how should we reconcile the diversity of needs and understandings, and the need for unity? We know Lord that this plea sounds like the questions of a Pilgrimís Progress all over again, but our knowledge of the Universe we live in has increased so enormously over the last four hundred years that we urgently need to find a new sure and convincing basis for our faith.

We pray, Lord, that your Spirit will be with all of us in this week to come; that we will be your good representatives in all we do. We ask all of this in Jesusí name.


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