A prayer for 2022 and 2023

Allysen Schaaf pens a prayer for the new year.

God of years past and new beginnings,
we throw our hands up to you,
offering all that we have been and hope to be.

In the palm of your hands,
we have giggled and played,
sang and danced to celebrate
holidays, birthdays,
a snow day and a clear diagnosis.

In the palm of your hands,
we have sought shelter and asylum,
and shuddered at the news of war and gun violence.

Sickness and strife turn round and round
the same old news that we heard before.
So, we pray, and we pray:
Can this new year really bring anything new?

God of years past and new beginnings,
we want to close the door on ’22 and forget all the fights
that tore us apart, all thinking we were right.
Yet with courage, we pray
that you keep our hearts open wide
to truly believe and join in your strides,
creating and making all things new.

We pray that out of the rubble and flames,
emerge new steps in caring for the earth
and investment change,
conversations across the aisle
welcoming diversity and doing justice.

We pray the rights of all people, colors, genders and nations be nourished,
for equity, housing and daily bread to flourish,
and for mercy, humility and love to define
a year of life shared, not kept as yours or mine.

God of years past and new beginnings,
open our hearts to see you in each headline,
our souls to listen intently to one another,
our fists to find strength in openness and grace,
and our minds to the hope that justice will roll down.
So that, as we carry the old news into the new year,
our lives will reflect our love for you and every neighbor,
and in every neighbor, your holy presence noticed and welcomed,
and in every neighborhood, signs of your new creation bursting forth.