Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or walk in the way of sinners, or find comfort in mockery. Blessed is the one whose delight is in the Law of the Lord, and on whose Law he meditates day and night. They will be like a tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in season. Their leaves will never wither, and they will prosper in all that they do.” Psalm 1:2 – 6

Blessed are you, our God, our wonderful counselor, who brings good fruit to our lives. We pray for your Spirit to walk with us in this new year. We ask that you guide our decisions, bringing us to open doors and closing the ones that will lead us away from your mercy. We ask you to help us wisely discern and pursue the dreams that you've planted in our hearts.

We believe in your beautiful name and the power of your grace. Give us the ability to move beyond what we feel; let your gifts flow through us, so that the covenant of the cross will be honoured by our lives. We pray that you would keep us far from the snares and traps of temptations. Be the burning bush, the whisper in the mountain, the Word who stills the stormy seas. Be in our words in all seasons (Ecclesiastes 1), and our worship for all eternity, beginning with this moment.

We pray your protection over our families and friends; for our emotional, physical and spiritual health. We ask that you, our good shepherd, would draw us close to your heart. With your mighty hand, would you hold us? Distance us from the intent of our enemy; be the barrier to surround us. We know that all who call upon your name are safe in your hands. Give us supernatural vigour, that we may endure hardships and pain with compassion, fortitude and forbearance.

We confess our need for you. We ask that you make all things fresh and new again, in our hearts, in our minds and in our lives, for this coming year. We pray for nourishment; speak your truth over our plans. Keep your words within us, so that we dwell on all that is pure, honourable and right. Would you revive our generosity? May the fruits of your spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – frame our lives.

Shine your light in us, through us and over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory and purposes. Set your way before us; all your plans shall succeed. In a world that desperately needs your presence and healing, may we reflect your peace. May you be the hope of our new year. In your name, Jesus, amen.

By Shanley McConnell