Lord, I lift my heart, mind, and spirit to You in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving. You are the giver of all good things, and You are all good things to me.
You are my Creator, my Father, the source of life and strength. You cause the sun to rise, the light to shine, the night to come. You hold me in Your arms. You console me in my sadness. You warm me with Your love. You shield me and protect me and provide for me.
All peace, contentment, and blessings come from Your hand. I praise and honor and thank You. Amen.
A prayer of thanksgiving
O Lord, you made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!1
Heavenly Father, Your creation is changing continually—seasons and cycles in perpetual motion. Help me to flow like that, to not be afraid to let go of my comfortable habits and routines in order to discover new things. Instead of holing up in the security of the familiar, help me to venture out into new territory. Help me to not stagnate, but to progress and continue to grow. Most of all, help me to change in the ways You want me to change, so I can become all You know I can be.
God, grant us the...
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other, and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.
—Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971)
Jesus, when I feel weak, tired, or out of sorts, You’re right there to put Your arms around me, to comfort me, and tell me that everything is going to be okay. You reach down and soothe my ruffled nerves, melt away my worries and fears, and lift the confusion that surrounds me.
Thank You that I can find relief from the pressure of a busy schedule by turning to You. When I stop what I’m doing and take a few minutes to think about You and Your love, my spirit is refreshed and I find the strength to continue on with my busy day.
Jesus, when I think about Your promise to never leave or forsake me,1 a warm feeling wells up within me. Nothing can compare to this promise. You are the only one who can make such a guarantee. I could lose everything else that is dear to me—my health, wealth, and loved ones—but I will never lose You. You remain faithful. You stick closer than skin, nearer than my shadow. You are the great constant in life. Thank You for that!
No gift could fill your heart with all the special things you deserve, so this Christmas I offer a prayer instead, asking the One who knows your every need to give you His very best.
First I pray for your happiness. Not the fleeting kind that comes from happenings or new acquisitions, but deep abiding happiness that will be there even when nothing special is going on.
Dear Jesus, keep me from having my life so full of good things that I don’t have time for the best. Help me not to be so pressured that I put off my time with You. Help me to bask in Your spiritual sunshine, rest in Your arms, drink deeply of Your Word, and inhale of Your Spirit. Help me to seek You daily and love You most of all—more than any of the other things I enjoy. Help me to remember how You said that without You, I can do nothing (John 15:5). Help me to not have misplaced priorities, but to keep You, Your love, and Your values in the right place—first.
Heavenly Father, You could have made me perfect according to my standards or someone else’s, but You didn’t. Instead, You made me just the way You wanted me—perfect according to Your standard. To realize that is to find perfect peace, security, and rest in Your love. Thank You!
I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I put that future in Your hands. Thank You for the many promises You have given that encourage me to trust You.1 Help me to have faith as I begin this new year, to be fully persuaded that what You have promised, You will also perform.2