As I look ahead into 2021, I feel compelled to pray!  Until God answers.

On this first day of the New Year, join me as we wrap our prayers around God’s promise in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy 11:12-13…

Our land …is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land that the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. If you faithfully obey the commandments …to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul—then I will send rain on your land in its season…

O God of ages past. You alone are our Hope for years to come. We bow before You acknowledging Your greatness and Your glory.

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No one compares to You. No one is Your equal. We look at Your creation and marvel at the infinite power and wisdom that are Yours.

Nothing is beyond Your reach.

“You bring out all the starry host one by one, and call them each by name. Because of Your great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing…You pitch a tent for the sun…It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat…Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Where can I flee from Your presence?

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - DECEMBER 31: A woman prays at the Chogey temple during the New Year Eve on December 31, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. Seoul's city government has cancelled its annual New Year's Eve bell-ringing ceremony in the Jongno neighborhood for the first time since 1953. Normally an estimated 100,000 people would attend the ceremony, in which citizens ring a large bell in a traditional pavilion when the clock strikes midnight. Eeastern coastal areas have closed beaches and other spots where people typically gather on New Year's Day to watch the sunrise. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – DECEMBER 31: A woman prays at the Chogey temple during the New Year Eve on December 31, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. Seoul’s city government has cancelled its annual New Year’s Eve bell-ringing ceremony in the Jongno neighborhood for the first time since 1953. Normally an estimated 100,000 people would attend the ceremony, in which citizens ring a large bell in a traditional pavilion when the clock strikes midnight. Eeastern coastal areas have closed beaches and other spots where people typically gather on New Year’s Day to watch the sunrise. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

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If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.”   There is nowhere in all the Universe where You are not. Surely Your arm “…is not too short to save, nor [Your] ear too dull to hear.” 

We saw Your signal, the “Christmas Star,” on December 21st that compelled us to look up.

So, as we enter into the New Year, help us to keep looking up. To regain our focus. On You.

God of our fathers. Lord of the nations. You are the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

No one can understand Your ways. But we turn to You. Now.

“Are You not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.  Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.” 

Did we not establish our nation as one nation under God? Have we not pledged, “In God We Trust”? 

As we look ahead into the New Year, we choose to place our trust in You.  

If “…the kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord,”  we trust in You.

If “…the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging,”  we trust in You.

Though …”nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall…,”  we trust in You.

When …”the wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright…, ” we trust in You.

When “deadly pestilence” stalks our land …we will trust in You. We trust You.  

We trust You!  We invite You to have Your way in our lives. In our nation.  

As we look into 2021, we come face to face with a mess. What can be done to save us from ourselves?

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Even as the question reverberates in our minds, the answer is given: the solution to our spiritual and moral meltdown—to the restoration of the crumbling foundation of our nation—to reconciliation with each other and healing of the political polarization–is not a new administration, nor the economy, nor health care or welfare or immigration reforms, nor free higher education, nor the court system, nor a vaccine.

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Yet instead of turning to You, we seem to be turning farther and farther away from You. But not now.  

Now we turn back.  We turn around.  We run to You. We cling to You. We plead with You…

Turn to us! Draw near to us!  

If You do not help us, we will be defenseless.  If You do not protect us, we will be exposed to danger.  If You do not deliver us from evil, we will be overcome by it. If You do not have plans to give us hope and a future, we will slide into the past tense as a nation. Into oblivion.

Father of all mercies. You have said that our land is a land that You, the Lord our God, care for; that Your eyes are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.  

As You look on our nation from this day forward, from January 1st to December 31st, 2021, we ask for what we know we don’t deserve.

We ask for Your blessing. 

O God our Father, bless us.  

Give us ears to hear the Good News of redemption for the past…hope for the future… joy for the present regardless of circumstances… love that is unconditional, boundless, and eternal … peace that passes all understanding …all found through faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ.  

And now, God of grace, as we pre-prayer for the New Year, we ask that You send down the “rain” of Your blessing in fullness.

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Protect us. Defend us. Comfort us. Hear our prayer. Forgive our sin. Heal our land.  

For the glory of Your great name…JESUS,

Amen.

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