Jesus the man, of calloused hands,
Of muscled arms, of work and wood;
The God of sweat and tears and blood,
At the Father’s side, you sit and rein:
Now in heaven, in power and might,
Break open our hard and painful shell
Of sin and self-reliant hell —
Put all our lonely fears to flight.
Pierce the silence — heal the pain —
O Christ who knows sharp solitude,
Whose prayers showed every human mood —
Lord save me from the curse of Cain.
You felt no lack, in perfect want;
With him who sent you, thought as one —
Surrendered glory — God’s will was done —
Raise me to your transfigured Mount.
Father, in all affliction, show
your glorious presence, show your power
that shines like the sun at noon, with feet
of flowing bronze, moving quickly,
stars in hand, the mouth of judgment,
the First and Last, who died and arose,
who Was and Is and Ever will Be!
To me bring comfort, Vision of love,
O Flow of freedom, Blood of man;
bring courage to meet the arm of sin,
oppressor of soul; bring faith to win
in face of death, your name confess,
O Holder of keys to Hades’ prison —
open to me the gate of Heaven.
Father, thank you for rain to refresh the earth,
And for the Spirit to reaffirm our worth;
We thank you for the moist and nurturing soil,
And for a heavenly purpose behind our toil;
Our thanks we give for sun and moon and stars,
For time to make the blessed gospel ours;
To you we owe all praise for life and health,
For freedom from our sin and carnal filth;
Blest be the God who made the ocean waves,
And brought to man the Son who fully saves.
Thank you, Father, for the new year,
For the old that brought us blessing,
For the friends that sharpened us,
For the family that surrounds us,
For work to give meaning,
For walking in your light,
For forgiveness for every sin,
For fellowship with the saints,
For opportunities of tomorrow,
For joy in the present,
For the lessons of the past,
For your plan before time began,
For hope of Jesus’ coming,
For strength in frequent suffering,
For power in the Spirit,
For knowledge to give us confidence,
For love that binds together,
Undying love forever.
Psalm 131; Philippians 2
Heavenly Father, the humility of the Lord Jesus humbles me. His condescension to low estate flattens me. He was willing to descend to earth, to take on our nature, to live a common life, to experience all of human thought, emotion, and suffering. All the while, we seek to become someone important. Using education, wealth, associations, position, or talents, we strive to rise in the opinion of others.
Father, I renounce all these attempts. I repent of my self-importance. I seek my worth and value in you. Let me be content to occupy the seat of the least of your family.
Let not my heart be proud. Keep me from the haughty look. Trim back my great aspirations. Let me not concern myself with subjects that are beyond my comprehension. Help me to be content with what you have revealed.
Make me composed and quiet, like a young child carried by its mother. Let my hope and aspiration be centered in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Lord, show me my selfishness,
the ugly face contorted by desire,
passions springing up to control,
self in the center of my world,
hurts in others like an exploding grenade,
destruction of every good thing.
Lord, show me the love of Christ,
the beauty of his holiness,
driven by your blessed will,
your love the spring of life,
peace among men, in brotherhood,
the building of the eternal kingdom.
Thank you, heavenly Father, for another opportunity this year to focus on prayer. Impress upon our hearts yet again what a privilege it is to be able to have an audience with you at any time. Make this month special to us as we devote ourselves more intently on our prayers and on seeking your face.
We are grateful that when two or three agree in the kingdom and ask that your will be done, that you will do it.
Thank you for hearing us individually when we pray to you in private.
We have experienced your goodness, often shown to us in answered prayers. Let us never be bashful in seeking your blessing for ourselves and our neighbors.
Jesus is our example in prayer, so we praise you for the revelation of his life and relationship with you.
Help us to be more like him every day, in our prayers and in every way.
My Lord Jesus does all things well, always speaks well, because he acts outside of himself, for the good of others. Heavenly Father, make me like him; make me lose myself in you; make me over in the image of yourself. This I desire above all else.