An Anchor for the New Year

  1. What God ordains is always good;
    His will abideth holy.
    As He directs my life for me,
    I follow meek and lowly.
    God indeed in every need
    Doth well know how to shield me;
    To Him, then, I will yield me.
  2. What God ordains is always good.
    He never will deceive me;
    He leads me in His own right way,
    And never will He leave me.
    I take content What He hath sent;
    His hand that sends me sadness
    Will turn my tears to gladness.
  3. What God ordains is always good.
    His loving thought attends me;
    No poison can be in the cup
    That my Physician sends me.
    My God is true; Each morn anew
    I’ll trust His grace unending,
    My life to Him commending.
  4. What God ordains is always good.
    He is my Friend and Father;
    He suffers naught to do me harm,
    Though many storms may gather.
    Now I may know Both joy and woe,
    Some day I shall see clearly
    That He hath loved me dearly.
  5. What God ordains is always good.
    Though I the cup am drinking
    Which savors now of bitterness,
    I take it without shrinking.
    For after grief God grants relief,
    My heart with comfort filling
    And all my sorrow stilling.
  6. What God ordains is always good.
    This truth remains unshaken.
    Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
    I shall not be forsaken.
    I fear no harm, For with His arm
    He shall embrace and shield me;
    So to my God I yield me.

—Samuel Rodigast (1649-1708), “What God Ordains Is Always Good” 

One More Prayer for the New Year

O Love beyond Compare,
Thou art good when Thou givest,
when Thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when night gathers over me.

Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.

Thy goodness has been with me another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.

Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With Thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.

I bless thee that Thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If Thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
Thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not drown;
If I am to die,
I shall see Thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;

Only glorify Thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for Thy use.

Valley of Vision

Another Prayer for the New Year

Almighty Father,
we pray Thee graciously to lead us
through the uncertainties of this new year
of our earthly pilgrimage.
Protect us from the dangers of the way;
prepare us for the duties, the trials,
the joys, and sorrows that await us;
and grant that each change the year brings with it
may bring us nearer to thyself,
and to the eternal joy and rest
that await the faithful
in Thy blessed and glorious presence;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

—Church of Scotland, 1952

Prayer for the New Year

O Lord,
Length of days does not profit me
except the days are passed in Thy presence,
in Thy service, to Thy glory.

Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides,
sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from Thee,
but may rely on Thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth Thy praise;
testify Thy love,
advance Thy kingdom.

I launch my bark [boat] on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father, as my harbour,
Thee, O Son, at my helm,
Thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.

Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to Thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me They grace to sanctify me,
Thy comforts to cheer,
Thy wisdom to teach,
Thy right hand to guide,
Thy counsel to instruct,
Thy law to judge,
Thy presence to stabilize.

May Thy fear be my awe,
Thy triumphs my joy.

—Valley of Vision

 

A Prayer for Year’s End

O Love beyond Compare,
Thou art good when Thou givest,
when Thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.

Thy goodness has been with me another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.

Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With Thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.

I bless thee that thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
Thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not drown;
If I am to die,
I shall see Thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify Thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for Thy use.

—from The Valley of Vision

Prayer for the New Year

Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed
in Thy presence,
in Thy service,
to Thy glory.

Give me a grace that
precedes,
follows,
guides,
sustains,
sanctifies,
aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from Thee,
but may rely on Thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith;
and give me a desire
to show forth Thy praise,
testify Thy love,
advance Thy kingdom.

I launch my boat on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father, as my harbour;
Thee, O Son, at my helm;
Thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.

Give me Thy grace to sanctify me,
Thy comforts to cheer,
Thy wisdom to teach,
Thy right hand to guide,
Thy presence to stabilize.

—from  The Valley of Vision

Worship Change for the New Year?

Innovation for the sake of innovation  can simply be silly, and constant innovation can lead to insecurity. The environment must be seen as a dynamic equilibrium supported by a comfortable level of constancy within a context supportive of change.

—Tim Sharp, “Here We Go Again—Being Creative in a New Year,” Sacred Music News and Review, January 1999

A Prayer for Year’s End

O Love beyond Compare,
Thou art good when Thou givest,
when Thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With Thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless Thee that Thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If Thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
Thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not drown;
If I am to die,
I shall see Thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify Thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for Thy use.

The Valley of Vision

Prayer for the New Year

Almighty Father, we pray Thee graciously to lead us through the uncertainties of this new year of our earthly pilgrimage. Protect us from the dangers of the way; prepare us for the duties, the trials, the joys, and sorrows that await us; and grant that each change the year brings with it may bring us nearer to Thyself, and to the eternal joy and rest that await the faithful in Thy blessed and glorious presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Church of Scotland, 1952

Grace for the New Year

John Newton wrote “Amazing Grace” for a New Year’s service at his church:

[GOD’S PAST GRACE]
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believ’d!

[GOD’S PRESENT GRACE]
Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

[GOD’S FUTURE GRACE]
The Lord has promis’d good to me,

His word my hope secures:
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.

New Year (2)

O Lord,
Length of days does not profit me
except the days are passed in Thy presence,
in Thy service, to Thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides,
sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from Thee,
but may rely on Thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth Thy praise;
testify Thy love,
advance Thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father as my harbour,
Thee, O Son, at my helm,
Thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to Thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me Thy grace to sanctify me,
Thy comforts to cheer,
Thy wisdom to teach,
Thy right hand to guide,
Thy counsel to instruct,
Thy law to judge,
Thy presence to stabilize.
May Thy fear be my awe,
Thy triumphs my joy.

Valley of Vision

New Year

I hope this New Year will bring many new blessings to you. The Lord is good. He has delivered (past)—He does deliver (present)—He will deliver (future). Oh, what an Altar, Atonement, Temple, Priest! What a Sun and Shield! What a Savior and what a Shepherd have we!

—John Newton, writing to a friend

A Prayer for the New Year

O Lord,
Length of days does not profit me
except the days are passed in Thy presence,
in Thy service, to Thy glory.

Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides,
sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from Thee,
but may rely on Thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth Thy praise;
testify Thy love,
advance Thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father as my harbour,
Thee, O Son, at my helm,
Thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to Thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me Thy grace to sanctify me,
Thy comforts to cheer,
Thy wisdom to teach,
Thy right hand to guide,
Thy counsel to instruct,
Thy law to judge,
Thy presence to stabilize.

May Thy fear be my awe,
Thy triumphs my joy.

—from The Valley of Vision

A Prayer for Year’s End

O Love beyond Compare,
Thou art good when Thou givest,
when Thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when night gathers over me.

Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.

Thy goodness has been with me another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.

Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With Thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.

I bless Thee that Thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If Thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
Thou wilt be with me in them;

If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not drown;

If I am to die,
I shall see Thy face the sooner;

If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;

If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;

Only glorify Thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for Thy use.

Grace for the New Year

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Newton’s most famous hymn “Amazing Grace” . . . was first unveiled in his church on New Year’s Day (1773), and it’s a reflection on the new year: a look back on his past deliverances, a look around on his present deliverances, and a look forward to his future deliverances in Christ.

The hymn opens with a reminder of God’s past grace:

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believ’d!

Now note the transition to God’s present grace:

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

Finally, Newton concludes with confidence in God’s future grace:

The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures:
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.

—Tony Reinke, “God Has Brought Me Safe Thus Far: Amazing Grace for a New Year” http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/grace-has-brought-me-safe-thus-far

Prayer for the New Year

Almighty Father, we pray Thee graciously to lead us through the uncertainties of this new year of our earthly pilgrimage. Protect us from the dangers of the way; prepare us for the duties, the trials, the joys, and sorrows that await us; and grant that each change the year brings with it may bring us nearer to thyself, and to the eternal joy and rest that await the faithful in Thy blessed and glorious presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Church of Scotland, 1952