Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Offertory Prayer for 1/1/2012

O God, we often sing of you as the God who is our help in ages past, and we stand today at one of those junctures in our lives where we look back in reflection upon a year just past. We are seeking understanding and a clear perspective on all that has transpired during this past year. When we think of our lives, our families, our church, our community, our state, our nation, and indeed even our world, we confess that much of what we have seen this past year is discouraging. And so we plead for your help again, today, just now, in these troubling times. For our weaknesses, our omissions, our failures, our infidelities, our sins, we plead for your forgiveness and pray that you will once again give us a fresh start. Unburdened by our pasts and renewed in our commitments, let us not just ask for your help, but let us open ourselves to your presence and submit ourselves to your guidance and direction in the days ahead.
We also sing of you as the God who is our hope for years to come, and we stand today in this first new day of this new year and plead that your hope might fill us as we contemplate our futures. Our world is troubled, and we sense real dangers on so many fronts. Give us hope and a commitment to strive for peace. Our nation will be making significant choices in the year ahead that will shape what our country and our society will be in the years to come. Give us hope and guidance. Our church and our families face hard and difficult times. Give us hope and a commitment to strive for deeper faith, strengthened bonds of love, and renewed dedication of all we have and hold for your service.
It is in that last petition that we come now to give our offerings of obedience, of thanksgiving, and of dedication—offerings channeled through this church, but given to you. Bless us as we give; bless our church as it serves as a steward of your resources; and bless every act of worship, every ministry, every missionary endeavor, every effort to teach your people, and every gathering where your people plan, prepare, and engage in service—bless all that will be enabled through these gifts we give today and through the offerings will faithfully give throughout 2012. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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