I need a prayer for early in the new year

Our God,
I need a prayer
for early in the new year—
for when it turns out,
as early in the new year as it is,
nothing’s new—
when it’s the same hurts—
the same diagnoses—
the same griefs—
the same tragedies.
Don’t know why I would have thought otherwise.
I didn’t really—
think otherwise.
But there’s something about a new year—
something hopeful—
unhindered by what I think
that’s now been let down—
again.
For as much as I don’t think
prayer changes circumstance,
at that deepest level,
there’s obviously some hope going on,
because there’s some disappointment going on.

So we remind ourselves—
in our disappointment
and the hope below that,
that we do not believe circumstance has the last word.
This we affirm in prayer.
And we remind ourselves, consistently,
that we are not those who give into cynicism;
we are not those who despair;
we are not those who give up;
we are those who pray—
in Jesus’ name,
Amen.

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