A Prayer for the New Year
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
These last two years have been tough for many people, and for some, 2021 was the toughest. Parents, workers in all fields, and students of all ages saw their lives turned upside down as our country grappled with COVID-19, political polarization, and ever-increasing uncertainty. Law students, like myself, were reminded of the law’s limits as a force for good. Faith in our worldly institutions–many of which, just a few years ago, would have seemed invincible–is at an all-time low. Perhaps most telling of all is that this sentiment traverses ideology and religion: Democrats, Republicans, Christians, and those from other faith traditions have all lost faith in something. There is an unmistakable heaviness in the air. People are weary and worn out (Monmouth University Poll).
As Christians, it is important that we remember what serves as both the source and ultimate focus of our faith: Jesus Christ. With Him, there is no uncertainty, and there are no broken promises. Although we live in a fallen and sinful world, we are told not to despair: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV). Our Lord promises us rest, telling us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV).
Not only are we promised this strength for the here and now, but we also are given encouragement for the future: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV). For my fellow classmates of the class of 2023, this month marks our halfway point through law school. My prayer for my class and for all is that we look to Him as our source of strength as we begin our journey into 2022. Let us continue onward cheerfully, energetically, optimistically, and with unwavering faith in He who never fails us. Let us witness to a weary and broken world all that is made possible through Jesus Christ.