New Year’s Prayer The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, “Ask whatever you wish, and I’ll give it to you.” God said to him, “Because you have asked for this, I will now do just what you said. There has been no one like you before now, nor will there be anyone like you afterward.” – 1 Kings 3:5–12 (CEB, adapted) VICKI KEMPER | As a rule, I discourage theologies that reduce God to a divine Santa Claus and treat prayer as a personal wish list. But on this day when many of us feel pres- sured to make resolutions toward self-improvement, perhaps we could instead turn to prayer and ask God for what we and the world really need. We could consider who Love calls us to be, and the ways in which we will need to change and grow to allow Love to more fully live in and through us. We could admit that we’ll need help with that—and ask for it. The brand-new King Solomon asked God not for power or wealth but for the discern- ment he would need to be a wise and just ruler. Perhaps we could ask God to give us the faith to follow Jesus into a brand-new year. We could ask for a double portion of love for all God’s children. We could pray that our hearts be so filled with love that there would be no room left for fear. After all, there has been no one like us before, nor will there be anyone like us after this. This time—this new year—requires transformed and loving people, and God both calls and equips us to do the work. PRAYER Hear our prayers, and give us the boldness to ask for what your people need.

About the Writer:
VICKI KEMPER is Pastor of First Church Amherst (UCC) in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Source: “What’s Left of the Night?” | 2022 Advent-Christmastide Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.