New Year, New Term, New Start

 

 

2014

back to school

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 🙂

For many, today marks the return to work and school after the Christmas holidays.  This will be a struggle for a lot of people including ourselves to get back into our daily routines and leave behind the laid-back nature of the festive season in favour of assignments, deadlines and the next section of the school curriculum.  As well as adjusting to our work-mode mindset we are trying to focus on all the new years resolutions we have promised ourselves that we would make, strive towards and accomplish in 2014. ‘This year will be MY year.” Sound familiar anyone?! 😉

I have found a number of prayers and bible verses to motivate ourselves and any students we are currently teaching to make the most of the opportunities a new year can bring. Take a few minutes out of your daily routine to reflect upon these and to allow them to calm your mind for the long road of 2014 which lies ahead. Within the classroom, take a few minutes either at the beginning or at the end of the lesson to reflect upon one particular prayer or a couple of verses each day during the month of January to help students revive their motivation, interest in and passion for learning. 🙂

prayer

New Year’s Prayer

Lord, this year I want to change,
and I’ve said that in the past.
but now my prayer is different
’cause I understand at last.

I wanted my own way before,
I ignored your loving plans.
But now I’m putting everything
into your nail-scarred hands.

I promise to obey you
out of gratitude and love.
I won’t be giving orders
to my Father up above.

I finally realize the truth
and so I’ve changed my prayer.
The safest place for me to be
is in your gentle care.

Please be my shepherd, Jesus,
that’s all I ask of you.
In good times and in bad this year,
Take my hand and lead me through.

Amen.

 

Just One Request

Dear Master for this coming year
Just one request I bring:
I do not pray for happiness,
Or any earthly thing—
I do not ask to understand
The way Thou leadest me,
But this I ask: Teach me to do
The thing that pleaseth Thee.

I want to know Thy guiding voice,
To walk with Thee each day.
Dear Master make me swift to hear
And ready to obey.
And thus the year I now begin
A happy year will be—
If I am seeking just to do
The thing that pleaseth Thee.

–Unknown Author

 

Another Year Is Dawning

Another year is dawning,
Dear Master, let it be,
In working, or in waiting,
Another year with Thee.

Another year of mercies,
Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness
In the shining of Thy face.

Another year of progress,
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.

Another year of service,
Of witness of Thy love,
Another year of training
For holier work above.

Another year is dawning,
Dear Master, let it be
On earth, or else in heaven
Another year for Thee.

–Francis Ridley Havergal (1874)

The New Year

Dear Lord, as this new year is born
I give it to Thy hand,
Content to walk by faith what paths
I cannot understand.

Whatever coming days may bring
Of bitter loss, or gain,
Or every crown of happiness;
Should sorrow come, or pain,

Or, Lord, if all unknown to me
Thine angel hovers near
To bear me to that farther shore
Before another year,

It matters not—my hand in Thine,
Thy light upon my face,
Thy boundless strength when I am weak,
Thy love and saving grace!

I only ask, loose not my hand,
Grip fast my soul, and be
My guiding light upon the path
Till, blind no more, I see!

–Martha Snell Nicholson

 

This prayer from Billy Graham, written for “The Saturday Evening Post” in 2008, is just as relevant this year:

Our Father and our God, as we stand at the beginning of this new year we confess our need of Your presence and Your guidance as we face the future.

We each have our hopes and expectations for the year that is ahead of us—but You alone know what it holds for us, and only You can give us the strength and the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to humbly put our hands into Your hand, and to trust You and to seek Your will for our lives during this coming year.

In the midst of life’s uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love.

In the midst of life’s inevitable disappointments and heartaches, help us to turn to You for the stability and comfort we will need.

In the midst of life’s temptations and the pull of our stubborn self-will, help us not to lose our way but to have the courage to do what is right in Your sight, regardless of the cost.

And in the midst of our daily preoccupations and pursuits, open our eyes to the sorrows and injustices of our hurting world, and help us to respond with compassion and sacrifice to those who are friendless and in need. May our constant prayer be that of the ancient Psalmist: “Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end” (Psalm 119:33).

We pray for our nation and its leaders during these difficult times, and for all those who are seeking to bring peace and justice to our dangerous and troubled world. We pray especially for Your protection on all those who serve in our armed forces, and we thank You for their commitment to defend our freedoms, even at the cost of their own lives. Be with their families also, and assure them of Your love and concern for them.

Bring our divided nation together, and give us a greater vision of what You would have us to be. Your Word reminds us that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).

As we look back over this past year we thank You for Your goodness to us—far beyond what we have deserved. May we never presume on Your past goodness or forget all Your mercies to us, but may they instead lead us to repentance, and to a new commitment to make You the foundation and center of our lives this year.

And so, our Father, we thank You for the promise and hope of this new year, and we look forward to it with expectancy and faith. This I ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, who by His death and resurrection has given us hope both for this world and the world to come.

Amen

 

reflection

 

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

 

Psalm 94:19

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”

 

Romans 8:28
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

 

Philippians 3:13-14

 
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.”

 

2 Thessalonians 2:16–17
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.”

 

 

make things happen

virtual-school-dream-lrg

 

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