Our hearts are full and we barely know where to begin to express our praise and gratitude for the goodness and mercy that has followed us every day of this year, as with every day of our lives. May we never spare You praise or cease to give You thanks for the daily blessings that we have received from Your generous hand.
Your laws were at work even while we slept. The earth kept turning at the same speed. The dawn came as it always has for thousands of years. Our hearts continued their steady beat. Our arms and hands moved in response to commands from our minds. Our ears and eyes coordinated with signals to the brain giving us sight and sound. We enjoyed houses that past generations would count as castles, a furnace that started by itself, gas that flowed, lights that came on, a warm shower, a hot cup of coffee, clothing for our backs that some would think fit for a king, food for our stomachs prepared and preserved and supplied in ways unimagined by some, family and friends that surround us, a door that opened to fresh air, and a sun rising upon a land unblasted by the horrors of war or political chaos in a nation which still, by Your providence, knows peace.
You have adorned us with the aroma of Christ. Our hearts have been purged of malice and made loving through Your sanctifying grace. Kind deeds have been extended to those in need. Forgiving expressions and gracious actions have been extended toward enemies. You have brought fidelity to friendships and marriages and allowed people to live in the security of dependable love. There has been sacrifice gladly given by parents for their children, children for their parents, friends for friends, and in our communities, our work places, and our schools.
How tender You have been in our foolishness—You have been patient and suffered long with our stupidity, correcting and disciplining only in measure and comforting us without measure. You have heard our prayers even when we have hardly prayed. We have been unbelieving but You have been faithful. We have been undeserving but Your grace has never failed. We've been in trouble often and You have been our helper. We've been in danger and You've never slumbered or slept. Not once have You failed to keep Your promises or to remember us for good.
But among all the blessings we will never stop praising You for our redemption; for the wonders of Calvary and Him who washed us from our sins in His own blood. We will never cease to praise You for finding us dead and making us alive, for reconciling with us when we were at odds with You, for lifting us out of the slough and mire of selfishness and worldliness into the love of divine and everlasting things. You delivered us from the power of sin and in the splendor of Your mercy You kept us and would not let us go away from You. You have preserved us even to this day and made with us an everlasting covenant which neither death nor hell will ever take away.
You have served us, not according to what we deserved but according to our desires and Your loving mercies. Another year’s worth of sins have been forgiven, and in Your mercy, so many things we feared could happen have not come to pass. How gracious You have been, how tender Your mercy, how warm and constant is Your love. Thank You for every act of faith and good resolve that has come from our hearts this past year. Thank You for Your faithfulness in the prosperity that some have experienced and in the financial reverses of others. There is no end to our list, Lord. Only our lack of thought limits the list of things that we can mention in this moment.
Can we who are so rich in Your mercies be so bold and dare to ask for more? We dare to, Lord, because we believe that there is more You wish to do. We ask that we and our children will remember the lessons learned in this past year and that our faith would grow exceedingly because of it. May we who have experienced such goodness never entertain doubt. May we never be staggered by unbelief and may no affliction ever undermine our confidence in You. You are strong to keep your promises. You are an unchanging, unexhausted, eternal fountain of good things for Your people. May we never forget it. May we always say with David, "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise" (Psalm 57:7, KJV).
Even more we ask, Lord, that You complete what You have begun in us. More and more may the name of Jesus always be on our lips. More and more may we live talking of Jesus, walking with Jesus, and reflecting His image to the world. Stir in us and in our children a greater longing and hungering and thirsting after Christ. Let us live nearer to You. Give us greater love for You. Set loose from us the earthly things so that we may find our joy in You. Let Your Word dwell in us richly and let our souls overflow with heartfelt worship.
And Lord, let Your light shine brightly in the dark places of this desperately needy world. Wherever Your cross is lifted up in this generation and the next, let the power of Your spirit be known so that sinners may believe and live. O Lord Jesus, the world has waited a long time! Come establish the righteous things, cast down all evil. Come and be King of Kings and Lord of Lords and to the king eternal immortal invisible, the only wise God be glory forever and ever.
For Jesus' sake, Amen!
About the author: David Michael is a co-founder of Truth78. In April, 2014, David was called to serve as the Pastor for Next Generations at College Park Church in Indianapolis. For 28 years (1986-2013) David served under the shepherding ministry of John Piper; the last 16 years as the Pastor for Parenting and Family Discipleship. He and his wife, Sally, have two daughters and three grandchildren.