New Year's
Quotes, Stories and Prayers

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Here is a collection of assorted quotations, stories and prayers to welcome in the new year.

What’s in a Name?. . . . . . . . . . . . .Complete Speaker’s Almanac, p. 22

    "Here we are in a month named after the Roman god Janus, an appropriate personification of the start of the new year. This particular Roman god had two faces so that he could look ahead toward the future and back at the past at the same time. As we get rid of an old year and look forward to a new one, we all try to be a little like Janus. We know through experience what we did wrong and what we did right, and hope to do better this year. Some people make ambitious new year’s resolutions; others just take a deep breath and hope for the best.…"

To Start A New Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous

    "A new year is unfolding—like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within.

    Lord, let this year be filled with the things that are truly good—with the comfort of warmth in our relationships, with the strength to help those who need our help and the humility and openness to accept help from others.

    As we make our resolutions for the year ahead, let us go forward with great hope that all things can be possible—with Your help and guidance."

Recipe for a Happy New Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous

    Take twelve fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancor and hate, cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness; in short, see that these months are freed from all the past—have them fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time. Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many persons spoil the entire lot this way) but prepare one day at a time.

    Into each day put equal parts of faith, patience, courage, work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavor of the rest), hope, fidelity, liberality, kindness, rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad dressing— don’t do it), prayer, meditation, and one well-selected resolution. Put in about one teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaping cupful of good humor.

I Am the New Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bible Illustrator

I am the new year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.

I am your next chance at the art of living. I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.

All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me, waiting for you to search it but with more determination.

All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.

All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will, all the faith that you claimed but did not have—these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose.

I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Him who said, "Behold, I make all things new."

A Year of Time. . . . . . . . . . . .  Steven B. Cloud, Pulpit Helps, Vol. 14, # 2

    …Though even thinking on the subject of time may prove discomforting, it is not a bad idea—especially at the beginning of a new year.

    As we look into <year> we look at a block of time. We see 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds. And all is a gift from God. We have done nothing to deserve it, earn it, or purchased it. Like the air we breathe, time comes to us as a part of life.

    The gift of time is not ours alone. It is given equally to each person. Rich and poor, educated and ignorant, strong and weak—every man, woman and child has the same twenty-four hours every day.

    Another important thing about time is that you cannot stop it. There is no way to slow it down, turn it off, or adjust it. Time marches on.

    And you cannot bring back time. Once it is gone, it is gone. Yesterday is lost forever. If yesterday is lost, tomorrow is uncertain. We may look ahead at a full year’s block of time, but we really have no guarantee that we will experience any of it.

    Obviously, time is one of our most precious possessions. We can waste it. We can worry over it. We can spend it on ourselves. Or, as good stewards, we can invest it in the kingdom of God.

    The new year is full of time. As the seconds tick away, will you be tossing time out the window, or will you make every minute count?

Time for New Beginnings. . . . . . . . . . . Taylor Addison, Blue Mountain Arts, 1989

"This is a time for reflection as well as celebration.

As you look back on the past year and all that has taken place in your life,

Remember each experience for the good that has come of it
    and for the knowledge you have gained.

Remember the efforts you have made and the goals you have reached.

Remember the love you have shared and the happiness you have brought.

Remember the laughter, the joy, the hard work, and the tears.

And as you reflect on the past year, also be thinking of the new one to come.

Because most importantly, this is a time of new beginnings
    and the celebration of life."

A New Year’s Prayer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous

Dear Lord, please give me…
    A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;
    A work to do which has real value,
        without which the world would be the poorer;
    A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed;
    An understanding heart;
    A sense of humor;
    Time for quiet, silent meditation;
    A feeling of the presence of God;
    The patience to wait for the coming of these things,
    With the wisdom to recognize them when they come. Amen.

A New Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Arthur Ward

Another fresh new year is here …
     Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
     To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
     To live each day with zest …
To daily grow and try to be
     My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
     Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
     And sing more joyful songs!

A New Year’s Prayer

May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
     and by making you anxious to be there to help.
God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.

A Prayer for the New Year

Come, Holy Spirit,
Spirit of the Risen Christ, be with us today and always.
Be our Light, our Guide, and our Comforter.
Be our Strength, our Courage, and our Sanctifier.
May this new year be a time of deep spiritual growth for us,
A time of welcoming your graces and gifts,
A time for forgiving freely and unconditionally,
A time for growing in virtue and goodness.

Come, Holy Spirit,
Be with us today and always. Amen.

"A Morning Wish". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W.R. Hunt

    "The sun is just rising on the morning of another day, the first day of the new year. What can I wish that this day, that this year, may bring to me?

    Nothing that shall make the world of others poorer, nothing at the expense of others; but just those few things which in their coming do not stop with me but touch me rather, as they pass and gather strength:

  • A few friends who understand me, and yet remain my friends.
  • A work to do which has real value without which the world would feel the poorer.
  • A return for such work small enough not to tax unduly anyone who pays.
  • A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed.
  • An understanding heart.
  • A sight of the eternal hills and unbelting sea, and of something beautiful the individual hand has made.
  • A sense of humor and the power to laugh.
  • A little leisure with nothing to do.
  • A few moments of quiet, silent meditation. The sense of the presence of God.
  • And the patience to wait for the coming of these things, with the wisdom to know them when they come."

Guide words: An Anthology of Inspiration and Humor, p. 13

New Year’s Message

"I asked the New Year for some message sweet,
Some rule of life with which to guide my feet;
I asked, and paused: it answered soft and low,
‘God’s will to know.’

‘Will knowledge then suffice, New Year?’ Aloud I cried.
And, ere the question into silence died,
The answer came, ‘Nay, but remember, too
God’s will to do.’

Once more I asked, ‘Is there no more to tell?’
And once again the answer sweetly fell,
‘Yes! this thing, all other things above:
God’s will to love.’"

Guidewords: An Anthology of Inspiration and Humor

New Year’s Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous

"Heavenly Father, 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 you lead me;
But this I ask—teach me to do the thing that pleases You.
I want to know Your guiding voice,
To walk with you each day.

Heavenly Father,
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 pleases You."

A Prayer for the New Year

Come, Holy Spirit,
Spirit of the Risen Christ,
Be with us today and always.
Be our Light, our Guide,
And our Comforter.
Be our Strength, our Courage,
And our Sanctifier.

May this new year be a time
Of deep spiritual growth for us,
A time of welcoming
Your graces and gifts,
A time for forgiving freely
And unconditionally,
A time for growing
In virtue and goodness.

Come, Holy Spirit,
Be with us today and always.

Pacem in Terris

Pope John XXIII, 4/11/63

"May He banish from the hearts of all men and women whatever might endanger peace.

May He transform them into witnesses of truth, justice and love.

May He enkindle the rulers of peoples so that in addition to their solicitude for the proper welfare of their citizens, they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace.

May He enkindle the wills of all so that they may overcome the barriers that divide, cherish the bonds of mutual charity, understand others, and pardon those who have done them wrong.

May all peoples of the earth become as brothers and sisters, and may the most longed-for peace blossom forth and reign always among men and women."


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