New Year’s Prayers from the 19th Century Just as Needed in 2009

Be pleased, dear Lord, to grant me during the present year more of Your gracious presence, more tenderness of conscience and fear of offending You; more humility, stronger faith, and more entire devotedness to Your cause. Enable me to leave my temporal concerns entirely with You, to walk by faith, to have my treasure in heaven, and to manifest by my conduct that I am Your disciple. Let me not grow cold or lukewarm, but may I lay aside every weight and the sin which does so easily beset me, and may I run with patience the race set before me, looking unto Jesus. Amen.

“Here I raise my Ebenezer.” Thus far the Lord has brought me. Though the past has been a year of multiplied transgressions and backslidings, I trust, through His abundant mercy, my face is still Zionward, and that my prevailing desire is to be devoted entirely to His service. Take me, dearest Lord, and form me for Your own glory. I feel much bodily weakness. Oh, that through the crevices of this frail tabernacle, I may see some of the glories of the eternal world!

Most dear and precious Christ, I had not thought to see another new-year’s day, but hoped before now to have beheld You face to face! Like him of old, who was possessed of a legion of demons, I besought that I might be with You. But for a season, You have seen good to withhold the full answer to my request. May Your will be done! Glorify Yourself in me, and be much, very much with me, until You shall say, “Arise, my love, and come away,” to be with Me forever! I desire most humbly and unreservedly, in Your own strength, to yield to Your Divine disposal–all I have and am, and to continually lose my wish and will, in Yours. I would lay at Your feet all creatures and created good, with every seeming evil–and embrace Yourself, my Jesus, as my joy, portion, happiness, wisdom, strength, peace–yes, my all in all–for the coming year, or so much of it as I tarry upon earth; and then, as my joyful, blissful portion through eternity! Oh, lead me, Holy Comforter, more into Christ–and out of SELF! I have had much of blessing, but I long and pray for more; in Jesus’ name. Enlarge my expectations more, I beg You–and more I shall receive. Lord, increase my faith.

Precious Christ, I come with a large request for 1842: it is that You would be the “Alpha and Omega” of it. Do You not say, “Ask what I shall give you?” Yourself, Lord! You have most blessedly given Yourself to me. But I find sweet liberty to entreat more unfolding, revealing, and opening of Your glorious person, amazing work, and matchless love, than I have yet had; and more losing and treading down of SELF, too, that I may be lost in Your fullness, and forgotten and forsaken in Your soul-absorbing glories. Oh! raise me higher, draw me nearer, that I may daily die, and You live in me more manifestly. I just give myself to You, to live on You, to live in You, to live for You, more and more than heretofore, and that by the power of the Spirit resting on me. I humbly ask that mine may be a large and still-increasing portion; that, under fresh anointings, You, most lovely Jesus, may be more fully known, more loved, more served; for it is to You the Holy Spirit leads, of You He testifies.

Oh, do make this a large, rich, full year! You being increasingly honored in me, and I increasingly lost in You, and made an increasing blessing to Your dear people. An Ebenezer for past mercies befits me; large and magnificent have been Your bestowments; bountiful and constant Your favors to me–a poor worthless nothing! “Bless the Lord, O my soul–and all that is within me, bless His holy name!”

– Ruth Bryan

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