A Prayer of Awakening for the New Year

Good and gracious God,

Awaken us.

May this new year
be the year we see
with eyes wide open.

Even as we’ve made progress
in the year that has passed,
assuring more equality
for some,
and enlivening
a sense of
righteous resistance
against the abuse of power
in others,
we have continued
to live in
an all too routine awareness
of the places in this world
where people needlessly suffer
and are abused.

but not significantly motivated
to risk our own
abundance or wellbeing
in order to make
the world better for us all.

Awaken us
from our false assumptions
that tell us
we can continue on that way
and hope to make a better world.

Awaken us
from our denial
of the reality that
“Injustice anywhere
is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Awaken us
to the reality that
far too many suffer from the injustice
of not having their basic needs met,
their fundamental human rights met;
clean water,
enough food,
a roof under which to sleep,
access to heath care,
the right to be treated with dignity,
the right to be treated equally,
freedom from slavery,
freedom from discrimination,
access to education,
reasonable privacy,
the pursuit of happiness.

Help us to not only recognize these rights,
but to recognize that when any lack in them,
it is a threat to all of your Creation.

In this new year,
awaken us
and encourage us
to pursue access for all people
to those basic human rights.

And may we “not be satisfied
until justice rolls down
like waters
and righteousness
like a mighty stream.”

And in the dark times,
which we will surely experience,
as we confront those
who wish to hold on tightly
to their power
and their privilege,
may we be a light
to one another.

Awaken us
to the reality that the
and grace
that we offer to each other
are not only
the only truly valuable
things in this life,
but they are the means
through which
we can all work
to create a better
new year.

So, awaken us…

Awaken us to each other.

Awaken us to the systemic damage
that occurs every time
even one person
is abused, oppressed or marginalized.

Awaken us to our connectedness.

And awaken us to the possibilities
already present
in this new year.


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