Year III: 12 Days of Christmas

New Year’s Eve: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Today is the Seventh Day of Christmas, the traditional twelve day festival that begins on Christmas Day and runs until January 5th. During this time we concentrate our readings on Jesus’ early life. This leads us to January 6th, which is the Feast of the Epiphany, where we celebrate Christ’s revelation to the world as Messiah, predominantly in the events leading up to and immediately after his baptism.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 65

Praise to God for His Salvation and Providence

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A Song.

Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion;
And to You the vow shall be performed.
O You who hear prayer,
To You all flesh will come.
Iniquities prevail against me;
As for our transgressions,
You will provide atonement for them.

Blessed is the man You choose,
And cause to approach You,
That he may dwell in Your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
Of Your holy temple.

By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us,
O God of our salvation,
You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth,
And of the far-off seas;
Who established the mountains by His strength,
Being clothed with power;
You who still the noise of the seas,
The noise of their waves,
And the tumult of the peoples.
They also who dwell in the farthest parts are afraid of Your signs;
You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice.

You visit the earth and water it,
You greatly enrich it;
The river of God is full of water;
You provide their grain,
For so You have prepared it.
You water its ridges abundantly,
You settle its furrows;
You make it soft with showers,
You bless its growth.

You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.
They drop on the pastures of the wilderness,
And the little hills rejoice on every side.
The pastures are clothed with flocks;
The valleys also are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, they also sing.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP (Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Proverbs 16:16-33

How much better to get wisdom than gold!
    To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
The highway of the upright turns aside from evil;
    whoever guards his way preserves his life.
Pride goes before destruction,
    and a haughty spirit before a fall.
It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor
    than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good,
    and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.
The wise of heart is called discerning,
    and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
    but the instruction of fools is folly.
The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
    and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
    sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.
A worker’s appetite works for him;
    his mouth urges him on.
A worthless man plots evil,
    and his speech is like a scorching fire.
A dishonest man spreads strife,
    and a whisperer separates close friends.
A man of violence entices his neighbour
    and leads him in a way that is not good.
Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things;
    he who purses his lips brings evil to pass.
Grey hair is a crown of glory;
    it is gained in a righteous life.
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
    and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
The lot is cast into the lap,
    but its every decision is from the Lord.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Holy Spirit, guide us through the rest of our day.
May we know your wisdom in our hearts,
Your strength in our bodies,
And your peace in our lives. Amen

GRACE

(If these prayers are taking place before food, you may like to say the Grace here instead.)

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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