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"A Prayer for the New Year from Samuel Johnson" - by Rev. Weldon Bares

Samuel Johnson was a great English poet, essayist, literary critic and biographer who lived in the 1700's. He published “A Dictionary of the English Language” in 1755, after nine years of working on it.

This brilliant and influential scholar was also a devout Christian. I would like to share with you a prayer that Dr. Johnson wrote many years ago. May it be the prayer of our heart today as we begin a new year.

“O Lord, in whose hands are life and death, by whose power I am sustained, and by whose mercy I am spared, look down upon me with pity. Make me to remember, O God, that every day is Thy gift, and ought to be used according to Thy command.

“Grant me, therefore, so to repent of my negligence, that I may obtain mercy from Thee, and pass the time which Thou shalt yet allow me in diligent performance of Thy commands, through Jesus Christ. Amen.”

The beginning of a new year can be a great time to make a new start in our lives. A time to ask for forgiveness and another chance. A time, with God’s help, to try to do things right. What better time than the beginning of a new year to do that?

As I say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one, I am going to ask God's forgiveness for the past and for God’s help and strength for the year to come.

Will you join me in that prayer?

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