A Prayer for the New Year

A tradition of placing a pine branch in the fire and making a wish led to an answered prayer.

By Evelyn Olsen, Grand Blanc, Michigan


It was early January, and we were sitting around our friends' fireplace when Ron brought out a stack of pine branches. Nancy explained that she had read of an old tradition where each person placed a pine branch on the fire and made a wish for the New Year.

We began talking of our wishes. We mentioned cars, color tvs--all sorts of fun luxuries. Then my thoughts flashed to the new meaning in my life since I had joined a prayer group. I wanted other people to know God as I did. And so as I placed my branch on the crackling fire, I quietly prayed, "Please let one person, just anyone, be drawn closer to the Lord because of me."

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I remembered the prayer often in the months ahead as I tried to be always available as God's witness in church meetings, Sunday school and social activities.

In August the thought occurred to me--What if someone wanted to know more about the Lord and I didn't have the answers for them? I began reading the Bible, studying lives of men whom God had transformed, and reading devotional classics. But nothing seemed to materialize.

Suddenly it was December 31. I remembered my prayer wish and tried to think who it was that I had brought closer to the Lord. I finally had my answer--no one!

I sat for a few minutes trying to understand. Then I said, "Lord, I know You answer every prayer. I believe. I trust You, but where is my answer?"

And in that next moment, the Lord spoke to me in words I could almost hear. "Don't you know it is you and I who are closer?"

And, of course, He was right. Our friendship had deepened; I did know Him better. My New Year's wish had come true.

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Your Comments (3)

Your Comment
awesome god hears us all today is a new begining keep your prays in i see the light.

Your Comment
thank you well said !

What a lovely story I to truth the Lord and I believe he will answer my prayer as well and my wish for this new year 2012 is that if it the Lord will be done Lord please send help to my family and I in faith with our finance situation in jesus name we give you all the praise amen.Dianne