Pray as You Sail into the Unknown Waters of the New Year

How to navigate 2022 with Jesus at the helm.

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Posted in , Dec 20, 2021

Navigating the New Year

Some of my favorite prayers, especially this time of year, come from a collection of Puritan prayers portraying the coming year as an ocean. In that context, I am a ship ready to launch into unknown waters with Jesus at the helm, the Spirit as the wind in my sails and the Father as the safe harbor waiting to receive me at year’s end—or before. 

The imagery helps me to pray, more or less along these lines, as I contemplate a new year: 

Is Jesus at the helm? I pray for His captaincy, for Him to choose and steer where He wants me to go. I submit to His leadership and remind myself that as much as I may plan and prepare, I want Him to guide the ship of my life through the year ahead. 

Invite the Spirit’s momentum. I pray, adapting the Lord’s instruction to Ezekiel (37:9), “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into the sails of my life in 2022, filling me with Divine energy, purpose and power.” 

Pray for the work ahead. I know that no sailor can stay idle for long, as there is no limit to the tasks on board an ocean-going vessel. So, I pray for steady hands, strong arms and sea legs to get me through the coming voyage. 

Pray for calm seas while keeping a “weather eye.” I pray and hope for sunshine and fair winds, but I know there are likely to be challenges and trials ahead. Most of all, I pray that whatever storms may arise, I will keep “holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck” (1 Timothy 1:19 NIV).

Pray for others on the journey. I know I’m not alone on the sea. There are many who must brave the same—or even more challenging—waters. I pray for their journeys too.

Keep your gaze on the Captain. I remember Simon Peter’s lapse as he walked on the sea; he turned his gaze from Jesus and “began to sink” (Matthew 14:30). I pray that I’ll be able to keep my eyes on Jesus, whatever winds may blow and whatever waves may crash.  

Pray to arrive safely. My destination may mean ending the year in health and happiness or being guided into the safe harbor of the Heavenly Father’s presence. 

However your 2021 may conclude, I wish you bon voyage in 2022.

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