I begin 2024 with prayers for the year ahead. For many people, the start of a new year is a focused time for reflection and renewal. I’ve often set aside the first few days of January as a time for spiritual retreat, and sometimes seek out quiet retreats again as the year goes on—for example, sinking into a cushion of silence, hospitality, and worship with the nuns of All Saints Convent in Catonville, Maryland. I share here a prayer I found some years ago at All Saints that I hope might resonate with others finding their own paths to rebalance and reset right now.
The Nuns’ Twenty-Third Psalm
The Lord is my pace-setter, I shall not rush.
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals;
He provides me with images of stillness,
which restore my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency through calmness of mind.
And His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to
accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for His presence is here.
His timelessness, his all-importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity
By anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruit of my hours for
I shall walk in the place of my Lord and dwell in His House forever.
I share two more prayers as we go on into this year.
90th Psalm for Child and Youth Advocates
O God, who has been our dwelling place in all generations
for whom a thousand years are like yesterday
and like a watch in the night in Your sight.
Teach us to count our days
that we may apply our hearts to wisdom
and raise our voices for justice.
Let Your work be manifest in Your servants
and Your glorious power to their children.
Let Your favor be upon us
and prosper for us the work of our hands
O prosper the work of our hands
for our children’s sake.
God thank You so much for giving me a new beginning each day and each minute.
Help me to grow in grace and faith and hope, and shine your light everywhere I go today and all throughout the New Year.