Our gracious Father in heaven, as we plan our New Year’s celebrations and finish the year-long Genesis to Revelation reading project this day, we thank you for blessing us with the past year and the hope we have for the new.  How fitting that we read the final chapters of Revelation, reminded of our faith’s hope for a new heaven and a new earth!  We thank you and praise you for the high note of optimism that your Word brings to us in its finality, and we ask that this high note of optimism will inspire us as we begin a new season, our lives a blank slate upon which we invite you to engrave plainly your will and your purpose for this new beginning.  We pray for your guidance and counsel as we advance into the calendar, eager to please you by the manner in which we live our lives before you and others.  We pray also for our church in the coming year, asking for your favor, your unity, and your blessing as we continue to lead others to become more passionate followers of our Savior.  And we end this prayer with the glorious closing expressed in  the final sentence from your Word: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people!”  For your outpouring  of that grace in the months to come, we pray to the Lord! Amen.