ANOTHER YEAR IS DAWNING
Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836–1879
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
It is always challenging to approach a new year and to realize anew that our days upon this earth are so rapidly passing. How important it is that we pause with the psalmist and pray for a “heart of wisdom” that will enable us this year to live each new day in a way that brings all glory to our God. I with Thee would begin, O my Savior so dear, on the way that I still must pursue; I with Thee would begin every day granted here, as my earnest resolve I renew—To be and remain Thine forever. —From the Swedish
In January of 1874, the many friends of Frances Ridley Havergal received a New Year’s greeting with the heading, “A Happy New Year! Ever Such May it Be!” Following this greeting appeared her text, still considered to be one of the finest New Year’s prayers of consecration ever written:
Another year is dawning, Dear Father, let it be, in working or in waiting another year with Thee; another year of progress, another year of praise, another year of proving Thy presence all the days. Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace; another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face; another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast; another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest. Another year of service, of witness for Thy love; another year of training for holier work above. Another year of dawning, Dear Father, let it be, on earth, or else in heaven, another year for Thee. Amen.
One can well imagine that those who received this greeting card from Miss Havergal that year read her words thoughtfully. They were written by one who had already become widely known throughout England as “the consecration poet.” It was said of her that she always lived her words before she wrote them. Her life was one of constant and complete commitment to God. Her many talents—an accomplished pianist and vocalist, proficiency in seven languages, a keen mind (memorization of the entire New Testament, Psalms, Isaiah, and the Minor Prophets)—were all dedicated to serving God and others during the new year.
May that be our challenge for this new year as well!
Deuteronomy 1:30, 31; Joshua 3:4; Psalm 39:4; Isaiah 58:11