A Prayer for the New Year and a New Decade

As we step from the 20-teens into the 2020s, I invite you to meditate on the following:

Cows graze beside a Texas oil-drilling site. Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash

Add ten years to your current age.  Then look back.  Look back to January 1, 2020, and ask yourself: Is the planet healthy?  And diverse?  And beautiful?  Are we humans healthy?  And diverse?  And beautiful?  And thriving?  Are the waters, rivers, oceans, fishes, whales the same?  Are the forests and rainforests well and healthy?  How are the four-legged ones doing?  The winged ones?  The insects?  The soil and fruit trees?

A young boy carries a cardboard box out of a dump. Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

It is no exaggeration to suggest that the next ten years may be the most pivotal ones for our planet since dinosaurs disappeared sixty-five million years ago. 

I am an elder; ten years from now I will be on the edge of ninety years of age.  But what about today’s children?  The youngest among them, the teenagers, the young adults?  How will they be faring?

A firefighter and koala stand before a bushfire near Lobethal, South Australia. Photo from Eden Hills Country Fire Service.

Clearly the news we receive daily is not encouraging with fires raging over the entire continent of Australia; with seas rising and menacing to rise even more as an ice chunk in Antarctica the size of the state of Florida is threatening to melt off into the ocean; with animal species that can’t migrate readily going extinct, etc. etc.

In that apocalyptic context, I offer this prayer.

May Homo Sapiens wake up.  Quickly.

“Pale Blue Dot” – photographed by Voyager from about 3.7 billion miles, Earth appears as the bluish-white speck roughly halfway down the thin brown band to the right (Wikipedia)

May we meditate deeply on the specialness and precariousness of our existence on our beleaguered Earth (I recommend meditating on the picture from Voyager One that puts us and our wars and petty differences into perspective.)

May we unite across our diverse nations, cultures, religions, and attitudes (including no religion) to save our planet as we know it…including our own species.

May we awaken to Gratitude and Thankfulness for our existence and our common Mother the Earth, a unique accomplishment of the universe that took 13.8 billion years to accomplish.

May we celebrate our marvelous diversity—of race, ethnicity, gender, gender preference, young and old and big and small and music and costumes and cuisine and humor.

“Marrakech climate march, 11/13/16, with trade union, women’s, environmental and climate groups represented from Morocco but also strong international contingent.” Photo by John Englart on Flickr.

May we protect, cherish and learn from the nonhuman beings …the four-leggeds, winged ones, swimmers, creepy-crawlies, Standing Ones (trees), the Green nation and all the rest who share this planet with us…and whose numbers are steadily dwindling as species are wiped from existence.

May we all do community together—the common task of providing for our common home, the earth, putting its survival first and ahead of our other agendas and ideologies.

The statue “Let us Beat Swords into Ploughshares” by Soviet sculptor Evgeny Vuchetich,at UN Headquarters in New York. Photo ID 469279. 22/09/2010. United Nations Photo/Mark Garten.

May we convert our war artifacts and economies to “plowshares” as the prophet advised so that all are fed; and housed; and have health care; and all are learning.  As Rabbi Heschel teaches: “Learning is not for life; learning is life.”

May our learning include learning wisdom and not just knowledge, the inner light that we all carry within us.

May patriarchy with its commitment to control yield to love and the light of wisdom. 

May Yin and Yang be in balance.

May the reptilian brain be tamed.  (Meditation helps with that considerably.)

May all our professions and workers learn to serve the future out of love, wisdom, and integrity.

“DC Climate Strike Day One” Photo by Stephen Melkisethian on Flickr

May the young be empowered to lead and blessed with a substantive spirituality that grounds them for sacred action and may elders awaken to support and work with the young.

May those who are blind and numb to the creation entrusted to us, those who care more for wealth than for life, who choose to be in denial and ignorance about the suffering of the world, awaken to compassion and justice-making in preference to dominion.


Banner image: Crossroads at Sunrise.. Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash.

Query for Contemplation

What is your prayer for the world as we enter the new year and decade?

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16 thoughts on “A Prayer for the New Year and a New Decade”

  1. Avatar

    So so much wisdom and hope in these words Matt. Thank you so much for the meditation series last year. I found them a real game changer for me in my daily spiritual practice. If we are as a species to survive then these words (with all the power “word” means ) are a prayer we should all head. A call to arms if you will, not in a military sense, but a prophetic way. They provide a challenge a gauntlet laid down, but also offer hope, something so desperately needed thank you and god bless you. X

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Thank you, Steve, for your gratitude, call to prophetic action, and reminder of the power of daily spiritual practices such as this one.
      May we all pray and live Matt’s New Year’s prayer.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  2. Avatar

    Happy New Year, Matthew, and to your staff. I am so grateful for your daily meditations. Matthew, your prayer for this new decade is inspiring. I have written it down and will pray it daily and make it an important part of my living.
    Peace to you all on this World Day of Peace in such a troubled world.

    Joan Doyle

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Joan,
      Thank you for your greetings. I have passed them on to our Daily Meditations team.

      If all who read this prayer actually begin to pray it, and live it, what a powerful effect it could have. I’m going to do my part.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  3. Avatar

    A Very Happy New Year to you Matthew. Our Wonderful Prophet of this time. Thank you for all the wonderful meditations you sent us during 2019 and may you continue to inspire us and encourage us to contribute all we can this New Year 2020 to protecting and loving grisly all that Our Creator has so generously given us. God bless and keep you Matthew and all those that support you.

  4. Avatar

    “More Light and less heat”- yes, thank you for this mantra and your full prayer, which will guide my meditative time this decade. Blessings,

  5. Avatar

    Excellent Post today! Thank you! It’s exactly what I believe and feel our world and planet Earth need today and throughout the next 10 YEARS! I will be 87 in February, if that’s any comfort to your “Eldership.”
    Happy New Year! Be safe and well, please. And hang with us. I, too, am saving today’s meditation for Year 2020 with gratitude to your Spirit Who put it there for me to read and take to my heart and pass on to others. Bless you.

  6. Avatar

    I Love this meditation. Thank you Matthew for all of your meditations. I am currently reread “Blessings of the flesh, Sins of the Spirit”. It such a wonderful and prophetic book! Thanks for all of your work!

  7. Avatar

    I have enjoyed so many of your daily meditations over several months. Particularly like this and the mantra, More Light, Less Heat. I hope you wont mind that I share this with my faith discussion group.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Judy,
      Thank you for writing and letting us know how these meditations are working for you. Sharing “More Light, Less Heat” with your faith discussion group is a perfect prophetic response to Matt’s meditation. Please invite them to subscribe to the meditations so that they can work with Matt’s meditations first hand, as you do. The more people we include, the more hope we can share.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  8. Avatar
    Barbara Schwartzbach

    Blessings to you and deep gratitude for you wisdom. I would love to see these words as a National/Global imitative. Reading these morning mediations gives me hope. Wondering if you plan on putting them all together in a book. I see these reflections as a powerful learning tool, that could be used in various settings.
    Best to you and the planet in 2020.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Barbara,
      Thank you for your vision and enthusiasm for Matt’s New Year’s Prayer and all of his meditations. Yes, they are very important and need to be spread as wide as our minds can fathom. I hope Matt takes up your suggestion. Blessings to you in this New Year.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

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