[Since the collect for the 2nd Sunday in Christmas is the same as the prior week, I'm going to offer here a prayer from the new year from the pen of Johann Friedrich Starck, a Lutheran pastor in Germany in the first half of the eighteenth century. May it prompt you to prayerfully consider God's great mercy and care of us all in 2021.]
Lord, Lord, merciful and gracious, ever patient and of great faithfulness. You are from everlasting to everlasting, and with You there is no variation or shadow due to change. Under Your protection I have again entered upon a new year. How excellent is Your loving-kindness, O God; therefore, the children of men take refuge under the shadow of Your wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the goodness of Your house; the river of God is full of water.
My God and Father, during this past year I have fully experienced all this. And so I begin the new year in Your name with prayer, sighing, and supplication. Lord, be pleased to hear my voice early, on the very threshold of the new year. Give ear to me in its first hours. O Lord, I know not what may befall me during this year. A year is long; its days are many. Human misery is manifold, and the calamities that may befall us are countless. And so I come to You, O mighty and loving God, and wish to commend myself at its very beginning to Your mercy and faithfulness.
Now that all things are about to be made new; the earth again to be covered with green vegetation; the sun ascending higher and higher, an everything is to be filled with new vigor, let Your goodness and mercy be renewed upon me. I commit my soul into Your fatherly mercy and protection. Guard it against sin, that I may not contaminate it by willful and intentional rebellion. Lord Jesus, sanctify, wash, and cleanse me with Your holy blood. God the Holy Spirit, dwell in my soul, and let it be Your temple. What a blessed year it will be fore me, if I, heavenly Father, abide in Your grace and live as Your child! How happy I will be if I continue in Your fellowship, O Jesus! How beautifully shall I be arrayed, O precious Holy Spirit, if You dwell in me and rule me! If the King's daughter is all glorious within, I too, thus adorned, will be pleasing to You.
And since, You have up till now bestowed on me the precious gift of life and health, be pleased if it is Your fatherly will, and if it is for my salvation of soul, graciously to preserve this gift to me during this year, that I may become more fit to serve You and fulfill the duties of my calling. But if it should please You in Your holy counsel to visit me with sickness or pain, do not depart from me. When I suffer, alleviate my pain, and let me also welcome with joy the hour You will refresh me and relive me of my burden. O Lord, my God, hold Your protecting hand over my loved ones and my possessions. Be a wall of fire around us, as You were around Elisa. Hedge us all around as You did the house of Job.
Grant me the power of Your Holy Spirit that I may become truly godly during this year and live as a true child of God, that I may be devout in my prayers and be a careful hearer and doer of Your Word. Grant that in the new year the condition of my heart may be described like this: "The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." Let there be in my new longings for You, new love toward my fellow human beings, a new zeal to enter into communion with You and to abide in it. Sanctify me wholly, that my entire spirit, soul, and body may be kept blameless until the day of Jesus Christ. Give me new zeal in my Christian faith that I may grow and increase in whatever is good. Bless my calling and labor, my going out and my coming in. Give me whatever blessings You have in store for me.
However, let me also remember that some time the last year of my life with begin. Grant that I may always keep myself in readiness, live in a state of repentance and faith, have my lamp burning and dressed to welcome You, my Bridegroom and my gracious God, and to enter in to the Kingdom You have prepared for me from the foundation of the world. Give me a new mind and a new spirit in conformity with Your will, teach me unwaveringly to fulfill what You command, and keep me, body and soul, a habitation of Your Spirit.
Now greet the swiftly changing year with your and penitence sincere. Rejoice! Rejoice! With thanks embrace another year of grace. Amen.
-- Johann Starck, Prayer Book: Revised Concordia Edition (CPH, 2009)