For the last time in this year I now bend my knees before You, O my God. You have had mercy on me, and now I seek nothing but Your grace and peace. I know that I have many times angered and grieved You in the past twelve months. I know that I have often transgressed Your commandments, and have not always walked before You as I should. I know that by my disobedience I have justly deserved Your wrath, displeasure and punishment. But I also know that You graciously receive penitent sinners for Jesus’ sake and forgive them their iniquities, rebellions, and sins.
And so I now cast myself before Your throne and plead for mercy. O Lord, remember not the sins of my youth; according to Your mercy remember me for Your goodness’ sake. Enter not into judgment with me; for I can no more be justified before You than any sinful being. Cleanse me from all sins, also my secret faults. If during this year I have failed to listen as devoutly and attentively as I ought to have to Your revealed Word, which makes me wise unto salvation, forgive my inattention, and let me from now on be changed from being a mere hearer into a doer of Your Word. If I have not loved You and my neighbor as I should have, remove from my heart all coldness and kindle the fire of divine love in my soul so that I can love You with my all and my neighbor as myself. If in my vocation and in the works of my calling I have not shown proper faithfulness, forgive me in Your great mercy, and grant that in the future I may better apply the talent You’ve entrusted to me. At all times may I be found a good steward, ready to face You when You shall call me to render an account of my trust. There is forgiveness with You, O God; and so I seek forgiveness with You. Now that the year is closing, blot out the record of my guilt, which is great indeed. Cancel it with the precious blood of my Savior, which I make my own by faith. Let my sins vanish like mist from before Your eyes. Remove them far from me and remember them no more ever again, lest in the new year I should have to appear in Your sight as a debtor.
Further, take me under Your gracious protection this night and be a wall of fire around me, that no harm befall me. Should this night prove the last for me in this dark vale of tears, then lead me, Lord, to heaven to You and to Your saints in glory. May I thus live to You and die to You, O Lord of hosts! In life and death You help me from every fear and need. But if according to Your counsel I am appointed to live on for more years; if on waking, I am to enter a new year, let Your goodness accompany me. Lead me in Your paths. Make me godly in word and deed. Guide me in an even way, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me, that I may live for You, serve You, and obey You. Yes, my God, this is the only thing I ask of You before I fall asleep: give me a new mind and spirit in the new year, a spirit which shall unhesitatingly perform what Your commandment bids me do, that my spirit, together with my soul and body, may remain the abode of Your Holy Spirit.
Jesus, guard and guide Thy members, Fill them with Thy boundless grace, Hear their prayers in every place. Fan to flame faith’s glowing embers; Grant all Christians, far and near, Holy peace, a glad new year! Joy, O joy, beyond all gladness, Christ has done away with sadness! Hence all sorrow and repining, For the Sun of Grace is shining! LSB 897:4