Congregational Prayers

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Holy Father,

You have made covenant with Your people. You have sworn unto us, using Your very Self as Witness and Assurance, to be our God, and to take us on as Your people. And You have fulfilled that covenant of grace most gloriously, loving Your people, tenderly protecting and instructing, meeting our needs with compassionate providence. You have gathered us and brought us to faith in Christ Jesus, whereby we have been washed of our sins and unrighteousness and made holy and pure and able to abide in Your presence. What a wonderful state we, the Children of God, find ourselves in Jesus Christ! Freed from the sin and death that enslaved us, and ushered into the very presence and active good will and affections of God the Father. We are the beneficiaries of a contract we had no ability or role in keeping; a covenant completed entirely on our behalf, leaving us solely with the task of loving worship and gratitude, to the glory of God the Father. And so in keeping with that debt of love we owe You, we respond now to our covenantal blessings with the prayers and thanksgivings You have commanded of us. We pray for our needs and our godly desires. We pray for our sick and troubled. And we pray in thankfulness and celebration for the blessings and provisions you have bestowed on us.

We pray this morning for our earthly systems of authority You have installed to protect and regulate our societies, to restrain sin and promote peace and wellbeing. We pray for our President, our Congress, our Judges and Justices, for our Governor and state officials, for our mayors and councilmen, our police and military personnel, and all who serve our citizenry through the arm of our government. In as far as their labors are glorifying to You, my You be pleased to bless these men and women in their endeavors and bring much benefit from their work. Where their actions are contrary to Your will, we pray that You would rebuke, thwart and refocus their efforts, that the public, and people of God in particular, would suffer no ill.

We pray for our ecclesiastical authorities: for pastors and elders and deacons the world over, and especially for our own here at Grace Evangelical Church. Be with these men and grant them steadfastness, confidence and faith. Give them minds clear on the Word of God, and sharp in all things theological and pastoral. Give them a firmness of character enveloped by a softness of compassion and gentleness. Keep them from sin, and meet the needs and desires of their lives and ministries beyond all expectation.

We pray also for our congregants, that we should be filled with the Holy Spirit and thoughtful in word and deed, lest we grieve Him. Sanctify us today and every day from the sin that yet besets us, and grow us ever more noticeably into the image, the very likeness of our beloved Savior and Lord Jesus. Strengthen our faith, deepen our trust and purge us of all manner of self-reliance. We pray for the specific needs of our local body, for those sick, tired, weary and discouraged. For those struggling with money or family problems or persistent sin. Comfort our hearts with the assurances of Your covenant with us and bolster us with the knowledge that You are and will ever be our God, and we ever Your people.

In all things we sing Your praise, for You are our God, and we Your loving people. In Jesus’ name,

AMEN