Congregational Prayers

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hh Merciful and Loving Father,

How great and perfect is Your love for Your children. You have beheld our fallen condition, our broken fellowship, and our abject inability to reconcile ourselves, and you have looked upon us not with violence and contempt, but with pity and compassion. You have pursued us and retrieved us. While we were yet sinners and offensive in every aspect, You sent Your Son to the cross in our behalf, forgiving us our sins in Christ Jesus and purchasing us completely, body and soul. You have washed away our filth and shame, and have opened the gates of Heaven unto us, delighting in us as a father his children. You have spared us no good thing, but have showered us in blessings realized both in the here and now, and in the life to come.

What wondrous love is this! How inconceivable! How contrary to human nature and all we would expect or anticipate. How we could spend days pondering the immensity of Your love, the magnitude and breadth of it: “How could God love me so?” And at the end of our ponderings we would be, as before, awash in the blessed mystery of the Divine Will.

Father, we rest in Your love and pry not into the hidden things of God. We accept in faith those things that are beyond us, and submit to Your will and Your blessing. With humility and gratitude we cry “Abba, Father,” and take hold of the promises of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, living within His life and dying within His death.

As Your children You have bid us to seek You in all our wants and needs without fear or doubt. Our Father who has already expended so much on our welfare will surely not deny our needs and desires now. And so we boldly approach the Holy of Holies, for clothed in the robes of Christ, we are received with joy, love and perfect goodwill.

We pray for our civil authorities – our President, senators and representatives, our state and local leaders, that You would hold their hearts in Your hand, and that You would direct their steps go which ever way You will.

We pray this morning for Your Church – both for our own local assembly, and for Your people around the world, thinking especially of Your children in Iraq and the Middle East. Be a comfort to us, encourage and sustain us. Give us endurance in persecution, forgiveness in oppression, and faithfulness in affliction. Make Christ our blessed hope and fondest desire. We pray that You would call and sustain God-fearing men who would serve You and Your Church honorably and faithfully. We pray for Your pastors and leaders, that they would truthfully preach the Word and that we, their congregations, would be nourished and strengthened. We pray for the specific needs of our own congregation.

And lastly we pray for the worship service this morning, for the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Table. Richly bless Your Church this morning and be glorified in all aspects. Superintend the service and take joy in it. We pray these prayers in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.