Congregational Prayers

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Our Holy Father,

We greet You joyfully this Lord’s Day morning. How good and pleasant it is come into the House of the Lord: to gather in Your name and rest in Your presence, to confess our sin and receive Your free pardon, to sing psalms of praise and worship, and to avail ourselves to Your boundless grace in the preaching of the Word and the taking of the sacraments. What an anchor for our turbulent lives! How refreshing and refocusing! Bless us in this service today and be blessed in our worship, for it is here in this context that we see most clearly the fulfillment of Your eternal covenant to be our God and to take us as Your people.

As partakers of the covenant, we come before You, our adoptive King and Father, with the prayers and petitions You have asked of us. We know that in Christ we have all the riches of the heavenlies, and in Your presence we have all manner of joy and comfort, and yet You bid us come before You and make known our wants and needs. And so we come in both humbleness and easy boldness, both in dreadful awe and childlike excitement, into Your holy-of-holies and bring You our prayers and thanksgivings.

We pray for our government, those men and women in authority over us – our president, our congressmen, our state and local officials. Help us to honor and esteem these men in all sincerity, with honest thanksgiving, as You have given them their authority over us, not to tyrannize us, but to restrain sin among us, and promote the general safety and welfare of our lands. Protect them and guide them. Grant them success in their roles not merely for their own sakes, but that the nation may prosper under them and the Church within the land prosper as a consequence.

We pray for Your Church gathering this morning in multiple congregations throughout the southern California, the nation, and the whole world. Bless Your Church and grow Her. If it be Your will, we pray that You would grow Her numerically, that more and more men would see their sin, acknowledge their emptiness before God, and flee to Christ in His Church. But principally we pray that You would grow her in all holiness and righteousness, that You would raise Her up in sound doctrine, in love for Her Savior, and in pure deeds and good works on behalf of the poor, needy and downtrodden. We pray that you would strengthen and encourage our pastors, elders and deacons, that You would solidify our families in peace and harmony, and that we would be a people of the Word – obvious Children of God as displayed by our love for one another.

We pray for the specific needs of our local body.

And we pray this morning for those men in our world who are yet a war with You and rebel against Your rule and reign. We pray that you would soften the hearts of many with the wonders of the Gospel, and that even now You would be crafting from Your greatest haters Your most devoted saints. We pray all these things in the matchless name of our Savior Jesus Christ.

AMEN