Congregational Prayers

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Most Holy Father,

At the dawn of Creation You formed man and placed him in Eden, and there You provided for his every need and desire. You gave him dominion over the earth and the responsibility of stewardship of all that existed in it. In the Fall, mankind indeed was expelled from the luxury, peace and safety of the Garden, but in no way did You leave us orphaned and abandoned. Despite the curse and the difficulties and miseries it brought about, You nevertheless provided for the needs of Your creatures; and likewise, in spite of the Fall, You still call on us to exercise our stewardship and dominion, though now through hard labor and stifling inefficiencies. We thank You this day for Your continued benevolence in the midst of our sin and rebellion – for Your providence and provision in all our physical and material needs, and for the perseverance of human labor and responsibility in the midst of Your creation. We are most grateful for these gifts of home and labor and pray for Your continued blessings in them.

We thank You and pray specifically for the civil governments You have established in our lives. When functioning in their most holy roles, these bodies preserve the peace, restrain sin, and ensure justice. What safety and surety would we have in life, were tyranny, theft and murder not restrained? What fruit would we find in our labor, were honest weights and measures not established and enforced, or laws against fraud and usury not upheld? We thank You for good and just government and submit ourselves to it as unto Christ, as its authority is derived from the King of Kings. We pray for our President and Congress, our Justices and judges, for our state and local officials, that they would wisely govern, establishing laws that are just and fair, and for our police and armed forces that maintain the law and protect us against aggression. We pray for these men and women that they would understand their calling and that they would not deviate to the left or the right in its execution, and that our governments would not fall to the corruption and tyranny they are intended to subdue.

We pray for the holy Church of Christ that You have established out of the world for Christ’s glory. You have preserved Him a people from all races and communities and have united us in the Holy Spirit – a single Church joined in a common Baptism. We pray for the Church Universal, that She would grow and prosper in numbers and in grace. We pray that You would ground us in pure theology, fill us with love for God, for our Christ, and for one another, and that You would daily, even hourly, forgive us our sin and purge the sin nature from our bodies and souls that we would be evermore like Him Who is our Brother and Lord. Be our God and receive us as Your beloved people. We pray for the men You have given the Church to lead and direct Her. So fill these men with the Holy Spirit that discerning and executing Your will is like breathing. Strengthen them for the task and give them patience, persistence and great fruit and joy.

We pray for the specific needs of our local body.

Oh Lord, our God in Life and Death, in want and in plenty, in labor and in rest, receive our prayers now, for we pray them in the name of Him we love so dearly, Jesus Christ.