Congregational Prayers

Sunday, October 21, 2007

our Covenant Keeping Father,

You are a God of promise and fulfillment. You have covenanted with us, the Church, to be our God and to take us on as Your People. You have not made vain promises or half-hearted commitments, as we so often make to You and one another, but You have covenanted with us, endorsing Your commitment with the only authority capable of binding You to Your purpose, Your own Godly nature, Your own divine character. And not only have You sworn to uphold Your covenant with appeal to Your own holiness and transcendence, but You have also dained to uphold, on our behalf, our own covenantal commitments, which we so repeatedly and disastrously have failed to keep. You have kept Your covenant and ours as well, and not without great cost and sacrifice, for the stipulations upon us were severe indeed. Our judgment and death were the consequences for our covenant infidelity, and rather than see us destroyed under the just sentence, You have chosen to take those penalties and curses upon Yourself, providing us a Perfect Man, Your own Son, Jesus Christ, to live, breath and die the stipulations of the covenant on our behalf. His life secures the lives of us all, and His death consumes the judgment reserved for each of us. We have now fulfilled the covenant because God became Man and played our part for us.

We think this morning on Your covenant and Your grace to us in Christ, as we sing Your Psalms, as we feast with and on Christ at Your table, and as we baptize our children, when we joyfully declare them to be partakers of the covenant, members of the Church, and objects of God’s promise of mercy to a thousand generations of those who love Him.

We pray for our federal, state and local officials, whom You in Your preserving grace, have given us to restrain sin, to resolve conflicts and to preserve peace and safety. We pray earnestly for these men and women upon whom so much depends. Bless them and grant them success in their efforts, and keep them from sinful paths that would lead Your people into harm.

We pray for our pastors, elders and deacons, and all the men You have given the Church, to shepherd, teach, comfort, rebuke and protect us. Likewise shepherd and protect them, that they would be able to freely and effectively point their congregants to Christ crucified, and that their labor would not be in vain or without joy. Be with our members as we hear Christ preached and see Him in the sacraments. Soften our hearts that we may turn to You and resist no more; permeate our souls with such a love of our Savior that that we cannot help but love one another all the more fiercely. Forgive us our sins and help us in our infirmities. We pray for the needs of our local congregation. And we pray also for the Kauai Reformation Church in Hawaii, that you would strengthen and grow it, and that You would be pleased to send them a pastor to lead them. Give us wisdom and discernment in our efforts to come along side and support them.

Our prayers are made in Christ’s name with full confidence, for He has kept our covenant. You are our God and we are Your people eternally because of it.