Congregational Prayers

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Holy Father,

How good it is to come into Your presence and worship in the company of the saints! How awesome the privilege and responsibility of coming into the Holy of Holies, robed in the righteousness of Christ, speaking with God as a man speaks with his friend! We do so this morning with both awful fear and childlike delight in our hearts, and we pray as You have asked us to do, for the expansion of the Kingdom of God in our hearts and the hearts of men everywhere, for Your will on earth to reign as it does in the Kingdom of Heaven, and for the daily provision of every earthy thing needed for life and health.

We pray for those institutions You have given us to order and regulate our society. We pray for the strength and integrity of their structure, that they would function appropriately and do what You have intended them to do. We pray for our state and local bodies, but we pray in particular for our federal government and for the elections to be held at the end of the year. Be with our nation as we elect leaders, that they may serve You appropriately by serving those You have called them to govern. But while we pray for our government, which is a good and right thing, we ask also that You would guard our hearts and expectations in our governors, that we would not look to worldly authorities for Heavenly goods. Remind us that while the civil authority has its purposes and powers, it is through Christ that we are saved, and the through the Church that we are sustained, and that no earthly power or principality can ever co-opt that role or responsibility.

We pray then, for the Church of Christ, for in it do we have hope of salvation. We pray for our pastors, elders and deacons, and the men You have given us to study Your Word and teach and preach it to us, and to the lost and perishing. We pray for our local body and all likeminded and faithful churches, that You would feed us on the Word, and encourage us in the sacraments. Confront us with the Law and wash us clean with the Gospel. Strengthen our faith and enflame our hope and give us love for one another and dedication to Christ. We fail so often and so greatly in faithfulness, focus and enthusiasm. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit that we would cease to be distracted by the trivialities of the world around us, and that our desire would be for nothing but our lives in Christ. Build up our parents and children, be with our sick and those in need. Be their God and take them as Your people and allow our congregation to be a part of Your ministry unto them. We pray for the specific needs of our local body.

We pray these things in the name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.