Congregational Prayers

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Our Loving Father,

We approach You this morning with our prayers and petitions, coming before You as You commanded, knowing that in You and You alone is found all sustenance and grace. You have called us out of the world of the dead and perishing and have given us life and hope in our blessed Savior Jesus Christ, not because of anything we had done, but because Christ had done it all, and freely gave Himself up on our behalf. How grateful we are for our salvation, how humbled we are by Christ’s redemption. We pray this morning out of our gratitude, and our understanding of our utter dependence and reliance on You, our Holy and Loving Father.

Be with our congregation, Grace Evangelical Church. A desire of our hearts is that we would grow in numbers, and we do pray to that end, that our efforts at evangelism and outreach would be well-thought out, effective, and profitable. But we also ask that You guard our hearts and expectations, that we would not look to worldly metrics to gauge spiritual vitality, but that we would look to Scripture to evaluate our spiritual vigor, and look to the Holy Spirit to commend or correct us. We pray, therefore, that You would plant faith and life here in the numbers we have; that You would ground us in the Gospel and hone our theology; that You would secure us in Christ Jesus and transform us into His likeness. We pray that You would grant each of us individually, and our body as a corporate whole, spiritual self-discipline and responsibility, new measures of selflessness, compassion, and mercy, and we pray that You would give us a right understanding of both our sin and misery apart from Christ, and our blessed freedom and righteousness in Him. Leave us not as we were, but make us as You would have us be. We pray for the specific needs of our members.

We pray for our church officers, our elders, deacons and minister of the Word. We pray for Brian Cochran and his seminary studies in Escondido. We pray for our sister churches in the URC, particularly our brothers in the Southwest Classis. And we pray for our church plant in Kauai, Hawaii.

We pray for our civil authorities, our President, Congress, for our Justices and Judges, for our state and local officials. Govern us effectively through their hand, turning their hearts and minds as You choose, for Your glory. Grant us wisdom that we might show due respect and honor of those You have set before us in leadership, and yet an understanding of when and how to express Christian rebuke and defiance, should the need arise.

We thank You for Your grace and mercy to us, and we trust in Your unfailing and perpetual love and kindness to us on the basis of our union in Christ. We pray these things as children of the Heavenly Father, and grateful recipients of the mercies of the Great King, and we pray them in the name of our Mediator and Brother and Lord, Jesus Christ.

AMEN