Congregational Prayers

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Most Holy Lord,

We greet You on this Lord’s Day with our thanksgivings and petitions. We praise You for the blessings You have bestowed upon us: The jobs we’ve labored at, the food we’ve eaten, the homes we’ve rested in, the family and friends we have enjoyed and taken comfort in. But our most fervent thanks must be made for those spiritual blessings You have lavished upon us in Christ: eternal life, freedom from death, forgiveness of sin, fellowship with Christ and His Church, and the eternal favor and goodwill of You, our Heavenly Father.

We pray this morning for our nation and state and those You have called to lead them. Strengthen and bless them, and direct their hearts and minds such that their labors for their constituents would be in all ways godly and decent. We pray that Your will would be done in their lives and offices, whether they themselves love You or are in abject rebellion. We pray for their wellbeing and success, for we know that as You bless and prosper our land and government, so to will the Church reap blessings and benefits.

We pray for Your Church, that You would grow her perpetually, if not perceptibly. We trust Your Word and Your parables on the nature of the Church and know that Your will and design for the Church is that it would be ever expanding, growing from a mustard seed into the mightiest of trees. We pray to that effect, that Your Word would be preached, the sacraments displayed and enjoyed, and sins forgiven and men saved throughout the world, growing ever and ever more so. We pray that You would allow us a part in this great and holy work, that You would use our church as an instrument of evangelism and missions, whether it be in far off corners of the world, across the sea in Hawaii, or within the smaller confines of southern California, or the South Bay. Help us to preach Your Word faithfully, that men might hear and be saved, and bring us into contact with those You would have us minister to in both Word and deed.

We pray for our local body; for our Consistory and Council. We pray for your sustenance of these men, that You would encourage and assist them, granting them the grace and wisdom needed to lead our church with faithfulness, discretion, and love. We pray for our business meeting this afternoon, that the efforts and activities of our church would be faithfully conveyed and that You would be glorified in the event. We pray for our congregants, that You would strengthen them in the faith, that each of our members would come to know more fully and deeply the wonders of Christ’s work and salvation, and that we would love You above all else. Guard us against idolatry in our daily lives. How easily the cares, concerns, and even pleasures of this world shift our focus and waylay our attentions! Forgive us our misplaced loyalties and mis-prioritizations, and help us to focus ourselves on our union in Christ, to the effect that all other aspects of our lives consequently fall into proper their place and relationship, naturally and freely, to Your glory. We pray for the specific needs of our local body.

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