Congregational Prayers

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Merciful Father,

You are our loving and compassionate Father. All we have we have at Your hand. We eat, we drink, we work and rest, all within the providence and decree of You, our Heavenly Father. In your mercy You have given us the gift of prayer, by which we may come before You, fearing no longer Your wrath and judgment, but hidden in the righteousness of Christ and bathing in Your love and acceptance. And You have instructed us in Your Word to bring before You our needs and thanksgivings with the assurances that You hear the prayers of Your children and do not fail to act upon them according to Your will and our benefit. And so this morning we bring these prayers and petitions to You, trusting in Your Word and in the unchanging character of Your love and goodwill.

We pray for our federal and local governments and for the elections that will take place this fall. You ordain the authorities to whom Your children are to submit, and yet in our nation You have given us a role in selecting these leaders – a bewildering intersection of providence, predestination and human will. We know that with freedom comes responsibility, and with responsibility comes judgment and consequences. Our freedoms must be carefully exercised. We know how Israel fared when it demanded a king after its own heart, and not the man of God’s choosing. In the freedom You have given us, grant us wisdom, self-restraint, and discernment, that our votes would be glorifying to You, a boon for the Church, and a testimony to our love for Christ. We pray for all our leaders, both current and imminent, that they would govern according to Your precepts and will and that the Church would not be harmed in any way under their terms. We pray for their health and safety and for their wisdom and strength of character.

We thank You this morning for the Holy Church, the radiant Bride of Christ and the beloved ransomed Israel. Be with her and sustain her through rich times and poor. Prepare her for adversity and strengthen her within it. Build her in numbers and build her in faith. Grant her a purity of love for Christ and godly worship. Assist those men You have called to serve as officers to appropriately guard the faith and protect the flock. Help them to perpetually examine the faithfulness of their preaching and teaching, to preserve and guard the table and baptismal font; and to be leaders in prayer and intersession. Preserve these men and bless them; grant them willing and joyful congregations and families to support and encourage them. We pray for the members of our church and churches worldwide, that we would grow in grace, mercy, love, and endurance. Hone our theology and deaden us to the sin that still inhabits us, but no longer controls us. Protect us from the Evil One and build us in holiness, purity and beauty, that we would be made into the very image of Him we love so dearly.

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

AMEN