Congregational Prayers

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Holy Father,

You are in all things beyond our comprehension. You are immortal, invisible, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient – all aspects that we finite mortals cannot truly get our hands around. You are a holy Mystery and we understand You and Your purposes only to the extent that You reveal Yourself to us. And yet, while there is much of Your nature, ways and thoughts that are yet hidden from us, You have not left us with mystery or ambiguity as to how You desire us to worship You. Your Word calls out clearly what You desire of us, and we respond, imperfectly, in our liturgy and prayers. We pray this morning as Your Son, Our Lord, taught us to pray: for Your glory, for Your Kingdom on earth, for our specific needs, for the forgiveness of our sins, and for the sanctification of our souls.

We pray for Your Kingdom, that Your will would be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. We pray for Your Church and those You have established to lead her. May She strengthen and prosper, in adversity and in plenty, always transforming and conforming more and more to the nature of Her Savior, Her foreordained Bridegroom. Preserve Her theology and stoke the fires of Her love and service. Guard Her so that She may guard the Gospel and preach it boldly and faithfully to every man, woman and child. We pray for our local assembly, Grace Evangelical Church, and for our pastor, elders and deacons. Grow our numbers, and grow our faith. Grant us a harvest of souls, well-prepared and well-equipped for the Kingdom, a people who know You, love You and worship You as You would be worshiped. We pray for those in our number under discipline that their hearts would be softened and their lives would be characterized by repentance and faith.

We pray for our earthly needs – thanking You for Your provision and seeking Your continued blessings. We pray for our nation and leaders, for our state and local governments. We pray for the elections next month, that Your will would be done and that You would derive glory in the outcome. We pray for those men and women already in office, that You would preserve and protect them and cause them to lead their constituents with holiness and righteousness, even though they themselves be pagans.

We pray for our homes and jobs and the needs of the day – that we would have food on our tables, a roof over our heads, care and healing in our illness, and security in our streets. As we have already experienced this service, we ask for Your continual forgiveness of our sin and restoration in Christ, that we would not give offense to You, and that we might continually bathe in Your good will and favor.

And we pray for the sanctification that You bring about in our lives through the blessed Holy Spirit. How we long to be righteous! How we long to be free of this burden of sin that yet clings to our back as a dead man, weighing us down and bringing death unto us! How we long for that time when the desire and lure of sin and disobedience will no longer hold sway in our lives and we will live for Your glory in all fullness and sincerity. May You quickly rule and reign completely in our hearts, but should You tarry in Your return, grant us that regular encouragement we find in Your slow and steady sanctification, where we can see day-by-day more Christlikeness in our souls.

We pray these things in the Name of Him Who taught us to pray, our Lord Jesus Christ.

AMEN