Congregational Prayers

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Most Loving and Gracious Father,

We are reminded over and over again in the words of our catechism that our only comfort in life and in death is that we, with body and soul, both in life and death, are not our own, but belong to our Faithful Savior Jesus Christ. These are troublesome times indeed, and our hearts cling to this comfort and lean upon it, resting from our struggles and fears in that finished work of Christ, for He, with His precious blood, has fully satisfied for all our sins, and delivered us from all the power of the Devil and so preserves us that not a hair can fall from our heads. What grace is this, that nothing escapes Your notice? More than that, that nothing befalls us apart from Your active will, and that nothing afflicts us that isn’t deliberately assigned and applied by a loving Father Who works it inevitably for our greater good and benefit. For we are reminded and assured, yea that all things must be subservient to our salvation, and therefore by Your Holy Spirit,

You also assure us of eternal life and make us sincerely willing and ready to live unto You! What comfort indeed! Our catechism calls this “our only comfort in life and death,” but what greater, more pervasive comfort could be imagined? You know the end from the beginning, having decreed and established it so, and the end is the consummation of the Kingdom of God in all its fullness and majesty, and we, the Church of Christ, gathered together with Him in fullness of joy, worship, and praise for all eternity. Our present worries can be meager; our temporary sufferings can now be endured. And we can now view our trials not with despair and despondency, but with an eye to that eternal benefit and good that they will work within us and the body of believers. So with this perspective in mind, we offer our prayers and petitions for our nation, for our Church, and for our individual needs and concerns.

We pray for our nation and her leaders. We pray for our President and Congressmen, we pray for our Justices and judges. We ask that you preserve their health and abilities and that you would protect them as they execute their offices. We pray for the safety and security of our nation and for the economic turmoil that our nation, and indeed the whole world, is experiencing. As we’ve prayed, may the Church draw eternal benefit from the earthly trials She undergoes. Nevertheless, we pray for a restoration of our economies that the suffering among Your people would be minimized. We pray for Your Church, especially for Her elders and deacons and scholars and teachers, but also for each of us in the Body, that we would serve Christ in love and dedication, not in our own strength, will or wisdom, but because we have been made sincerely willing and ready to live unto You. Forgive us our sin, sanctify our souls and give us a passionate love for Christ and the Church. Meet us in our needs, struggles and sorrows; and strengthen us in our faith so that the comforts You afford become comforts in which we can rest.

We pray in the Name of Him to Whom we so willingly belong, our Savior Jesus Christ.

AMEN