Congregational Prayers

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Most Loving and Attentive Father,

As we come before You this morning, we consider the faith and confidence we have in doing that very thing. We, Your children, approach You with assuredness and a conviction that You are here and You hear our prayers. This is not so for the world chasing myriad gods who are not God. The prophets of Baal would beat themselves in order to better attract the attention of their compassionless deity. The 18th century deists would claim a masterful god assembled this intricate and detailed world, set it in motion, then moved on, never to be heard from again. And post-modern man would insist that a deity has been absent all along, and that notion we call “god” is chance; the products of his hands, mere outworkings of probability, of cause and effect.

But we come before You this morning with no doubts or concerns that we are in Your presence and that You willing and able to hear our prayers and give answer. We serve not a god who is far-off or estranged. You, Holy Lord, are not a deist’s god roused from slumber or grumblingly called back from some celestial vacation. No! You are the active Orchestrator of the world You have created, engaged in each detail and in sovereign command of each nuance. You do not require our flagellation and self-mutilation to attract Your notice or to appease Your cruel and vindictive eye. No! The prophets of Baal tore their flesh and shed their own blood to prod a dead and unresponsive god. How contrary to the workings of our God, Who in Jesus Christ, tore His flesh and shed His blood to save a dead and unresponsive people! You are not far off, and You attend to Your purchased offspring with tenderness and compassion, and conversely, in You we live and move and have our being.

And so, we pray this morning for the needs of our families and the world around us, and for the desires of our hearts, not doubting whether the prayer is heard, nor the positive disposition of Him Who receives it, but in full faith that You hear and answer our prayers for Your glory and our eternal benefit. We pray for our nation, for President Obama and his cabinet. For our senators and congressmen. For our justices and judges, and for all who carry out the business of governing our nation, states and cities. Preserve and protect these men and women that our lands would flourish and Your Church would prosper in the midst of it.

We pray for Your Church, for our elders, deacons, for our teachers and professors, for the scholars that contribute so much to our understanding of the Word of God. Strengthen and preserve these men that they would confidently and effectively lead the Church, guarding and protecting Her from every assault of the enemy and leading Her in praise and worship to Your glory. We pray as well for our congregants, that You would be daily, hourly, bringing to completion that great work of salvation and sanctification You started in our conversion and justification. Free us from the burden of sin that clings to us. Give us a faithful love for our Savior. Grant us loving-kindness for our brothers and sisters in Christ and compassion for the lost and dying. Transform us into the image of Christ and fit us to be a Bride worthy of Her Husband.

We pray these in the name of Him Who sits bodily, even now, at the right hand of God the Father, actively interceding for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.