Congregational Prayers

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Most Holy Father,

How grateful we are that You are not capricious or whimsical! That Your dealings with Your people neither change with the day or hour, nor are subject to the swings of an arbitrary mood. In Christ You have established Your unchanging covenant with Your people for all eternity. As the Psalmist writes, “…from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children.” How we as a church have come to love and treasure this promise, the assurance that You will be our God, and we will be Your people. As we celebrate and reflect on our ten years together as a congregation we are humbled by Your grace and sustenance. How You have cared for and nurtured Your flock! How You have protected it and preserved it through many trials and struggles! We are sometimes amazed at the irony of our own individual salvation and redemption, and indeed such bewilderment and wonder is no less evident as we consider our corporate body: Who are we that You should preserve us? What have we done to merit Your grace and favor as a body? What more insignificant and motley crew could there be than our own fellowship, and yet You have poured out Your grace upon us, and poured it richly. You have given life to the dead and called things that are not as though they were. And we rest assured that Your grace in the future will be no less abundant as it has been in the past, and that You will indeed complete that good work You have begun in our lives and in the lives of our children and children’s children.

But we also know that our lives are not yet lived in the context of the fully established Kingdom, and that there is yet the Devil, the world, and our own flesh that seeks to war against us, and strives to do damage to that which You have wrought. We know these enemies will be defeated, and yea they already are, but there is yet poison in them and so long as that is the case, our struggles continue. We ask therefore, for Your preserving hand on us for the coming week and the coming decade – that Your Church would be strengthened and blessed and equipped to face the attacks of the Enemy. We pray for our nation and her peace and security, for if it prospers, so too will the Church prosper. We pray for our President, Congress and Justices, and all those who serve in office, that they would lead wisely and according to Your precepts, whether they know them or not.

We pray for the Church Universal, that You would sustain and keep Her. Continue to raise up men to preach the pure Gospel of Christ and to defend and protect the flock. Be with these men – protect and encourage them, and give them families and congregations who love and support them with gratitude and good cheer.

We pray for our families; that our children would not become estranged from their parents and parents from their children. We pray that You would keep them secure in the bounds of the covenant, that they would come to love Christ and rest in Him, and do so at an early age. And where our children have become prone to wander and seek other gods, we pray that You will use those means You have established to restore and re-establish them to Your glory and their eternal benefit.

Our future, as our past, rests in Your hand and it is with great relief that we lay our burdens down and rest within that Hand. We pray these things in the name of our Security and Promise, Jesus Christ our Lord.