Congregational Prayers

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Most Holy Father,

You have provided us with all things needed for life and faith. You have given us food and drink, shelter and cover, work and rest. We have family and friends and brothers in Christ, all from Your hand. Our very bodies, though we call them “ours,” were neither made by nor are sustained in any way by our own efforts, but are direct and special gifts from You, our Creator and Sustainer. We live in this body by Your providence. Our life to come is no differently situated: Everything needed for the salvation of our souls has been provided us. Christ’s life, suffering, death, burial and resurrection to glory have all been accomplished that the merits of each step might be bequeathed to us. Our life before You is Christ’s life; our suffering before You, is Christ’s suffering. Our death and burial before You is Christ’s death and burial. In our resurrection we will rise only as an echo, because Christ rose before us bestowing us resurrection life. All that we have in this world and the next is of You, and You ask us to pray continually for our needs and those of the world, showing our gratitude for these graces and acknowledging the only true Source from which they can be supplied.

And so we pray for our President, our Congress and our Justices and courts. You have raised them to authority, placing them over us, and commanding us to “honor the king” in the same breath that admonishes us to “fear God” and “love the brotherhood of believers.” We pray that You would keep them healthy and safe and that You would so superintend their terms in office that everything that is executed and established would be in accordance with Your will and to the eventual benefit of Your people, the Church.

We pray for our brothers and sisters worldwide who comprise this Church, this Bride of Christ. We pray that You would take Her who was unremarkable, without any outstanding characteristics to commend Herself to You, and transform Her into the very image of Her Lord and Savior. May You beautify her in holiness and joy, turning Her weeping into gladness and Her sorrow into joy. Fill Her with love for Her Husband and a desire to serve and honor Him in all things. We pray that Your Church would grow and prosper and become a means and mechanism for Your outworking in the world – that we Your sinful people would be so transformed by our conversions that we would be fit vessels for kingdom use, to the benefit of our brothers and sisters, and to the honor and glory of our Triune God. We pray for the men You have given us to lead our Church, our ministers of the word, our elders and deacons. Strengthen and fit them for their roles; renew Your mercies to them daily and develop in them a wise, patient and seasoned demeanor that is as tender and gentle with sheep as it is ferocious with wolves. We pray for our congregants that You would draw us to Christ and make manifest in our lives all the bounty of His grace and blessing. How palely we reflect our Master and how we desire that that likeness would grow! Bend and shape us, prune and water us. Transform us from our worldly states into creatures fit for Heaven – pure, holy, filled with love and faith and hope. How we long for that final purging of the old man and the death of sin in our members! How we long to be completely in Your will, dead to all that offends You and alive to Christ and His righteousness! Bring Your Kingdom quickly, Lord, and complete that good work that You have begun in us!

We pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and King.

AMEN