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Monday, October 29, 2012

A Sunday Evening Congregational/Pastoral Prayer (28 October 2012)

Below is the prayer for Sunday evening, 28 October 2012. Feel free to use it in your church & let me know if you do.
Holy God, you have announced to us in Isaiah 57, “For thus says the One who is high & lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high & holy place, & also with him who is of a contrite & lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, & to revive the heart of the contrite.” We come as your humble people, renouncing our own supposed righteousness, knowing that you are good, it’s your steadfast love that endures forever.

We pray for our fathers still living & the fathers here; you are the essence of true fatherhood & all that earthly fatherhood is supposed to reflect. Therefore, grant us fathers to replicate your fatherly kindness; fill us with your fatherly wisdom that we may know better how to be proper fathers, & see our children prosper under our care. & for any fathers estranged from their children, through misunderstandings, miscommunications, misperceptions: work a wholesome reconciliation & restoration that will fill our hearts with joyful thanksgiving. Be gracious to us & hear our prayer!

We pray for our mothers still living & the mothers gathered here; you have pictured yourself with mother-like traits, as when you told your people through Isaiah, “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.” Therefore, guide & aid our mothers, who have given their own bodies & lives to their children in so many ways. Cheer & warm their hearts with godly children & grateful progeny. & where there are tensions & broken relationships, heal them so that mothers & children may bow before you, together. Be gracious to us & hear our prayer!

We pray for the married couples in our midst who cannot have children, & want them. As you made Abraham & Sarah, Isaac & Rebekah, Elkanah & Hannah able to have children when it seemed impossible, so we pray you would do the same for these. But until that happens, & if it never happens, fill them with a rich contentment, & help them to invest their gifts in loving & caring for others who would cherish their godly attentions. Be gracious to us & hear our prayer!

We pray for loved ones, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, & enemies who have not believed in your Son Jesus….(silence for the flock to mention names silently)... & those who have once confessed their faith in him, but have since drifted away…(silence for the flock to mention names silently)... awaken in them the awareness of their pending ruin, grant them to see the heinousness of their sin, the loveliness of your grace, & to embrace Christ Jesus. Be gracious to us & hear our prayer!

Finally, please bless our nation by restoring the gift & value of God-ordained marriage - one man & one woman, where for better or for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness & in health, they will love & cherish one another until death parts them; & rebuild the important, godly virtue of celibacy for those who are gifted with singleness; so that whether married or single, we may flourish in chastity & purity. Be gracious to us & hear our prayer!
All of these prayers we offer to You through Your Son, Jesus Christ, as we now sing:Hear our prayer, O Lord; hear our prayer, O Lord; Incline Thine ear to us, and grant us Thy peace. Amen (Trinity Hymnal #728)

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