Sunday, December 6, 2015
"Father, We Thank You" - 6 December 2015 AM and PM
Father, we thank you for the night, and for the lovely morning light; for rest and food and loving care, and all that makes the day so fair.
Knowing that you continue to care for us and our world, we pray that you would deliver the nations, including our own country, from war, famine, pestilence, catastrophic destruction, terrorism, injustice, despotism and poverty; so that all may know you are God and rise up to give you thanks, and also that your Gospel may spread far and wide liberally, and your Church may dwell in peace and quietness.
Look with kindness on our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, as well as our first responders, firefighters, doctors, nurses and peace officers, especially during this time of holiday festivities when many will be separated from their families by deployment or the call of duty. Keep them from harm, give them good leaders, and strengthen them to be people of rich integrity and justice even when under fire.
Please take the miseries, misfortunes and adversities people are suffering (and specifically these….) and turn them to good, raising these up to rejoice in your goodness and care.
Give ear to our prayer as we cry out to you for the salvation and restoration of all those who have never become Christians and for those who once made the good confession of faith but have since walked away…..and especially during this season with all of the carols, crèches and Christmas cards, use us and these things to work in their lives, work over their consciences, and work them up to acknowledge their need of your Savior and to turn the Christ Jesus.
Give this congregation the will, wisdom and words to speak to those in our lives who need to believe in Jesus, those who need to be encouraged, and those who need to be corrected. May our speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that we may know how we ought to answer each person (Colossians 4.6).
Turn your attention on your Church throughout the world, especially where she is impoverished and persecuted; including the Armenian Catholic Church; Armenian Apostolic Church; Serbian Orthodox Church; the Patriarchal Exarchate churches in the West; the Chinese churches; and the Salvation Army. Give her aid, protect and strengthen her; direct, guide, govern and aid her. Grant that where she has abandoned the love she had at first, she would remember from whence she has fallen, repent and return (Revelation 2.1-6). But also, where she has remained faithful in the face of tribulation, poverty and slander, hold her steady, and steady her hold on you (Revelation 2.7-11).
“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart” (2 Chronicles 6.14)). Glory to you, Lord God, Most High!
LORD God, who loves your one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, we join our hearts together to prayer for her in all places, to include Korean Nazarene Church; Cristo Rey Lutheran Church; Faith Lutheran; First Lutheran; Gethsemane Lutheran; Holy Cross Lutheran; and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church . Give your people the wherewithal to hold tightly to Scripture alone as the final rule of faith and life; to proclaim and live the Gospel which declares Christ alone as our Lord and Savior, who saves us by grace alone, which is received in faith alone, to your singular glory and honor. And for those churches that have lost touch with these central truths, bring them round that they may adore you with renewed hope and delight! O Lord, hear our prayer.
And further, Lord God, we intercede for brothers and sisters being wrung through the wringer, crushed or consumed, depleted or deplored, tripped up or trounced on...make haste, O God, to deliver them! O LORD, make haste to help them (Psalm 70.1)! O Lord, hear our prayer.
Additionally, we pray, Father, for our body. In Paul’s words, the “aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). Therefore, grant us to grow larger in our theological understanding that it may produce with us reverent worship and foster love and sanctification within this body (this fellowship) to equip us to make disciples, who will then join us in growing theological understanding, producing reverent worship etc. O Lord, hear our prayer.
Finally, Lord God, as we have been listening into our Lord Jesus’ talks with the seven churches in Revelation, we have concerns for your churches, especially in North America. We pray for substantial revival of faith and faithfulness; may your churches in this country – in keeping with their baptism – renounce the world, the flesh and the devil, and turn in rekindled loyalty to your Son at all costs. O Lord, hear our prayer.