Sunday, December 20, 2015
"Unto Us a Child is Born" - 20 December 2015 AM and PM
O Child who was born, Son who was given, Wonderful Counselor, who has done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure (Isaiah 25.1); may your hand be on those who need your wisdom: especially parents of young kids, teenagers, and adult children, that they may counsel with your wisdom and lead with your insight. We pray as well for your prudent discernment to be bestowed on those making tough decisions with regard to work, family issues, relationships, and future direction. / And we pray for those afflicted … may your wisdom settle and strengthen their hearts as they place themselves in your hands. O Wonderful Counselor, hear our prayer.
You who are on the throne of David and over his kingdom, Mighty God; We pray: “O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free / thine own from Satan’s tyranny; from depths of hell thy people save, & give them victory o’er the grave.” Govern the nations of the earth to seek out and pursue what is fair and equitable for their own citizens, and their neighbors. Diminish the power of the evil one in all places and decrease the fascination with greed, graft, gore and arrogance. Proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and set at liberty those oppressed (Luke 4.18)! O Mighty God, hear our prayer.
You who establish and uphold the kingdom, Everlasting Father, we implore you to guide your kingdom, and lead your church – including the Association of Baptist Churches in Rwanda; the Church of Iceland; the Simalungun Protestant Christian Church; North American Lutheran Church; the Hapdong and Tonghap Presbyterian Churches in Korea; and Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim. Wonderful Counselor, your people need you to direct and re-direct us. We confess that the rifts often run deep and old. Draw us together around you, around your cross, around your empty tomb, and around your truth. Bring your people again “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which” we “have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3). O Everlasting Father, hear our prayer.
Finally, we pray, Prince of Peace, whose government and peace are increasing and of which there will be no end; many of us have tense relationships with friends, co-workers, and family; there are disputes and misunderstandings between husbands and wives; parents and grown children; siblings; and so forth. Lord, we silently mention those relationships that need your mediating, reconciling, and fixing … Lord, as our mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2.5-6), come and be our mediator between one another; fix up what has been broken; heal up what has been damaged; reconcile what has been put at odds. / Also, we pray, may your peace healingly reign in the memories of those who have seen evil, abuse, violence, molestation, and abandonment up close and personal….O Prince of Peace, hear our prayer.
Lord, we believe: “The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this” (Isaiah 9.7d).
We add our voices to “those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands” and we adore you: “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed” (Revelation 15.2-4). Glory to you, Lord God, Most High!
LORD Jesus, we pray for your church which you obtained with your own blood, to include Redeemer Lutheran Church; St. Mark Lutheran; St. Paul’s Lutheran; Santa Maria Episcopal Church; and Zion Lutheran Church. Having been warned repeatedly by your servant Paul that fierce wolves will come in, not sparing the flock; and even from among the church leadership will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them; therefore we pray for the ministers, pastors, bishops, and elders of your churches that they will pay careful attention to themselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made them overseers, to care for the church of God, where they have been placed (Acts 2.28-30); and that they would fulfill the ministry they have received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20.24). O Lord, hear our prayer.
Mighty God, watch over your people being crushed by pressures and persecution…on their behalf we pray with the Psalmist; “Remember this, O LORD, how the enemy scoffs, and a foolish people reviles your name. Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts; do not forget the life of your poor forever. Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence. Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame; let the poor and needy praise your name. Arise, O God, defend your cause; remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day! Do not forget the clamor of your foes, the uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually” (Psalm 74:18-23)! O Lord, hear our prayer.
Help us, merciful and kind Father, to mercifully and kindly look on others who are in genuine need, who feel rocky and rickety under the weight of poverty, poor health, and privation….Help us to be merciful, even as you, our Father, are merciful. To judge not, and we will not be judged; to condemn not, and we will not be condemned; to forgive, and we will be forgiven; to give, and it will be given to us. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into our laps. For you have said that with the measure we use it will be measured back to us (Luke 6.36-38). O Lord, hear our prayer.