Sunday, January 3, 2016
"We Thank You for Your Constant Care" - 3 January 2016 AM and PM
We thank you for your constant care for us personally and as a congregation, loving Father; we thank you for how you have been pleased to bring many people into this congregation’s life over the years; and we thank you for bringing us to a new year.
O God, renew our spirits by your Holy Spirit, and draw our hearts unto yourself; so that our work may not be a burden but a delight; and give us such a mighty love for you as may sweeten all of our obedience. Let us not serve you with the spirit of bondage as slaves, but with cheerfulness and gladness as children, delighting ourselves in you and rejoicing in your will (adapted from “Spend and Be Spent,” 12).
Look upon your Church throughout the world, to include these: The Ethiopian and Coptic Catholic Churches; The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (the only Communist sanctioned churches in China); The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church; The United Church of Zambia; and the German Baptists; bestow your preserving care on your people. Guide them in the paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. Build up their resolve in tenacious faithfulness to you and the Gospel of Christ no matter the cost.
We are concerned for our nation, Lord God. We are concerned that the citizens of our country may be losing their way and becoming enslaved to pleasure, ease, covetousness, envy, personal peace and affluence, and may be selling their birthright for a mess of pottage. We are concerned that our leaders may have forgotten that we are supposed to be a Constitutional Republic and are moving us along other paths that are harmful. O God our God, we love our country, please have mercy on us and help us that as a nation there would be a return to virtuous living daily, and justice and equity governmentally, communally, and personally.
In every nation throughout our world, please set up good governments that will seek to be fair, where the leaders will care more for the welfare of their people than lining their own pockets or securing their own power.
O God Most High, giver of all good gifts, who provides our daily sustenance and wellbeing, we ask you to lift up those who are broken in body or mind, who are grieved or terribly troubled with fear and anxiety, we especially ask your care for these….grant them recovery and restored health.
Finally, we call to mind family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, enemies, and acquaintances who have not confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and continue to walk in darkness; as well as those who have turned away from the Christian Faith…..save them, O Lord, in your great mercy!
We add our voices to the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders who worship you who lives forever, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! … “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4.8b, 11). Glory to you, Lord God, Most High!
Lord Jesus, who loves your church, and cherishes your local, particular congregations; we pray for your church in all places, including our congregation; Trinity Lutheran Church; Messiah Lutheran; Joy Mennonite Church; Memorial Road Mennonite Brethren Church; and Acts 2 United Methodist Church. Bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in you who created all things; and through your church (including these we’ve mentioned) may your manifold wisdom be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. And may we be a display of your eternal purpose that is realized in Christ Jesus our Lord; in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. (Ephesians 3.9-12). O Lord, hear our prayer.
Father, there are some who are sick; some recovering from surgery; and others quietly dealing with growing physical limitations…We pray that you would lift them up, heal and help them, and grant them patience in their adversity. And Lord, in all of these sicknesses and growing limitations you remind us that we are but mortal; that we are not gods or supermen. Thank you, Father, for the reminder. In all of the discomfort and displeasure of it, we know it is a good reminder from you, our loving Father. O Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, who resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4.6); we recall your good words and healthy writings that remind us (often, in many ways and in many places) that “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2); also, that “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18); and that you “dwell … with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15). Therefore, may we all be known as your humble people, gentle and lowly in heart like our Lord Jesus (Matthew 11.29). And may our politicians and political candidates be humble rather haughty and hoity-toity. O Lord, hear our prayer.
[If you find these prayers beneficial, then feel free to use them in your church, Bible Study, or personal prayers. Mike]