Sunday, December 25, 2016
"Glory be to God on High!" - 25 December 2016
Glory be to God on high: and on earth peace, good will towards men. We praise you, we bless you, we worship you: we glorify you, we give thanks to you for your great glory!
Great King and Sovereign, look upon our country and the nations of this world; move over the plans and intentions of our Oklahoma State Senators, such as Mark Allen, Randy Bass, Micheal Bergstrom, Stephanie Bice, Larry Boggs, Josh Brecheen, and Bill Brown; and world leaders like Xi Jinping; Juan Manuel Santos; Azali Assoumani; Joseph Kabila and Denis Sassou Nguesso; Luis Guillermo Solís; and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. May all come to know your peace on earth, becoming men and women of goodwill.
O God of armies, send forth your angels to preserve and protect our greater Oklahoma City area firefighters, police officers, Sheriffs, deputies, and Troopers, and also our military members, particularly those who are close to danger, at home or abroad.
Yahweh rapha, Lord our healer, sustain and direct our doctors, PAs, nurses, First Responders, and specialists – especially those who are on call or working right now. Thank you for their help and availability; and may they know they are appreciated and do good work.
You, whose steadfast love is great above the heavens; whose faithfulness reaches to the clouds (Psalm 108.4), pour out the rains and showers we sorely need, that we may rejoice in your care and goodness.
O LORD who hears our prayer, who sees our tears, who is the One who heals us (1 Kings 20.5); there are many who are immobilized by tragedy, unbearable conditions, physical and mental anguish, and privations; and there are several who are carrying around deep sadness and grief; ….; Please raise them up, delivering and restoring them, hip and thigh, body and soul, inside and out, that they may find good cheer in your Christ and in your kindness, and happily and freely serve you all the rest of their days.
O LORD, who invites all to seek you while you may be found; to call upon you while you are near; who invites the wicked to forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; who beckons all to return to you, that you may have compassion on them, and to abundantly pardon them (Isaiah 55.6-7), by your Spirit’s enlivening, turn around the hearts and lives of those who have consistently rejected you that they would embrace Christ Jesus freely offered to us in the Gospel.
O our God, our rock, in whom we take refuge, our shield, and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold and our refuge, our savior who saves us from violence (2 Samuel 22.3); help your Church in this world, including this congregation, as well as Grace Church; Grace Covenant Church; Grace Worship Center; Grace Presbyterian Church; Grace United Methodist; Gracelife Church; and Grafted Branch Church. As we have come to Jesus, and point all people to Christ most poignantly today, may we remember that he is our peace and has drawn us out of our tribalism and ethnic pride, to become one new man in him.