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Sunday, January 29, 2017

"You Are the LORD" - 29 January 2017


As you declared through Isaiah, so we affirm: You are the LORD, and there is no other, besides you there is no God; you equip people, even those who do not know you, so that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides you; you are the LORD, and there is no other. You form light and create darkness; you make well-being and create calamity; you are the LORD, who does all these things (Isaiah 45.5-7). And so to you do we pray:

Just as you did for us back when we were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures (Titus 3.3), so now through your Son Jesus Christ, save those who trust in their own strength, those who walk in darkness, those who are hostile and alienated from others and from you…

As you have been our healer and helper in days past, please restore and raise up those dealing with – and not dealing very well with – depression, dementia, disease, debilitation, and distress…

In the same way that you have taken care of our needs and provided for us over the years, in ordinary and surprising ways, please sustain and support those who have no idea how they’ll make it through today, or to the end of the month, or through next month…

When just beginning as a nation, you stepped in repeatedly with your providential care; brought success where there should have only been failure; victory in place of defeat; good to flourish instead of evil; therefore be with our nation now, and all of our citizens, leaders, judges, legislators, and executors, to include our Oklahoma State Senators, such as, Dave Rader; Mike Schulz; Paul Scott; Ron Sharp; Wayne Shaw; and Ralph Shortey. In the words of the old patriotic song we pray: America! America! God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shinning sea. America! America! God mend thine every flaw, confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.

Throughout world history you have governed and directed all the nations of the earth; given aid and brought rain on the good and the evil; directed migrations and margins, feasts and famines, scarcity and surplus; therefore watch over and wield the nations and national leaders, to include Prokopis Pavlopoulos; Cécile La Grenade; Alpha Conde; José Mário Vaz; David A. Granger and Jocelerme Privert. Make peace and civility to prevail between countries and between fellow citizens, and may all work for the betterment of their people. Those countries with mushrooming refugee camps, we pray for clean drinking water, sanitary conditions, food, health care, moral and communal stability, and a safe solution.

 Through persecution, plague, prosperity, and privilege over the centuries, you have exhibited your special providence for your church; please continue to be with her in all places, in North America, Oklahoma, this congregation, along with these churches in the OKC area; International Harvest Church; Israel Chapel; JesuCristo Es Mi Fortaleza; Journey Covenant Church; and Joy Mennonite Church. In the words of Paul, may we put away falsehood and speak the truth with each other, for we are members one of another. When angry may we not sin, so that we may not give opportunity to the devil. May there be no corrupting talk coming out of our mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. May we put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and slander, along with all malice. May we be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave us. May we be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 4.25-5.2).

All of these requests we have mentioned, and those that have remained silently on our hearts…we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son and our Saving Lord. Amen.

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