Sunday, March 5, 2017
"You Who Will Tend Your Flock Like a Shepherd" - 5 March 2017
You who will tend your flock like a shepherd; who will gather the lambs in your arms; who will carry them in your bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40.11); we trustingly present our entreaties and appeals to you, confident that what we ask faithfully, you will give effectively because you have assured us that if we ask in your Son’s name, you hear us and answer us.
Look lovingly and tenderly on your global Church, and these congregations in the larger OKC area; Mustang Christian Church; Mustang Heights Baptist Church; Nehemiah Baptist Church; New Beginning Fellowship; New Covenant Christian Church; and New Covenant United Methodist Church. Restore her life, and lead her in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. Take her lack and fill it lavishly. Guide her under-shepherds so that we will be shepherds after your own heart who will feed your people with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3.15).
Watch over and build up agencies like “For the Children’s Sake Foundation,” International Justice Mission, Project 66, Hope Center of Edmond, and Hope Pregnancy Center, as they seek to be part of you drawing people toward new ways of living, giving folks hope, and exhibiting what it means to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly before you (Micah 6.8).
We know with certainty that it is not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is you, O God, who executes judgment, who puts down one and lifts up another (Psalm 75.6-7); therefore we ask you to be with the nations of this world, and the leaders of the nations, such as, Prince Hans-Adam II; Dalia Grybauskaitė; Grand Duke Henri; Gjorge Ivanov; and Hery Rajaonarimampianina; and our own country and the elected and appointed officials, to include our State Representatives, like Dale Derby; Mickey Dollens; Tim Downing; Travis Dunlap; and Jason Dunnington. May they know – and receive with humility – that you are YHVH, the great I AM, the King over all creation, visible and invisible, and in that humble knowledge lead justly. And bring us all to work out just peace and peaceful justice. Cause all peoples to recognize that the times of ignorance you once overlooked; but now you command all people everywhere to repent, because you have fixed a day on which you will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom you have appointed; and of this you has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead (Acts 17.30-31).
Though you made all things good, and in making humankind it was all very good; yet we sadly concede that with the fall of our first parents have come drawbacks, dying, and death. Since our forbearers turned to live life on their own terms, we have all not only followed them, but suffered the harmful effects. Be with those mothers who are pained by miscarriages…; fathers who must stand by while their children hurt …; wives and husbands who are helpless in the face of their loved ones’ decline…; children who watch as their families suffer… There is so much grief and sadness, and we pray also for those walking through their particular valley dark-as-death… Hold them close, in the very palm of your hand and near to your heart. Fortify their faith in you, wipe away the tears, embrace the sobbing, and renovate them, one and all, body and soul.
Finally, restore the lives of those who have strayed and lead them in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake….Amen.