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Sunday, May 28, 2017

"Our Hearts are Lifted Up to You, O Our God" - 28 May 2017


Our hearts are lifted up to you, O our God, in rich appreciation. As Jonathan told his armor bearer when, heavily outnumbered, they took the daring risk to engage the Philistines, “nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few” (1 Samuel 14.6); so there is nothing, no one, no condition, no circumstance, no competitor, no cerebral malfunction, no failure of courage, no catastrophe that can hinder you from saving, rescuing, and triumphing! And therefore, there is no created thing out there or in here that can separate us from your love! Truly in all these things we are more than conquerors – and the seal, the guarantee of this truth is Christ crucified for our transgressions (O what costly love!), risen for our justification (Romans 8.37-39, 4.25), and ascended into heaven to hold sway!

We pray on behalf of your Church world-over; this congregation; St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church; Santa Fe Presbyterian Church; Secret Place Community Church; Siloam Baptist Church; South Pointe Church; and Southern Hills Christian Church. Raise up a defense around your people that the evil one may never get a foothold against them; lift up our hearts when they sag, rain down upon us your refreshment; and set your way straight before us.

O Lord, be with Teresa W. that she may garner all the support she needs; and be with the Pardigons; Iversons; Berrys; Shepherds; and Youngs. Preserve them all from injurious circumstances, infectious germs, and intimidating peoples. Open doors for them that they may show forth your love as well as tell forth your good news; and may your hand be upon them for good.

We pray for unbelievers all around us… bring them to new life in Christ Jesus the Lord.

Lord God, you who are our raiser-upper and restorer of wholeness; be with these who are in need, in hurt and in worry….That they may find your remedy, refreshment and restoration.

Holy God, see the nations and countries world over: fuming and raging (Syria, Mexico, Yemen and Marawi, Philippines); firing warning shots and rattling sabers (North and South Korea); rioting in the streets (Venezuela and Brazil); people blown apart in cowardly attacks (England); trafficking in human lives (India, Africa and North America)! Some Governments who should care for the prosperity and peacefulness of their people are crushing and vandalizing them. Some Leaders who should be leading in fairness and decency are fleecing their citizens or corrupting their offices. O dear God, have mercy on our world and on our country! Bring about civil goodness and justice. Toward these ends direct all world leaders, such as Tufuga Efi, leader of Samoa; Captain Regent of San Marino, Mimma Zavoli; and President Evaristo Carvalho of São Tomé and Príncipe; and our State Representatives, including Tammy Tadlock; Tess Teague; and Todd Thomsen

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; we give you thanks for all those who have laid down their lives in the service of our country for its protection and in promoting justice; and especially those in living memory. Grant to their families and friends your mercy and the light of your presence. And so that their sacrifices may not be in vain, please keep our nation under your care, and guide us all in the way of virtue, integrity, morality and truth.  In the name of the One whose death and resurrection gives us hope in the face of death and grief, Jesus Christ your Son, Amen.

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