Sunday, April 15, 2018
"O LORD, Our Lord" - 15 April 2018
“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger” (Psalm 8.1-2). We pray for our foes, some of whom are even in some of our own families. Change their ways and outlooks. If there are actions and attitudes we need to repent of and ask forgiveness for, help us to swallow our pride and take the plunge. Bring those who are presently antagonistic toward us to the place where they will be affable, and draw them and us together at your feet to adore you and acclaim your amazing grace.
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him” (Psalm 8.3-4)? Sometimes, Lord, we citizens of the United States and our leaders, as well as the heads of other nations and their peoples, get pretty full of our own self-value, thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought. And so we pray for our country and all lands – to include Syria, the UK, France, Russia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, and Maldives – to see that we are no more than a drop in a bucket in your sight, and our days are like dust in the wind. Keep us humble and content with what you have bestowed on us; to rightly steward the resources you have handed on to us; to preserve and protect our inhabitants; to foster true justice at home and abroad; to practice sobermindedness and civility in our political wranglings and personal ways; and to export values that are wholesome. We also ask you to preserve and protect those in the middle of the wildfires, those who have lost homes and property, those working at containing them, and those sent in to restore power and give aid. Send rain, Lord God. Put the fires out.
“Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas” (Psalm 8.5-8). Thank you that in your Son, Jesus Christ, you have placed all things in subjection; and that though he was momentarily made lower than the angels, you have crowned him with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by your grace he might taste death for everyone (Hebrews 2.8-9). Preserve and provide for us, for whom Jesus died, throughout the world, at this congregation, as well as Spender Road Freewill Baptist, Trinity Freewill Baptist, Beth Haven Baptist, Bodine Baptist, and Calvary Baptist, along with Mark and Lori Berry and Pancho Calderon of Serge in Peru. May your word be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119.105). And as your chosen ones, holy and beloved, may we put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, forgiving one another as you forgive us; and above all these may we put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And may the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, to which indeed we were called in one body. And may we be thankful (Colossians 3.12-15).
“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth” (Psalm 8.9)! We praise you, and pray to you in Jesus’ name. Amen.