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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Pater Noster - 23 September 2018

[Photo: "Chill of an Early Fall Morning" by Debra and Dave Vanderlaan]

Our Father who art in heaven: What an honor to be allowed to call you Our Father. As Father, you care for us, you invite us, and you look out for us. And as Our Father you bring us together with sons and daughters from every ethnic group, economic standing, and educational status. Further, being Our Father in Heaven, we rejoice that you are unscathed and unsullied by human sin, shame, scandal, and schemes! Glory to you! Our Father who art in heaven.

Hallowed by Thy name: Our chief desire and principal ambition is to glorify you – to hold your honor high; therefore we do pray that your fame and renown, your rightness and righteousness would be accepted and upheld world over – including in Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe and our own country. Additionally, our chief desire and principle ambition is to glorify you and enjoy you forever; and so bring us to find our deepest satisfaction in you, our warmest delight in who you are and how you are, no matter our circumstances or situations. Hallowed by Thy name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done on Earth as it Is In Heaven: Though your reign has begun coming in the presence and work of your Son, we long for the day when, after you have destroyed every rule, authority and power, placing them all under the feet of your reigning Son, you will destroy that last enemy, death (1 Corinthians 15.24-26)! May all tribes, peoples, clans, kinfolks and nations come to recognize that you have made the crucified and resurrected Jesus both Lord and Messiah, and that we will all stand before his judgment seat to receive what is due for what we have done in the body, whether good or evil (2 Corinthians 5.10). And may this recognition affect and inform all actions, judgments, appointments, taxations, legislations, conflicts and executive decisions now. Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done on Earth as it Is In Heaven.

Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread: Thank you that you have supplied our day-by-day necessities; please continue to do so. We also thank you that you have richly provided us with everything to enjoy. For all your people in all places – including Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church, Portland Ave Baptist, Prospect Baptist, Putnam City Baptist Church, and our own congregation – may we be rich in good works, generous, ready to share. And may we guard the deposit entrusted to us, avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is often called “knowledge” (1 Timothy 6.17-21). Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread.

Forgive Us Our Debts, as We Forgive Our Debtors: We acknowledge that we all too easily hold grudges, savoring the bitter sweet satisfactions of our own rightness and how wronged we have been by him or her or them. But thank God, you don’t play this manipulative game. May your forgiveness wash over us so thoroughly and freshly that we would let go of the grudges, blame-shifting and sourness, open our hands and hearts, and show as much grace to others as you have shown us. For truly no one has wronged us as much as we have wronged you. Forgive Us Our Debts, as We Forgive Our Debtors.

Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From the Evil One: If anyone is caught in any transgression, may we not excuse it or ignore it, but as instruments in the Redeemer’s hand, help us to restore that person in a spirit of gentleness. And help us to keep watch on ourselves, lest we too become tempted. And aid us to bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6.1-2). Fortify those who are in trouble, overcome with trouble, or just plain troubled…may their trials not become a temptation to despair or to break faith with you. And God of peace, come quickly and crush Satan under our feet (Romans 16.20). Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From the Evil One.

For Thine Is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, Forever. Amen!

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