Sunday, December 23, 2018
"Glory Be to God on High" - 23 December 2018
Glory be to God on high: and on earth peace, good will towards men. We praise you, we bless you, we worship you: we glorify you, we give thanks to you for your great glory!
Great King and Sovereign look upon our country and the peoples of this world; watch over the plans and intentions of our Oklahoma State Senators and representatives, our national legislators, and every world leader. May all come to know your peace on earth by becoming men and women of goodwill.
O God of armies send forth your angels to preserve and protect our greater Oklahoma City area firefighters, police officers, Sheriffs, deputies, and Troopers, and our military members, particularly those who are close to danger, at home or abroad.
Yahweh rapha, Lord our healer, sustain and direct our doctors, PAs, nurses, First Responders, and specialists – especially those who are on call or working through Christmas. Thank you for their help and availability; and may they know they are appreciated and that their work is good.
O LORD who hears our prayers, sees our tears, and is the One who heals us (1 Kings 20.5); there are many who are arrested by tragedy, unbearable conditions, physical and mental anguish, and privations; and there are several who are carrying around the scars of deep sadness and grief, and we pray for them….; Please raise them up, delivering and restoring them, hip and thigh, body and soul, inside and out, that by your sympathy they may find good cheer in your Son and happily and freely serve you through the rest of their days.
O LORD, who invites all to seek you while you may be found; to call upon you while you are near; who invites the wicked to forsake his way, and the unrighteous his thoughts; who beckons all to return to you, so that you may have compassion on them and abundantly pardon them (Isaiah 55.6-7): by your Spirit’s enlivening, turn around the hearts and lives of those who have consistently rejected you that they would embrace Christ Jesus freely offered to us in the Gospel. And may the visual and verbal reminders of this season, like Christmas carols and Yuletide ornaments, that clearly announce the coming of your Son, have a happy part in arousing their hearts and attention.
O our God, our rock, in whom we take refuge, our shield, and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold and our refuge, our Savior who saves us from violence (2 Samuel 22.3); help your Church in this world, especially Zion Church in Beijing, Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu China, and Rongguili Church in Guangzhou: “O come, thou Key of David, come, And open wide our heav'nly home; Make safe the way that leads on high, And close the path to misery.” Bless, guide and refresh this congregation as well as St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, St. Joseph’s Old Cathedral, St. Michael’s, and St. Monica’s. May we remember that Jesus is our peace and draws us out of our tribalism and ethnic pride to become one new man in him.
Hear our Prayer, O LORD; and let our cry come to you, because of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
[For more on what is unfolding throughout China, see this article by Olivia Enos: Chinese Christians Face Intensifying Persecution Ahead Of Christmas]