Sunday, January 6, 2019
"Loving Father, We Thank You..." - 6 January 2019
Loving Father, we thank you for your constant care for us personally and corporately; we thank you for how you have brought many people into this congregation’s life over the years; we thank you for your consistent provisions; and we thank you for bringing us to a new year. O God, please renew our spirits by your Holy Spirit, and draw our hearts unto yourself; so that our work may not be a burden but a delight; and give us such a mighty love for you as may sweeten all our obedience. Let us not serve you with the spirit of bondage as slaves, but with cheerfulness and gladness as children, delighting ourselves in you and rejoicing in your will (adapted from “Spend and Be Spent,” 12).
Look upon your Church throughout the world, and look on St. Patrick’s Church, St. Paul the Apostle Parish, St. Philip Neri Church, and Liberty Worship Center. Bestow your preserving care and guide them in the paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. Build up their resolve in tenacious faithfulness to you. Establish the centrality of the Gospel of Christ in their midst, that they may enjoy the greater glory and fresher freedom, and may firmly hold to it no matter the cost.
We are concerned for our nation, Lord God. We are concerned that the citizens of our country may be losing their way and becoming enslaved to pleasure, ease, covetousness, envy, personal peace and affluence, and may be selling their birthright for a mess of pottage. We are concerned with the way many people get their notions and ideas shaped and inflamed by social media, sound-bites and celebrities. We are concerned by the hot-headedness, the perpetual offendedness, and the growing fear-mongering. We also are concerned that our leaders may have forgotten that we are supposed to be a Constitutional Republic instead of a full-fledged democracy or oligarchy, and are moving us along other paths that are harmful. O God our God, we love our country, please have mercy on us and help us that as a nation there would be a return to virtuous daily living, as well as justice and equity governmentally, communally, and personally.
In every nation all over this globe please set up good governments that will seek to be fair; where the leaders will care more for the welfare of their people than lining their own pockets, securing their own power, or building their own fame.
O God Most High, giver of all good gifts, who provides our daily sustenance and wellbeing, we ask you to lift up those who are broken in body or mind, who are grieved or terribly troubled with fear and anxiety. We especially ask your care for these…grant them recovery and restored health, refreshment and rest.
Finally, we call to mind family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, enemies, and acquaintances who have not confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and continue to walk in darkness; as well as those who have turned away from the Christian Faith…..save them, O Lord, in your great mercy! All we ask in faith and in Jesus’ name. Amen.