Pastoral Prayer - 9 March 2014
(Pondering Psalm 12): Faithfulness and trustworthiness are diminishing in our land, Lord God; lying, and flattering lips speaking from a double heart seem to be growing on every hand – from the White House to the Clearinghouse out to the Coffeehouse. But your words, O LORD, are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times! We praise you O dependable God! Though the wicked prowl about on every side as vileness is exalted among the children of men, preserve us (your loved ones, your chosen ones, your little ones, your vulnerable ones) from evil and falsehood; keep us, and guard us that we may walk in your righteous ways with you, walking in your safety for which we long. O Lord, hear our prayer.
Father, we appeal to your mercies on behalf of those whose lives are in disarray…; whose bodies are ravaged with disease, arthritis, dwindling …; whose minds feel as if they are becoming ramshackle …; whose dreams are crushed …; whose families are in turbulence …; whose work environment is becoming uncertain …; and others in serious need of help…; Turn their mourning into dancing; loose their sackcloth and clothe them with gladness, that they may sing your praise and not be silent, that they may give thanks to your forever (Psalm 30.11-12). O Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord God, we pray for your church in all places – including Sacred Heart Catholic Church; St. Andrews Vietnamese Church; St Andrews UMC; St Christopher Episcopal Church; Beal Heights PCA-Lawton; Grace PCA-Stillwater; Christ PCA-Tulsa. May your people not be like the cursed man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from you, and so shrivels-up like a shrub in the desert. But may they always and in every place trust in you, and so flourish like the tree planted by water streams, sending out their roots, unafraid of the heat; whose leaves remain green, always bearing fruit and never anxious in the year of drought (Jeremiah 17.5-8). O Lord, hear our prayer.
We know, Lord God, that you desire all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2.3); look kindly upon our loved ones…, our acquaintances… and our enemies… have compassion on them; forgive them their trespasses; change their hearts; and turn them from unbelief and hardness of heart to rely upon your Son Jesus Christ, and to submit to him. O Lord, hear our prayer.
And we pray that you would bring about the release of Sgt. Bergdahl being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan. O Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord Jesus, as you saw the people famished and like sheep without a shepherd, and so had compassion on them: thank you for those in our community who compassionately work to relieve the ailing, aging, and aggrieved. Bless them in their work at the ERs, hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and who race to traumatic scenes. And aid their work as they treat and apply their skills. O Lord, hear our prayer.
Finally, we ask for you to move in all lands and countries, especially Ukraine and Venezuela. Guide all presidents, premiers and prime ministers that they will promote the best interests of their people, for the good of all and the well-being of your people. O Lord, hear our prayer.
All of these prayers we offer through your Son, Jesus Christ, as we now sing: