Pastoral Prayer - 27 April 2014 (PM)
Your servant, Augustine, once rightly observed; “There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love you for your own sake, whose joy is you yourself. And this is the happy life: to rejoice in you, of you, for you. This is true joy, and there is no other” (“Confessions,” 10.22). We declare our agreement! You yourself are our true joy, and there is no other. But we acknowledge that we are often lured into seeking our joy in success at work, or the feats of our families, or triumphs of our own achievements. Lord God, forgive us! Help us to be fully persuaded that your yourself are our greatest joy, and loving you for your own sake is our utmost good. O Lord, hear our prayer.
As we prayed last week: O God most high, we acknowledge that you are right and just, even when your wrath is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who often suppress your truth in unrighteousness. We love this nation you have providentially placed us in. But we confess that we, as a nation, in declaring ourselves wise – and often times implying that we think we are wiser than you – show ourselves to be fools. O Lord God, do not give us up in the lusts of our heart to impurity, dishonoring our bodies among ourselves; do not give us up to dishonorable passions; do not give us up to a debased mind that seeks to do what ought not to be done (Romans 1.18-28). Lord God, Mighty in mercy and justified in your anger – in wrath remember mercy (Habakkuk 3.2d)! O God! Have mercy on our nation! O Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray on behalf of your Church world-over; this congregation; Waterloo Road Baptist Church; Waterloo Road Church of Christ; Western Ave Baptist Church; Western Oaks Christian Church; Westminster Presbyterian Church; all of the congregations of the Moravian Church in America; North American Baptist Conference; Congregational Christian Churches; and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. May the leaders of your churches not be greedy for unjust gain; may it not be that from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely; may the shepherds not heal the wound of your people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace (Jeremiah 8.10-12). Instead, O our God, give us life, and we will call upon your name! Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved (Psalm 80.18b-19)! O Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray especially for those who are in serious hurt – whether it’s their bodies, minds or hearts … lift up their heads that they may look up and rejoice in you, that you are their hope and help. O Lord, hear our prayer.