Vespers - 11 November 2018

O LORD, you are Father of the fatherless, protector of widows in your holy habitation, who also settles the solitary in a home (Psalm 68.5-6a). You promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that through them and their offspring all the families of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 28.14). And through the death, resurrection and exaltation of your Son the day is coming when all the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you (Psalm 22.27). To you we present our prayers this evening, O Lord. O Lord, hear our prayer.

O great husband of your people (Hosea 2, Ezekiel 16), whose marriage has never been ideal or painless, but one day it will be beautiful, blissful and brilliant: work in our families that they may be fertile soil where together we would grow up and fill out in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Bring hope where right now there is only hurt; bring understanding where there has been a record of confusion and conflict; and bring balance where there is instability. O Lord, hear our prayer.

You, who like a mother comforts your people (Isaiah 66.12): give the mothers of our church courage and resilience to shower love, strength and gracefulness on their teeny kiddos, growing sons and daughters, and those gone from their homes. May their husbands and children always rise up and call them blessed. Thank you for the deep and durable ways they have cared, prodded, counseled and molded. O Lord, hear our prayer.

Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named (Ephesians 3.15), we implore your help for the fathers of this congregation. Whether we have little tikes, teens or adult children, give us wisdom, insight, and discretion to be the kinds of fathers who reflect your fatherly care and direction. And as you are a father to many ornery children, sons and daughters who grieve you at times, yet you are longsuffering, patient, slow to anger and plentiful in mercy; help us to be patient with our children – even the ones who break our hearts. O Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord God, whose only begotten Son served you as an unmarried and chaste man; build up those of our number who are single. May their relationship with you, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be rich and robust, and their bond with Christian brothers and sisters would be deep and delightful. If it is your pleasure for them to go on in singleness, may they blossom in good order and undivided devotion to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7.35); and if it is best for them to marry, orchestrate those “chance” meetings and nurture fresh and wholesome relationships that will blossom in marriage. O Lord, hear our prayer.


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