"O God, You are My God" - 14 April 2019

(This congregational/pastoral prayer is flowing from Psalm 63)

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. Father, all that we are about – in our family worship, personal devotions, Sunday School classes, Worship assemblies, Care Groups, our involvement in works of mercy, mission trips, VBS, and so forth – yes, all that we are about flows from our craving to know you and be nearer to you, from our enraptured amazement at your gracious goodness to us. Draw us to you – this whole congregation, along with your Church worldwide and Northwest Church of Christ, Oakrest Church of Christ, Penn South Church of Christ and Putnam City Church of Christ. Slake our thirst for you; refresh us that we may rise from our faintness; and reform us that we may rightly live and rightly love. Thank you that, as Paul put it in Romans 6, we who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which we were committed, and, having been set free from sin, we have become slaves of righteousness (Romans 6.17-18).

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Uphold those who are troubled, tossing and turning on their beds because of their poor health, their penetrating hurts or their paralyzing hauntedness….Take those who are about to plunge into perdition, and restrain them….fill to the full with your goodness those who are desperate and deprived….hear the silent and stated worries of your people…, answer our prayers, so that “in the shadow of your wings” we may “sing for joy.”

But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped. O God, who does not desire the death of the wicked, but that they should turn and live (Ezekiel 18.23, 32): save those who hate us and staunch those who seek to hurt us. Stop the mouths of those who deliberately and devilishly pervert your truth. Arrest those who use their powers to emasculate and eradicate equity and goodness. Guide our country we love so dearly that the people and powerbrokers, citizens and senators, juries and judges; masses and magistrates may all rejoice in you, and would work toward uprightness, racial fairness, national integrity, and moral industry. May we promote and protect justice and liberty for all – free born, foreign born and unborn. We ask all of this in the name of, and for the honor of, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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