Monday, November 7, 2016

An Earnest Prayer of a Pastor for the Congregation He Serves

Our heavenly Father, Sovereign Creator of the universe. You are our Lord and great God, the king who towers above all the power and authority over all the earth and the one true God who is above all false gods and idols. In your hands are the depths of the earth and the mountain peaks belong to you. The seas are yours for you made them and your hands formed the dry land, too. We come to you as your people bowing down before your holy presence in humble worship. We are your flock nurtured and nourished by your tender care.

We are always amazed by your great faithfulness to us who for generations have been kept and prospered by your great love in spite of our unfaithfulness. O that we would know you more and be inspired by your amazing grace and be emboldened by your greatness! O that we may comprehend your glorious majesty that we may grow in our boldness and confidence like Daniel and his friends who knew you and stuck their necks out for their faith and commitment to you rather than bowing before the image made by human hands in exchange for human approval and recognition!

Make us, O Lord, a people who really know you and serve you no matter what the cost is. Be merciful to us when sometimes we are complacent in our service to you and for your kingdom. Forgive us for those times when we fail to realize that our greatest joy and contentment is in you alone. O we are easily tempted and distracted by the cares and concerns of this world that our minds and hearts are turned to temporal and worldly things rather than on things that really matter the most, that is, your glory and your praise.

Direct our gaze, we pray, upon the beauty of your holiness, to the perfect and sinless Son who is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn over all creation. For you were pleased, O Father, to have all your fullness dwell in your Son, and through him to reconcile to yourself all things. Grant us the desire to be instructed fully in your Word by your Holy Spirit that we may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that we may know the mystery and glory of your name revealed in the person and work of your Son in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Let us not be easily deceived by fine-sounding arguments and hollow, deceptive philosophy of man that are being propagated in the world today trying to get our attention away from you in order to turn to man's foolish ways and the evil one's scheming devices. Father, save your people from those dangerous teachings that exalt human idea and accomplishments and disregard true wisdom that comes from you. Equip us by your Spirit to discern the truth and to walk according to your Word and live according to its precepts. Cause the light of the gospel to be all the more clear in our minds and hearts that we may behold the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that we may love him and give our lives for him and his sake. Make us faithful followers of Jesus daily denying ourselves, humbly taking up our cross with gladness knowing that the afflictions of this life are nothing compared to the joy and glory that awaits us at his coming.

Just as we have been raised with Christ in his resurrection, help us to set our hearts on things above where Christ is seated at your right hand. Cause us then to put to death everything that belongs to our sinful nature such as sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Help us to forsake everything that our old sinful nature craves, ridding ourselves of unhealthy anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from our lips. Instead grant that by your Spirit, we would only speak the truth in love, to speak that which is helpful for the building up of other believers according to their needs.

Merciful God, make us gentle and kind, compassionate and loving to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Enable us to forgive each other from the heart just as in Christ you forgave us. We want to be known not only as people who are theologically astute and doctrinally sound but more so as people who are godly and loving thinking not only our own interest but the interest of others as well.

Help us to teach our children these precious truths in your Word patiently and to set before them a clear pattern of godliness that they may learn to imitate us just as we imitate our Lord Jesus Christ in his obedience and faithfulness even in his suffering. Enable our children to catch the vision of you as our holy and righteous God who loves his people dearly and works everything for their good. Help us all to embrace and treasure your Word and the principles of your kingdom that we may be willing and ready to live and die in the pursuit of these things knowing that we belong to you and to your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in whose name, we pray. Amen.

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