Congregational Prayer: September 8, 2019

Our Holy Father and our God, we gather here together on the Lord’s Day to give You thanks for Your goodness and praise You for Who You are.

Thank You for the redeeming work that You have done through Your Son, Jesus Christ, offering Him as the atoning sacrifice to satisfy Your wrath against the sins of those who call upon His name. We were dead in our trespasses and sins, and it was only the enlivening work of Jesus Christ, through Your Holy Spirit that allows us to have eternal life, to be free from the burdens of our trespasses and alive to You. With that, we pray that You would look upon us and see us cloaked in Christ’s righteousness, work in our lives by Holy Spirit and the ordinary means of grace, shape us more in the image of Your Son, preserve us until our passing from this life and resurrect us when time as we know it comes to an end.

Thank You for the creation of Christ’s body, the Church, for those whom You have used before us to instruct, shape and strengthen. Thank You for the CREC, for the churches in Knox Presbytery, and for this particular church. Thank You for the opportunity to join together to worship the Triune God on the Lord’s Day. We pray that You would superintend our worship by Holy Spirit, that our worship would be in beauty and truth, and would rise a pleasing aroma of sacrifice to Your nostrils. We pray, Father, that You would give wisdom and insight surpassing human abilities to our session as they work through our pastoral search.

We pray, Father, that You would lead us, by Holy Spirit, to know how to live together as a church, that our worship would show forth Your power, that our love for one another would be witness to Your love, that we might be known to be Christians without the asking of a question, but through the witness of our lives, apart and together.

We thank You for the children You have blessed us with. We thank You for the opportunity to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and for the resources You have provided for us to do that. We thank You for the resources we have for homeschooling, both content and people. We thank You for faithful Christian schools, especially Logos School, Lewis Clark Christian School, Jubilee School and New Saint Andrews College. We pray for the faithfulness of the places our children are educated, whether at home or in school, for we know that faithfulness comes from You and not from us.

We pray, O Father, for the children of our church who have strayed from Christ’s pathways, or have never trod them. We pray for those who are walking close to the edge, who are finding themselves tempted by the ways of the world. We pray that the Good Shepherd would go out and find them where they are, O God, that he would take them from the wicked pathways they have chosen, that they have started upon, and return them to pathways of righteousness, that He would make them to lie down in green pastures and lead them beside still waters.

We thank You for the households You have placed us in. We pray that we would be found faithful in them as husbands, wives and children. Where there is strife, we pray that You would bring repentance and restoration. We pray that our households would be hospitable, inviting and welcoming of those within and without this church body. May we extend the love of Christ to those around us in deed as well as word.

We pray, O God, for the healing of those within our households. We know that You are the one who made the human body, and that You are the one who heals it, whether through the healing gifts and talents of those who practice medicine, or through Your direct action in the lives and bodies of those in physical need. Knowing Your power, we pray for XXXX, for YYYY. We know, O God, that physical illness is a picture of curse, and that Your Son, Jesus Christ, came to make blessing flow far as curse is found. Show forth blessing on these, O God, and show Christ’s power in removing these signs of curse.

We thank You that we live in a land of unparalleled freedoms. We thank You that we are able to live quiet lives and that You have given us work to support our families. With all that, O God, we confess that our land is far from Your righteousness, and there is great and abounding sin afoot. We pray for our country, O God, and indeed for the whole world, that governments and peoples would have their hearts turned to Your Son, and that righteousness would be their goal. We pray especially for those who govern our cities, this state, and this country, whether elected, appointed or employed, President Trump, Governor and Mayors, the Legislatures, the administrations, that they would govern in righteousness. We pray especially, O Father, that the bloodshed of abortion would cease, here and abroad. We know that we as the church bear corporate guilt for what is going on here, and we understand that when the judgment of discipline comes it will likely come upon us along with the rest of our nation. Help us to comprehend that truth and to acquit ourselves as those who are Christ’s when that day comes.

We give You thanks for the way that the church thrives outside of this country, in places like China, Africa, Myanmar. We pray O Father, that the persecution of the saints in those places would cease, and that they, as well, might live quiet lives with the ability to serve and worship You without physical or political fear. And we pray that the blood of the martyrs might again be the seed of the church.

And Father, we praise You for who You are. You are the One, True, Living God. You know the end all the way from the beginning. You created everything from nothing, You formed man from dust and breathed life into him. Your being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth are infinite, eternal and unchangeable. When bless Your Holy Name, with those who have gone before, we recount Your goodness to Your people through all ages and generations, from Your promise of a savior to Eve even to childlike sounds of life in this place as we worship. With cherubim and seraphim we join the unending hymn…Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Hosanna in the highest.

And Amen!

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To not do the Devil’s work…

From Bunyan’s “The Author’s Apology” for Pilgrim’s Progress:

Neither did I but vacant seasons spend
In this my scribble; nor did I intend
But to divert myself in doing this,
From worser thoughts which make me do amiss.

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A limited audience…

“The only pupils it finds are those who already cling to Christ and believe in Him.”

Luther on the Sermon on the Mount

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Congregational Prayer 20190113

Our Holy Father and our God, we give You thanks for this day You have given us. The Sabbath is indeed a delight, a blessing given by Your hand, and we thank You for giving us a day of rest. We thank You for this church and for the faithful men of this church and of Christ Church who labored to establish it here in L. Thank You for our pastor, M, his wife and children, and their commitment to this church and to us. We thank You for his faithful preaching of Your Word, and with that ask that You would, indeed, put Your word in his mouth, that he would declare and expound it faithfully, clearly and boldly, and that we would be eager hearers. Guide us, as a congregation, to give Matt and his family the support they need to be joyful and refreshed in their shared ministry.

Thank You, Father, for faithful elders, M, R and S. Thank You for the gifts and talents You have given them, and for their commitment to this church and her people. With that, O God, we pray that You would uphold them with an overflowing measure of Your spirit and strength for the task of watching over our souls. May we, as their flock, obey and submit to them, that they might do so with joy and not grief.

Thank You for providing a new home for this church to meet in. May it be a blessing to this church in weeks and years to come, and may we make good use of it for Christ’s Kingdom.

We thank You. Father, for our co-laborers in the service of Christ’s Kingdom here in LL and C…S, L Church, G, First Church, Trinity Baptist, First Nazarene, and A. We pray that they, and we, might be found faithful in the calling of spreading the Gospel and Christ’s Kingdom here.

Thank You for the many children You have brought into our midst, and the blessing it is to have them and hear them in worship. Life happens here, Father, and it happens abundantly. Thank You for the work of these parents in raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Thank You for the increase You have brought in that way, and for the increase You are bringing. We hold K and the N’s yet-unborn child up before You and ask Your nurture and protection, that we will have healthy mother and healthy baby when her time is full.

Thank You for providing us with livelihoods that enable us to support our households and this church. Thank You for this country we live in, where we enjoy unparalleled freedom and prosperity. We pray for our government and for those who govern, whether elected, appointed or employed, that they might govern in accordance with Your law and purposes. We pray that we would enjoy Christ’s prosperity and be able to live quiet and peaceable lives.

We pray for those among us in need of healing in spirit and body, O God. For the wayward ones we carry as burdens in our hearts, we ask that You would make us instant in prayer for them, and that in Your sovereign grace they would be drawn to Christ. For those who waver, for those who are discouraged, for those who are life-worn, we pray that You would gird them with strength and joy to sustain them in their weariness.

We pray for those with physical ailments, Father, especially for A, that he would have quick and complete healing, for B, that he would be healed of G, for C, that he would be healed of H, and for D, that the course of action that his parents have chosen would be effective in bringing about the desired changes in his body and life. And we pray for E and F that they would know Your joy and strength for their labors.

We pray, Father, for the ministries of this church, for JS and LCC S. We pray that You would provide for them in every needed way, with teachers, students, administration, location, resources. And we pray that You would slaughter a couple of those cattle on Your thousand hills that they might be provided for financially.

And Father, we know that Your word tells us that we actually don’t know what to pray for. We thank You that You have given us Holy Spirit as interpreter and advocate. And we ask that by Holy Spirit our prayers, our praises and petitions might be made complete.

Father, all of this in Christ’s holy name we pray.

Amen

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Collect: Second Advent…

Good thoughts for today…again

Livin' in the foothills

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever.
BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour…

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By What Means God Is Made Known unto Us…

“We know him by two means: first, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe; which is before our eyes as a most elegant book, wherein all creatures, great and small, are as so many characters leading us to contemplate the invisible things of God, namely his eternal power and Godhead, as the Apostle Paul saith (Rom. 1:20). All which things are sufficient to convince men, and leave them without excuse.

Secondly, he makes himself more clearly and fully known to us by his holy and divine word; that is to say, as far as is necessary for us to know in this life, to his glory and our salvation.”

The Belgic Confession of Faith (1561), Article II, Thy Word Is Still Truth.

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The Best and Most Stable Realm…

A word for today from words of the past…

“In short, the realm of him is best and most stable who rules in the name of God alone, and his is worst and most unstable who rules in accordance with his own will.”

From the Sixty-seven Articles (1523) of Ulrich Zwingli, from Thy Word is Still Truth.

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