Corporate Prayer: November 14, 2021

Our Holy Father and our God, we give You thanks for this day you have given us, for the beauty of this land that surrounds us, for the change of the seasons that puts the stamp on Your covenant faithfulness. Thank you for the great mercies You show forth to us day by day, food and clothing and shelter, family and work and rest. Of all that You have blest us with, the greatest is that You have given Your Son for us, and given us to Him. We thank You for the salvation wrought through the atoning sacrifice and glorious ascension of Jesus Christ and the benefits that are ours in adoption as Your children in Him.

We give You thanks, O God, for Christ’s body and bride, the church. We thank you for our denomination, the CREC, for brothers and sisters who stand with us shoulder to shoulder in the service of the Gospel, in Presbytery and over the face of the globe. We pray, O Father, that in Your shepherding we and they might be found faithful. We ask that Christ’s church, wherever she may be found, would return to the faith once received, and that You would exact the discipline necessary to bring that about.

We thank You for faithful elders and deacons. We pray for their wisdom in service, that they and their families would be protected, that we, as a congregation, would be a light and joyful burden for them to bear.

We give You thanks, O God, for the children placed in our midst, that our worship is accompanied by gurgles, cries and screams. We pray that these would be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and that those carrying babies in the womb would be protected and they would carry them to full term and we would see healthy mother and baby among us.

We give You thanks that You have given us a Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We pray that You would move us, like Him, to seek the lost sheep. Place in our pathways those who need to hear and embrace to Gospel, give us boldness, wisdom and winsomeness to communicate to them the Gospel of eternal life in Jesus Christ. And we pray, O Father, for the lives and souls of those connected to this congregation who have strayed or have never been a part of Christ’s church. In all these things You are sovereign, and we entrust them to Your care, asking for them to be blest with repentance, forgiveness and salvation in Jesus Christ.

We give You thanks that we live in a land of freedom. We pray for those at all levels of our government, whether elected, appointed or employed, that they would govern and administer in keeping with Your holy character. May they govern in righteousness, that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives. We pray that You would bring revival upon our land, that our government and people would be a people of the Lord. We pray that the abomination of abortion would cease, here and over all the earth.

Father, the Apostle tells us in Your word that we do not even know what to pray for. By Your Holy Spirit, may our prayers be made complete. As He plumbs the depths of our hearts may He present to you our deepest and even unknown concerns and longings. May our thanksgiving and our praises be made complete until that day when Your place is among men, ever tear dried and every wound made whole.

And we ask that the remainder of our worship would be superintended by Your Holy Spirit, that what we do here may be pleasing in Your sight. May Your Word be faithfully preached and Your sacrament be faithfully administered, equipping and preserving the saints of Valley Covenant Church to Your praise and glory.

All this we pray in Christ’s Holy Name.

Amen

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Would it have been that hard?

I am not an electrician. But I have done some electrical. In Florida you could do your own, and my inspectors encouraged me to do that. Most of it is not rocket science.

Using modern (as in the last 30 – 40 years) electrical cable, it is easy to ground a metal electrical device box. Of course, for a lazy electrician, it’s even easier to cut off the ground wire in the cable and leave the box and switch ungrounded. And unsafe. Ask me how I know they do it.

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When you open that wall…

I’ve been doing remodeling work on my own houses since the early 80s. Now I’m a contractor, and I’m working on other people’s houses.

The work I’ve done going in behind other folks as I have worked on my houses has given rise to a proverb in my household…

When you open that wall, you will rarely find hidden perfections.

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Congregational Prayer, 6 June 2021

Our Holy Father and our God, we give You thanks for this day You have given us, the days that have gone before and the days that lie ahead. We give You thanks for the change of the seasons and the stamp it puts upon Your covenant faithfulness. We thank You for the life You have given us, this temporal life in the midst of Your creation and eternal life in Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. We thank You for the opportunity to join together with Christ’s church, both as we join together at His table and as we are raised to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

We thank you for the fruitfulness of this congregation, for the blessing of children in and among us at worship, for the sounds of little ones in our midst.

We thank you that in Your providence You provide for our every need.

We thank You for faithful officers, for the faithful preaching of Your Word and the faithful administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We thank you for the new place we have for worship and for the schools, and for the fact that we seem to be running out of chairs. We thank You for those who have joined themselves to us by vow this morning.

Most of all, we thank You for being our God. We know that all of these other things for which we are thankful, and an infinite number of things we do not know to even be thankful for, flow from the fact that we bear the name of Christ, and in Him You are our God and our Father.


 

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Be very watchful

“…if you would make conscience to have your [conduct] rightly ordered, be very watchful over yourselves in that special sin your nature is most inclined to.”
Jeremiah Burroughs, sermon delivered March 8, 1645

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Congregational Prayer: January 24, 2021

Our Holy Father and our God, You have called us to enter into Your presence. We do not enter because of any good we have of ourselves, for we are unworthy to even take Your name upon our lips. Instead, we enter because we claim the shed blood of Christ, our Savior, who gave his life a ransom to purchase back His Bride-Church from sin and eternal death. In Him we come before You, O Father. Lend us Your ear. Hear our praises and thanksgivings. Hear our petitions.

Thank You, Father, for the salvation We have in Jesus Christ. With the sin of our first father, Adam, all of mankind bore a debt that we could not satisfy, and the curse of death and hell bore upon us. It pleased You, in Your eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, Your only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man, the Prophet, Priest, and King, the Head and Savior of His Church, the Heir of all things, and Judge of the world: unto whom You did from all eternity give a people, to be His seed, and to be by Him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified. We thank You, O God, that You have given us to Him and given Him for us.

Thank You, Father, for the fruitfulness of this congregation and the many covenant children You have brought forth among us. Thank You for the recent increase with the births of B and S. Thank You for the presence of these children among us in worship, and that life happens here. Thank You for faithful parents who work diligently to raise up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We pray, O God that You will work through their labors, and those of our whole congregation, to raise these children up to be of strong, unshakeable faith and that they might live to love and serve You with whole and glad hearts all of their days.

We thank You, Father, for Christ’s body here on earth, His Bride-Church, for this local body of believers, and for our sister churches in Knox Presbytery and in the whole of the CREC. Thank You for the voices and wisdom of our faithful elders and deacon, the voices and wisdom of those who have gone before us, and Your voice and wisdom as You speak to us through Your Word. We ask, Father, that if we find ourselves in a time of winnowing of the Church, led by Your Spirit and aided by these voices and wisdom, we would be found faithful. May Christ’s church be salt and light in a world that desperately needs them.

We thank you, Father, that we live in a country still of unparalleled freedom. We pray for those who govern in this country, at all levels, whether elected, appointed or employed, especially President Biden and Governor Little, the supreme courts and legislatures of the United States, and the State of Idaho, and the City Councils of Lewiston and Moscow, that they may govern in truth and righteousness. Your Scriptures tell us that You move the heart of the king as we might turn on a faucet. We pray, O God, that You would move the hearts of our government that we might have the government we need, as opposed to the one we deserve, that we might live quiet and peaceable lives.

We pray, O Father, for those of our families and those we love who have strayed from or have never been in Christ’s sheepfold. Our hearts break and we weep for their misery and destiny, O God. We know that You have sovereign power to turn them to Christ, and we implore You to do that. Through whatever and all means You have at Your disposal, please gather these lost sheep and bring them into the safety and rest of Christ’s fold. May they be blest with repentance, forgiveness and salvation, all of these gifts from Your gracious hand.

We pray, O Father, for those who need physical healing. We ask that S night be kept in safety from the medical complications inherent in her birth. We ask that B might grow strong and serene. We ask that A and A would have recovery both speedy and complete. We ask that H might have mind and tongue loosed to join fully in worship and the life of his family. We ask that R might be healed of the burden of Lyme disease. We ask that F would be relieved of the pain from his back problems. We hold up N, M, M and K before You, and ask that they would be healed of their infirmities. We ask You to keep sickness from our doors and sustain us in health.

We pray, O Father, for the persecuted church around the world, In China, North Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, West Africa, and wherever else the saints are trod upon and killed for their belief. We thank You for the growth of Christ’s church in these areas in spite of these persecutions, and pray for their protection and for the sustaining presence and power of Your Spirit to be upon them.

Father, the government of our country could leave us in dismay. We have ended four years of a president whose tongue paraded through the earth, yet whom You used to bring about some restraints. Now we are faced with a president at the head of a political party which sees the abomination of child sacrifice as an inalienable right. God help us! Father, we implore You, make this cease. Convert the wicked hearts of this people and turn this nation to Christ. Purify Christ’s church and return her to her first love. Bring abortion to an end, here and everywhere. And if that means that we are crushed with them, let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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Corporate Prayer Anno Domini 2020, December 6

Our Holy Father and our God, Creator of all things, Judge of all men, we have come here, together, because You have called us out of the darkness into Your marvelous light. For in Galilee of the Gentiles a light shone. Those who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, a great light has shined. That was the true Light which gives light to every man, Who came into the world.

We come to You this morning, O Father, in praise and thanksgiving for who you are. You alone, O God, Triune Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are from eternity. There was never a time when the Triune Godhead was not, nor will there ever be. You are light, and in You is no darkness, not a single one.  Your being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth are infinite, eternal, and unchangeable.

In Your mercy, O God, from all eternity and merely for Your good pleasure, You purposed to give to us a Savior, Your Son, Jesus Christ. In great humiliation He condescended to take on human flesh and be born to a young virgin. Made like us, sharing in our infirmities, that He might become our faithful, compassionate, and ultimate High Priest, making the offering once, for all, of Himself as propitiation, atoning for our sins and reconciling us to Yourself.

We could not have reconciled ourselves to you, Father. We are by nature sinful and unclean, and no sacrifice we could offer could atone for the cosmic treason we have committed. Only by the one offering of Jesus Christ are we able to come before You. In Him we are the adopted of God, and we come to You as children to our Father, praising your for your goodness, bringing you our concerns, praying to You in submission, knowing that You are in control of all things.

Our Holy Father and our God, Creator of all things, Judge of all men, we have come here, together, because You have called us out of the darkness into Your marvelous light. For in Galilee of the Gentiles a light shone. Those who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, a great light has shined. That was the true Light which gives light to every man, Who came into the world.

We come to You this morning, O Father, in praise and thanksgiving for who you are. You alone, O God, Triune Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are from eternity. There was never a time when the Triune Godhead was not, nor will there ever be. You are light, and in You is no darkness, not a single one.  Your being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth are infinite, eternal, and unchangeable.

In Your mercy, O God, from all eternity and merely for Your good pleasure, You purposed to give to us a Savior, Your Son, Jesus Christ. In great humiliation He condescended to take on human flesh and be born to a young virgin. Made like us, sharing in our infirmities, that He might become our faithful, compassionate, and ultimate High Priest, making the offering once, for all, of Himself as propitiation, atoning for our sins and reconciling us to Yourself.

We could not have reconciled ourselves to you, Father. We are by nature sinful and unclean, and no sacrifice we could offer could atone for the cosmic treason we have committed. Only by the one offering of Jesus Christ are we able to come before You. In Him we are the adopted of God, and we come to You as children to our Father, praising your for your goodness, bringing you our concerns, praying to You in submission, knowing that You are in control of all things.

Those who have left the flock

Those in need of encouragement because of their circumstances

Physical healing

Children

That life happens here

In the wombs of the congregation

Saints in persecution

Government

Session

Thankful for faithful officers

Sustain them in their lives

Wisdom in their ruling

Pastoral search

Ministries

Christ’s church and sister churches in CREC

The preaching of Your Word

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 forever. Amen.

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All God’s Strokes…

All God’s strokes are strokes of love and mercy, All God’s ways are mercy and truth, to those who love Him and fear Him (Psalm 25.10).

Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Banner of Truth, 60.

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Then I am well enough…

Thus, a gracious heart thinks in this way: ‘The Lord has been pleased to bring down my circumstances; now if the Lord brings down my heart and makes it equal to my circumstances, then I am well enough.’

 

Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Banner of Truth, 46

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Still my heart abides content…

How to join these two together: to be sensible of an affliction as much as a man or woman who is not content; I am sensible of it as fully as they, and I seek ways to be delivered of it as well as they, and yet still my heart abides content – this is, I say, a mystery, that is very hard for a carnal heart to understand.

 

Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Banner of Truth, 40

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