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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God will bring us out…

“So though we be shut up in great afflictions, and we may think of this and that and the other means to come out of the affliction, we should be willing to stay; God put us in, and God will bring us out.”

Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Banner of Truth, p. 38

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Perversity in their hearts…

Not only must the tongue hold its peace; the soul must be silent. Many may sit silently, refraining from discontented expressions, yet inwardly they are bursting with discontent. This shows a complicated disorder and great perversity within their hearts.

Jeremiah Burroughs, “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment,” 20

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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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