Our Holy Father and our God, You have called us to come out of the world this day and into Your marvelous light. You have called us to leave behind the cares, and worries and frustrations of the City of Man and to come and rest in the blessings of the City of God. We have come, and we join with Christ’s triumphant church of all places and times in worship and praise.
We praise You and bless Your holy name, O God, for the whole creation, that bears Your handprints everywhere…that shows forth Your wisdom and bears Your glory written large upon it. We praise You and bless Your holy name for the evident and constant attention and care of Your creation. Complexities too great for us to understand and too small and subtle for us to see or perceive are sustained moment by moment through Your power, O God…put together by Your wisdom.
Father, we praise you and bless Your holy name for the gift You have given to us in Your Son…that in Him, O God, we have salvation…the forgiveness of sins…that in Him, O God, we know that we can trust…we know that we can lay our lives, our fears, our concerns before Him, and not only be heard, O God…but be healed.
We give You praise and bless Your holy name, O God, for Christ’s church…that on this earth, in the midst of the City of Man, You have established it…that You have given us this denomination, the CREC, and pastors and elders to watch over us…and we give You thanks for them, O God. We give You thanks for the brothers and sisters with whom we stand shoulder to shoulder. We give You thanks, O God, that not only here in the CREC, but all over the world, in different denominations and in different places, You are worshipped and adored. That those who are cleansed by the blood of Christ, indeed are saved and safe.
And Father, we pray for our brothers and sisters who are in persecution. We give You thanks, O God, that You tell us in Your Scriptures that in their persecutions for Jesus the Nazarene they are blessed. But we pray, O God, that You would give them relief as well. We pray, O God, that You would convert the hearts of those with whom they deal, those who are oppressing them. We pray O Father, indeed, that the leadership of all governments might be converted to the one true faith, that in Jesus Christ. We pray, Father, that the populace of all nations might be converted.
We look forward to a glorious day, O God, when You walk the face of this earth with Christ’s people, that we might again hear Your footsteps in the cool of the day, O God…when there is no need for light, no need for sun nor moon, for You and Your Son , the Lamb, will be all the light that is needed…and that light will be glorious.
We pray, O Father, do the work in our hearts to make us fit for that. We pray, Father, look upon us, for You know us better than we know ourselves, O God. Where there are evil ways within us, seek them out and drive them out. Make us like Your Son, O God…whatever it takes.
Lord, there are many for whom we have concern.
And Lord, we praise You and bless Your holy name that You have given us Your Holy Spirit, that He resides in us, that He has taken up residence, that he is the One who will shape us. We pray, Father, that He might be about that business. And Father, You tell us in Your Word that we don’t really know what to pray for. That which we hold up, O God, is surely just a sliver…surely nothing compared to that which we should hold up. We pray Father, by Your Holy Spirit…make our prayers here complete.
And Lord, we pray, bless us and bless Christ’s whole church. All these things in His holy name we pray.