Our church has returned to in-person worship. Though we are taking measures to help with social distancing, and several elements of our Sunday mornings have changed, it is a blessing beyond words to worship together, singing hymns of truth and the beauty of our Lord to one another and to him, standing next to one another as we pray, sitting together as we drink in the preaching of the word. Our parched souls are refreshed.
But still, we are not yet whole. Many of our church members must still join us via livestream. Because our nursery is still closed, many of our parents of young families have a difficult time participating. And there is conflict in our body which is painfully rending many of our members from one another. There’s a sadness which drapes itself across our church and we feel the weight of it in our very bones.
Yesterday, Pastor John led us in prayer and reminded us who we are, and that because we are Christ’s we have hope.
Father, as we approach your throne of grace, as we seek to worship you and to be renewed by your Word and your Worship, may our heart cry be with Christ’s beloved, “Worthy, worthy, is the lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth, wisdom and might, honor and glory.”
We are here, because of you. We have hope because of you.
And we desire that your Son would be high and lifted up in our midst.
As you meet with us, would you enlighten our hearts toward you?
Would you infuse in us the call to be a royal priesthood, a chosen nation, a peculiar people, that we would proclaim your excellencies because you have called us out of darkness and into light?
Yet we look around and often see darkness, Lord God.
In our country, we see turmoil, we see fear, we see disorder and injustice. Would that you make our response as children of your light be that of love, of righteous—yet reflective speech, of truth wrapped in hope?
Would you, oh God, intervene?
Would you, oh God, should us mercy as a country?
We intercede for President Trump. We ask that you would give him wisdom, humility, and clarity. We pray for our governor that he would lead well in such uncertain times.
We ask for strength for those who have lost businesses and homes in the hurricane this last week. We pray for your church in Louisiana that this would be a gospel opportunity to love her neighbor, that you would preserve faith in your people and pour into others your grace.
Father it is you who set forth life and prosperity, death and adversity. And though many are the plans of man, it is your purpose that will stand.
We pray for our own local community, our mayor and city council. We long to see Jesus high and lifted up in New Braunfels.
There are many in our church who are sick.
Some who have cancer.
Some of us who have been confined to their homes for many months because of Covid.
Father, heal them.
We ask for healing.
We ask for supernatural peace in their lives.
For our church, Lord God, we ask for unity, for patience, for perseverance, and for truth. We ask that you shape us, mold us, make us, for your glory. That you would help us to love our neighbor with sacrificial love. That starting with our pastors and leaders, our hearts of flesh would be soft to your prompting and Word.
Lastly, Lord God, we pray for our own families. For our covenant children. During these times of isolation and new ways of schooling, we ask that our speech towards them as parents would be seasoned with the gospel of peace. We ask for marriages to draw closer in sacrificial love as Christ loved his church and sacrificed himself for her.
And finally, we present our prayers to you in view of the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray as we proclaim it together…
Our Father, who art in heaven; Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts; as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil; for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.