Pastoral Prayer – October 14, 2018

Almighty God, your people in this place – we who, by your grace, have seen the wretchedness of our sin, repented of it, and surrendered to Jesus as Lord  – humbly come before you now at His invitation; not on our own merits but on His.

Merciful Father, you have adopted us as your children and have, in your kindness, blessed us abundantly.  To recount all those blessings is an impossible task, for your mercy towards your people is beyond measure.  Indeed, it’s hard for us to keep things in perspective.  We rejoice at the headline news that Pastor Andrew Brunson has been released from imprisonment in Turkey, yet we often overlook the less newsworthy but no less profound blessings you have brought about right here.  Among the blessings this local church praises you for are…

  • Drew Davis’ marriage to Ally yesterday;
  • the engagements of Abby Jackson, and Stanford Chun;
  • the courtships underway in pursuit of a godly marriage;
  • husbands and wives striving to strengthen and protect their marriages;
  • the births of Alayna Dorgelus and Eloise Wise; and
  • more babies that are on the way, both biologically and by adoption

For all these we give you thanks.  We are grateful as well for your ongoing work among us, evidenced by…

  • children being raised in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4);
  • the biblical preaching and teaching that occur in this room, in our CLI and CLK classes, in retreats like our women are about to enjoy, and in our CGs;
  • Gospel conversations occurring locally with friends, neighbors and coworkers, and internationally during our mission trips and through our sister Lynnette;
  • the culture of repentance and pursuit of holiness taking root in our church; and
  • the unity and love we experience as we live together in gospel-centered community.

And yet, dear Lord, we realize that among your children gathered here, troubles and unmet needs are present as well.  You tell us in Hebrews that as Christians we can with confidence draw near to your throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:16).  We surely are in such a time of need.

Omnipotent creator, we tremble at the devastation wrought by Hurricane Michael and grieve for those affected, but we fail to tremble before you and grieve at the devastation caused by our own sin.  As we’ve recently been reminded in Mark 7, the list of sins that arise from our hearts and defile us is painfully long.  This day we specifically plead for your help in eradicating two threats to this church.  One is the cancer of pornography.  May we each, like David, be resolved to set our eyes on no vile thing (Ps 101:3) and be equipped to fight this battle by your Word and efforts like the one Aaron Pluto is leading.  We ask too that you would help us guard our tongues so that the incivility that so sadly characterizes this country’s political discourse will not seep into this church and eat away at our unity.  Holy God, please bring us to confess and repent of these sins, and then fulfill your promise to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn 1:9).

Lord God, please minister to us as well regarding the many things that are not sinful in themselves but can discourage us and erode our joy.  And so, we raise up to you now the many anxieties and longings in the hearts of your people here at Covenant Life Church.

  • We pray for the sister worried about where she will live;
  • we pray for those looking for a job;
  • we pray for those longing for a spouse;
  • we pray for couples yearning for children;
  • we pray for parents feeling inadequate in caring for their children;
  • we pray for those pining for a friend;
  • we pray for those seeking an escape from persistent pain;
  • we pray for those struggling under financial strain; and
  • we pray for those longing for justice

Loving God, we pray you will fulfill these needs or help us to not ache over them.  To help our brothers and sisters deal with these needs, spur each of us to do as you command, encouraging one another (Heb 10:25), comforting one another (2 Cor 3:11), and bearing one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2).  Above all, by your Spirit bring to our minds and impress on our hearts these three truths that you have proclaimed…

  • that our greatest need has already been gloriously met, for you, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which you loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, have made us alive together with Christ, bringing us to faith in Him and peace with you (Eph 2:1-10); 
  • that, as Jesus has told us, although we will have trouble in this world, we should take heart, for He has overcome the world (Jn 16:33); and
  • that for those who love God, who have been called according to your purpose, you are working all things together for good (Rom 8:28).

And in these truths may we find comfort, joy and peace, trusting you for all that comes ahead.

Merciful Father, to you “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to you be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.” (Eph 3:20-21)

Posted on: October 15, 2018 - 11:40AM

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