Sunday April 6 Pastoral Prayer

April 7, 2008

It feels “strange” publishing a prayer, but over the years I’ve been encouraged by many prayers prayed by saints who have walked with Jesus. Several members requested a copy of this prayer from this past Sunday. The prayer was shaped by 2Samuel 22, Genesis 11, Exodus 15, Romans 1, 2Corinthians 5, Colossians 3 and 1Peter 2. Here it is in its entirety.

Lord God, you have done marvelous things for your people and for the glory of your name. You have been an ever-present rock and fortress and deliverer to us from both seen and unseen forces of evil and oppression. You have been our shiled, our stronghold, our refuge, our salvation and our Savior. You have rescued us time and again from violence.

Though the waves of death encompassed us, and the torrents of destruction raged around us, and the cords of Sheol entangled us, and the snares of death confronted us, you have been near in every situation. You have drawn us out of mighty waters. You have rescued us from our strong enemies for they were too mighty for us. And though confronted by our weakness, our fragility, our faithlessness, you, the LORD, have been our suport. You have rescued us over and over and over again because you delight in us.

Loving Father, we are ashamed to admit, and we confess that we have not declared your worth and praise as we ought. Like foremen in our own Tower of Bable we have boasted of our greatness and sufficiency rather than yours. Like prisoners in the desert fleeing from the captive hand of Pharoah, we have grumbled against your provision and kindness toward us. We have worshiped and prized your comforts more than we have worshiped you. We have pursued your provision more than we have pursued you. Forgive us, merciful Savior. We are easily satisfied with pitiful pleasures.

We claim the promise that when we come to you seeking forgiveness for our foolishness, you will be faithful and just to the work of Jesus on the cross, who willingly laid down his life for sinners, who became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God, so that we might experience forgiveness and cleansing. Spirit, wash us clean through our confession this morning.

We hold fast to the promise this morning that we are, by faith, new creations in Christ. We have been clothed with the righteousness of Jesus and have been given the power to put on garments of compassion, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, self-control and peace. All things are becoming new. Yes, we are becoming new!

And all of this is because of GOd, who has reconciled us to himself, though we were once enemies, through the mediating work of the Son of God Jesus Christ. You have not counted our sins against us. For this reason, for this reason alone, fill our mouths with joy-filled, gratitude-inspired words of praise for the glorious riches of salvation. Make us ambassadors to the world whether we experience success or suffering in this world.

Because we stand in awe of the cross this morning, help us to live as sojourners and exiles in this world. Spirit, help us to abstain from the passions of the flesh which wage war against our souls. Be pleased to do this, Spirit, so that our conduct would make much of Jesus, and that when we suffer – either as a result of the curse of the Fall or at the hands of wicked men – all men might see our good deeds and glorify God on the day of his coming.

Jesus, help us now as we worship. You have done for us what we could not do for ourselves, so that we might be adopted into your family as sons and daughters of God. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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