A Prayer for Confessing Hypocrisy

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After being challenged by the elders to study and pray about Pastoral Prayers I have decided to write and give a new prayer each week during the church service. I’ve thought a lot about posting them here and have decided to do so in hopes that people will experience a new way to pray and be encouraged through them. Feel free to use them privately or in your church’s worship time. This prayer is from July 7, 2013.

Pastoral Prayer Banner

Invocation

“[We] will praise you forever for what you have done;

in your name [we] will hope, for your name is good.

[We] will praise you in the presence of the saints.” (Ps 52:9)

It is our desire to praise you Lord, because you are so worthy of our praise.

We worship you and give you glory for what you have done:

the majesty of your creation,

the plan of salvation,

the furtherance of your kingdom,

the hope that is within us,

the rebirth of our souls,

and the revival we have seen in our lives.

And we worship you and give you glory for who You are:

If you had done nothing, your glory alone would be cause for us fall down before you.

Your very nature makes you worthy of our songs.

You are good,

mighty,

majestic

and holy.

Accept our praise today.

Confession

We confess that we have been hypocrites this week.

We have said one thing and done another.

We have proclaimed to be Christians and acted like pagans.

We have been like the teachers of the law and the Pharisees (Matthew 23) who were bad examples to others and did not practice what they preached.

We have done things for the glory of men,

wanting their acceptance and approval above yours.

We have been greedy

and self-indulgent,

willfully walking towards temptation

and jumping head-long into it.

We have strained out gnats and swallowed camels as we have messed up our priorities, neglecting the more important matters of our faith –

justice,

mercy,

faithfulness

– and focused on less important matters

like getting our tithes right to the penny,

reading our bibles for the right amount of minutes,

and saying just enough prayers to abate our conscience.

Forgive us for inverting our priorities and grieving your spirit within us.

Forgive us again this week Lord.

We repent of our sin again, and as you to increase our desire to obey you.

We trust in your word, in your Holy Scriptures, that teach us that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

We fall on that mercy today,

on the shed blood of Christ,

on your abundant grace.

Not presuming upon it, but trusting in it.

Accept our confession and repentance.

Create in us a clean heart.

Renew a steadfast spirit within us.

Restore the joy of your salvation.

And grant us a willing spirit to sustain us. (Psalm 51)

Intercession

We pray for those in authority over us as you have commanded us to.

We pray for the Federal, Provincial and Civil government leaders in our country and around the world who have been given power,

by You,

to make decisions that affect so many people.

Grant them wisdom and humility.

We pray for the persecuted church around the world who are being mistreated

because of their unwavering faith in you.

Help them be a good example to all of us,

to remain strong in the faith,

and to trust in you for their deliverance

– either here, or in eternity.

We pray for the Christian community of Beckwith, Montague, Tay Valley, Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place, Lanark, Lanark Highlands, Drummond/North Elmsly, Smith’s Falls, Perth, Delta, Athens, Brockville, Arnprior, Renfrew, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and the US.

Help them to be passionate in worship,

strong in fellowship,

disciplined in study,

effective in prayer,

full of miracles,

and to grow in number and in faith.

We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen