Pastoral Prayer

Pastoral Prayer: Against Sin

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It is a good day when you give us a glimpse into ourselves

Sin is our greatest evil, but you are our greatest good

Each of us has cause to loathe ourselves,

to not seek self-honour,

because when we look at ourselves,

by ourselves,

we realize that we are glorying in rubbish.

Our country,

our families,

our church

are worse because of our sins

– let us never have the false belief that our sins are small,

or that you are not angry with our sin.

Let us not take other good men,

families or churches as our examples,

holding them up as our idols,

and think that we are somehow good because we are like them

or better than them.

What pride!

No man is as good as you want them to be.

None of us are consistent.

None follow rightly in the ways of your holiness

or feel as they should when they are afflicted.

God, help us know when something is evil

when we are tempted to think it is right and good.

Help us to know, that when something is lawful according to the government,

that it is still wrong when it comes from evil purpose –

like a desire for reputation, for wealth, for worldly things.

Guve us grace to recall our needs.

Help us to know your will in scripture.

We need wisdom to guide others,

and daily repentance

which we so often neglect.

We need to have the spirit of prayer.

Keep us from having words without love.

Give us zeal for your glory,

never seeking our own ends.

Give us joy in you

and your will,

and a deep love for others.

You have an abundant fountain of grace.

Help us to not come up short of our need and desire for it.

Help us to touch the eternal spring.

Help us draw your life giving water from above.

In Jesus Name we pray, Amen

(Inspired by “Self Knowledge” from Pg 122 of “The Valley of Vision”)

Pastoral Prayer: Inspire Us to Worship

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You are the life-giving God.

Inspire us

and give us the energy to call upon Your name,

for our minds are not enough to understand,

our thoughts are wayward

and we are easily distracted.

We love the world too much

and within our heart is still the struggle with unbelief and doubt.

It is only by Your Holy Spirit that our many weaknesses

can become strengths.

We approach You as our Father

and our Friend.

You are our portion forever,

the person from whom we get exceeding joy,

and from You comes the strength of our hearts.

We believe in You as the God of nature,

the God of all things,

the great Creator,

the one who set everything in motion,

the one who sustains the universe,

the one who controls providence,

and the one who sent Jesus to be our Saviour from Sin.

Inside each one of us today is a voice that makes us feel too guilty to come before You,

too fearful

or too proud

to call upon Your name

– but today we choose to praise You

because of the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,

that we are able to be reconciled to You

because of Him.

May the truth that is in Him

illuminate in us all that is dark,

firmly establish in us all that is wavering,

still within us all of the storms of our hearts,

accomplish in us and through us all of the good plans that You have set before us,

and glorify in us the name of Jesus Christ.

Some of us are passing through a vale of tears,

through a difficult, almost impossible time

– but we choose to thank You

and bless You

for opening the gate to glory at the end of it.

Help us to realise that in You is something better than what we see before us,

help us keep heaven and eternity with You ever in our mind.

Prepare us for the journey You still have for us to walk.

Uphold our steps by Your word.

Keep us from any sin that would dominate us.

Teach us that if we put ourselves first,

then we are not walking towards Jesus.

Teach us that if we are trying to save ourselves,

then he cannot be our Redeemer.

Help us see the kinds of idols we are setting in our hearts

so we may have a better relationship with You.

Give us a strong faith that accepts Jesus as our Redemer

and Lord and our God over all.

In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

(Inspired by “Truth in Jesus” from “The Valley of Vision“)

 

Pastoral Prayer: God’s Anger at Sin

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“Lord, you have been out dwelling place throughout all generations.

Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world,

from everlasting to everlasting,

you are God.” (Psalm 90:1-2)

Life and death are in your hands, Lord.

Thank you for your long-suffering patience,

because we know that when you become angry, people are consumed and terrified. Read the rest of this entry »

Pastoral Prayer: God is Better

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How lovely is the place where you dwell, O Lord Almighty.

Wherever you are, we want to be.

Our souls, from the very depths of our beings, yearn for you.

We have no strength without you.

We want to be in your presence and among your people.

Our hearts cry out.

Our flesh cries out. Read the rest of this entry »

Pastoral Prayer: Revival

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Hear us, O Shepherd, You who lead your people like a flock.

You who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth!

Let your light shine in the darkest of places and before all who prefer the darkness.

          Awaken your might; and come and save us.

Restore us, O God;

make your face shine upon us that we may be saved!

We long in the depths of our being to see your light.

          O Lord God Almighty,

it seems like you are angry with your people,

and that you are not listening to our prayers.

In our congregation today are those whom you have fed,

but their bread has been tears.

When we are broken hearted, we are supposed to come to you,

and you make us drink our tears by the bowlful.

          You have made us a source of contention to our neighbours.

People talk behind our backs saying that You are weak,

your people are fools,

your church is broken,

your salvation is a lie,

and to give ourselves to you is to prove our folly.

Atheists mock us.

Other religions mock us.

Our non-believing family members and friends mock us.

          We want to be restored, O God Almighty!

We want to have your face shine upon us!

We want to reflect your light and your glory for all to see!

We want to be saved!

          In the Bible you tell us that you are the vine and we are the branches.

You chose us to be a part of your vine.

You chose us.

You are the one who cleared the ground so we could be planted.

You are the one who gave us roots.

You are the one who has spread your church all around the world.

You have planted your people all over the world,

from the highest places to the lowest,

from the most powerful to the weakest,

you have sent shoots out all around.

          And so we ask you,

why does it seem that our church, the churches around us, and all over Canada and the United States,

are under siege and without a wall to protect us?

Why do we see the faith of ministers

and families

and marriages

and children

falling away.

We’re being picked off like a person picks grapes off of a vine!

Boars from the forest are ravaging your church,

we are left for dead,

and the vultures pick at us.

          Our deepest prayer is that you return to us, O God Almighty!

Look down from heaven and see what is going on!

Watch over your vine, nourish the roots that you have planted.

Care for the adopted children that you have brought to yourself.

          We feel cut down.

We feel weak.

We feel the flames.

We feel your rebuke,

the guilt of sin,

the knowledge of our own rebellion,

and we know that we are perishing

because of our disobedience.

          We ask you to remember us, Jesus our Lord.

We come humbly before the Son who sits at the right hand of the Father,

the Son of Man who was born of a virgin

and who died for us

and was raise up by God Himself!

Remember You chose us.

Remember that we are Your people

and make intercession for us before the Father.

          We commit ourselves once again by saying that we will not turn away from you.

If you revive us…

as individuals,

as families,

as a church,

as a town,

as a city,

as a province,

as a nation…

then we will call upon your name and give you glory and praise.

          Restore us, O Lord God Almighty;

make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved!

(Adapted from Psalm 80)

Pastoral Prayer: About Evil People Who Seem Blessed

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Invocation

God, you are good to Your people and to those who are pure in heart. We praise you for your goodness.

 

Confession

We must acknowledge that despite your goodness, we have sinned.

Our feet have slipped and we have almost lost our foot hold.

We looked at the arrogant and we have envied them,

wanting to be like people who do not even acknowledge you as Lord.

We have envied the prosperity of the wicked,

thinking that we would rather have material things than the Saviour of our souls.

It is difficult for us to look at sometimes, Lord.

These wealthy, powerful people look so healthy,

so strong,

so free from the burdens that are common to us.

They are evil,

selfish,

pagan,

and prideful

– and yet they don’t seem touched by human ills.

They wear pride like a necklace and they cloth themselves with violence.

They have callous hearts and they bring forth sin.

The evil conceits of their minds know no limits.

And yet for some reason…

they seem blessed, happy, rich and strong.

Forgive us for wanting to be like them.

We are confused about these people, Lord.

They scoff against you,

are arrogant,

oppress people,

and have far more than most.

They hurt others and get rewarded with more riches!

We wonder,

“Do you even know about these people, God?

Do you, the Most High, know how evil some of these people are, and how evil they are acting?

Why have you not done anything about them?”

You don’t seem to.

They are getting richer and they seem carefree.

It’s like all of the good that we do is in vain.

It’s like all of the work we do to stay pure is in vain because they are prospering and we are suffering.

We don’t talk about this much, Father.

If we bring this up we might harm some people’s faith,

so we don’t bring voice to our complaint in public.

We’ve tried to understand it, but we just can’t…

it breaks our hearts and muddles our minds.

But then we came to church.

We entered your sanctuary,

we sang songs to you,

we heard your word,

we remembered your Gospel

and  their final destiny.

You opened our eyes to see what is really happening.

Their feet are on slippery ground.

They are already cast down into ruin

and all of the worldly collections they have will be destroyed.

Their life is like a dream and all that they have done,

all that they have,

all of their wickedness and ill-gotten treasures

will be completely swept away and they will have nothing.

When you finally deal with them, they will be nothing more than a fantasy

– an old story long forgotten.

Our bitterness and grieving at our lack of riches was foolish, Lord.

We were ignorant to be jealous of the wicked.

We were as dumb as a wild animal.

And so we resolve to stay with you.

Keep holding us by our hands.

Give us your guidance and your counsel,

and then after this world has passed away,

take us into your glory.

In all the world, there is really nothing better than you.

When we get to heaven, our greatest treasure will be you.

Our flesh and our heart might fail us, but God,

you are the strength of our hearts

and our portion forever.

            We stay close to you because those who are far from you will perish.

You will destroy all those who do not have faith.

Lord God, no matter what…

no matter what happens in this world…

it is good to be near God.

We have made you the Sovereign Lord of our refuge

and we will tell everyone of your wonderful deeds!

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

Amen

(Adapted from Psalm 73)

Pastoral Prayer: Of Commitment

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We shout for joy to You, God,

joining the praises of all believers across the earth.

We sing to the glory of Your name!

We give to You our praise!

How awesome are Your deeds, O God!

We are in awe of Your power.

So great is Your power that Your enemies cringe before You.

The whole earth worships You and sings praises to You;

they sing praises to Your name.

We come here in joy,

we are led forth in peace,

the mountains and the hills break forth into song,

the trees of the fields clap their hands.

We have been invited, and we invite

our family, our friends, our neighbours, and the world

to come and see what You have done in our lives, God.

You are awesome in Your deeds toward the children of man.

We remember when You turned the sea into dry land and Your people they passed through the river on foot.

In the same way we have felt beset by sin,

surrounded by the enemy of our souls,

fearing for our lives,

and You have delivered us across the impassable river,

and You have our feet set on dry ground,

and we walk towards the promised land

– towards You.

We rejoice in You alone.

God, You rule by Your might,

You keep watch on the nations.

We choose to believe that all the things happening in the world right now are under Your watchful eye

and that nothing is happening without Your permission.

We may not understand it, but we trust in Your love.

We pray against the rebellious, the evil, the sinful, the tempters

— let not the rebellious exalt themselves.

We thank You for keeping us among the living,

for giving us a hope and a purpose,

for keeping us in the faith,

and for not let our feet slip.

Our faithfulness is not of our own doing, but because of Your strength.

We even praise and thank You for our trials,

for You, O God, have tested us;

You have tried us as silver is tried.

You brought us into the net;

You laid a crushing burden on our backs;

You let men ride over our heads;

we went through fire and through water…

many of us feel like we have been to hell and back…

but we know that because of Your grace You have given us an abundant life,

just as You promised.

And so we come to You in praise,

bringing the offering of song,

of our finances,

of our wills,

our energy,

our time,

our attention.

We will perform our vows to You, and not falter in our promises.

The words our lips have uttered today and in days past…

all of the things our mouths have said when we were in trouble,

we will keep.

Forgive us for making idle promises to You,

for taking Your name in vain,

and help us keep our promises.

We want to hear You today.

We come to You to listen.

We who fear God, want to hear all You have done for our souls.

We come to lift up Your name and proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We cried out to You,

admitting our sins,

repenting of them,

and asking forgiveness,

and You have put high praise there instead.

We know that if we still love our sins,

if all we say today was only words,

that You have not listened.

But God, we do not cherish iniquity.

We truly desire You,

and God You have truly listened

and have attended the voice of our prayers.

Blessed be You, our God because You have not rejected our prayer

or have removed Yourself from us,

but continue to give Your love to us everyday.

We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour,

Jesus Christ.

Amen

(taken from Psalm 66 & Isa 55:12)

Pastoral Prayer: Love

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Invocation

“Lord God,

with confidence we draw near to Your throne of Grace,

that we might receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

“We are yours, as you have said,

O Lord of Hosts,

and you have made us your treasured possession

and have spared us.” (Malachi 3:17)

Confession

Lord, in your word you showed us the most excellent way.

We have sought to speak in the tongues of men and angels –

using technology to spread our voice and our desires far and wide, Read the rest of this entry »

Pastoral Prayer: On the Beauty of the Word of God

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Invocation

“The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of His hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;

night after night they display knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1-2)

We are in awe of your creation Lord,

and we thank you so very much for the blessing of knowing you through it.

Truly, when we look at a powerful storm,

the calm of a blue sky,

a sunrise or sunset,

or the majesty of the stars and planets at night,

we are reminded of your power,

your grace,

your love,

your creativity,

your eternity

and your beauty.

You are worthy of our praise Read the rest of this entry »

Pastoral Prayer: Of God’s Faithfulness

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Invocation

“God, you are faithful.

You will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.

But when we are tempted,

You will also provide a way out

so that we can stand up under it.” (1 Cor 10:13)

You are Faithful.

You never change.

You are always there.

You’ve never failed anyone

and you never will.

You are worthy of our worship,

our praise,

our adoration,

our prayers,

our thanksgivings

and our attentions.

To you belongs all glory

and we come to you as your children today,

in need,

trusting in your faithfulness.

Confession

We confess this morning that we have been tempted

and did not take the way out that you had provided.

You offered us the power to stand up under our temptations,

to be strong in our weaknesses,

to be able in our disability,

to mount up with wings as eagles,

to run and not grow faint

– but we did not take what you offered.

Instead we went to idols,

to addictions,

to worldly means,

and even to ourselves instead.

Forgive us for being so short-sighted,

so foolish,

so arrogant and prideful,

so ridiculous as to think that we could find lasting strength elsewhere.

Forgive us, cleanse us, renew us, and deliver us, Lord Jesus.

 Intercession

We come to you in need today.

We are hurting physically

and we need your healing touch on our bodies.

We are hurting emotionally

and we need your special presence and comfort

as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

We are hurting spiritually

as we suffer through a long, dark night of the soul,

and we need your light to guide us out.

We are hurting relationally

and we need your wisdom to guide us to know how to forgive,

to ask forgiveness,

to seek out for mercy

or to seek out for confrontation.

Some of us are hurting in our occupation

and need your help to understand some problems at work.

Others are hurting in their mind

and need your supernatural guidance, strength, knowledge and truth.

We run towards your mercy today.

We lean upon your love.

We dive into your faithfulness.

We fall into your grace.

            As we open your word today,Lord Jesus,

help us see you more,

know you better,

hear your voice,

see your hands at work,

experience conviction,

encouragement

and spiritual enlightenment.

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

A Prayer to Admit Our Weaknesses (and for Lac Megantic, Toronto, & Calgary)

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Invocation

“God is our refuge and strength,

an ever present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear,

through the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though the waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with their surging…

The Lord Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

(Psalm 46:1-3, 7)

We praise you Lord for

your might and power, Read the rest of this entry »