Pastoral Prayer

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