Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Prayer for Congregational Worship

Today, Father, 
our hearts are yearning to give you 
     the praise and glory you deserve, 
but we acknowledge 
     that we are only frail vessels of that praise. 
We confess before you that we have sinned. 
We are broken by our fallen natures, 
     we stumble in our pursuit of holiness, 
          and we transgress your commandments. 
We stand in need, O God, 
     always in need, 
          of your forgiveness freely given. 
We stand in need of your healing 
     of the disease of sinfulness. 
Gracious Lord, accept this confession of our unworthiness, 
     and forgive and cleanse and make us whole, 
          as you have promised.  
Lord, take our humble words today, 
     and magnify yourself. 
Be present in this place, 
     as you have promised, 
and let your Holy Spirit rush over us like a fire
     —consuming all our chaff, 
          separating out the dross, 
               and leaving only pure and holy vessels 
               worthy of the service of the Great King. 
We bear before you these intercessions and requests, 
     and we pray that they may be pleasing in your sight. 
Lord, heal those who are ill. 
     Raise up those who are faltering. 
          Give courage and strength of heart 
               to those who are plagued by worries and fears. 
Grant hope to the hopeless, 
     and peace to the troubled. 
We pray for our neighbors, 
     asking that your Word might proceed powerfully among them 
          through our witness. 
We pray for our nation and its leaders, 
     asking that you would give them wisdom and discernment 
          for the choices that lie ahead. 
And we pray for our enemies, 
     asking that you would turn them from the path of evil 
          and bring them to repentance and faith. 
Give us hearts of compassion toward our fellow men 
     and of gratitude toward you. 
All these things we ask, 
     proclaiming the great name of our Lord and Savior, 
          Jesus Christ, 
for it is in him that we offer these requests.