Pastoral Prayer (January 3, 2021)

Praise and Adoration

O God, we praise you for your goodness and the great love with which you have loved us. 

We bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. 

We praise you that though we were dead in the trespasses and sins in which we once walked,

though we followed the course of this world,

though we followed the prince of the power of the air, 

though we were sons of disobedience, living in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of our unconverted and carnal body and the mind, 

and though we were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind,

In love, you predestined us for adoption to yourself as sons through Jesus Christ.

You did this according to the purpose of your will, and you do this so that your glorious grace might be praised. 

Now we are counted among the forgiven. Now we are sons and daughters of the Most High. 

We now have redemption through the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of our trespasses.

And this is all according to the riches of your grace, which you have lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of your will. 

You did this by setting forth Christ as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth (based on Eph. 1:3-10).

And so we say with Paul, “Oh, the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Rom. 11:33) How unsearchable are your judgments and how inscrutable are your ways.

Father, we gladly come with our burdens so that we might find grace to help in time of need. We give to you our cares; we lay them before you, and we ask that you answer us according to your good and perfect will. 

Civil Authorities

We pray for our civil authorities this morning. We pray for our legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government, both state and federal. We ask that they would understand their role given to them by the God of the universe, who owns all things. We pray that they would understand that they are to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good (I Peter 2:14). We pray against any inclination they have to redefine “good” and to redefine “evil.” Let them understand that they are to rule according to your Word and under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, who said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18). We ask that you would give our governing authorities wisdom and discernment, and bless every effort they make to do good. 

Sanctification of the Saints

Father, we pray for our church, Gethsemane Baptist. We thank you for covenanting us together, and giving us a common bond in the blood of Christ. We pray against division of any kind. Let us not think that what binds us together are preferences in music tastes, speaking styles, levels of dress, age ranges, or common interests. Keep us always mindful of that which truly binds us together: The blood of Christ. Let our common bond in the blood of Christ sow unity among us, and let it undermine any disunity that might spring up. Help us to be patient with one another. Help us to be quick to share each other’s burdens. Help us to take an interest in each other’s lives. Help us not to be private with our lives, but let our lives be open to fellowship with one another. 

O God, we pray specifically for one of our members, Peggie. We thank you so much for bringing her to us, and we give you praise for the evidences of your grace in her life. She is a walking reminder to us of your steadfast love and faithfulness. We pray that you would continue the work that you began in her. Give her a deeper trust in your love for her. Give her a hunger for your word. Help her to cast all her cares upon you day by day, and fill her with your Spirit. 

We pray also this morning for Andy & Tara’s new baby, Calvin. We thank you for a healthy delivery, we thank you for Tara’s good health, and we pray for continued growth for little Calvin. We ask that you would give Andy and Tara increased wisdom and godliness as they raise not two, but three precious children. 

The Word

Father, as we read your word, illuminate this text by the guidance of your Spirit. Give us renewed commitment to faith and obedience as we hear your word proclaimed. 

We ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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