Loving God and Neighbors ~ A Prayer

The following prayer is in preparation to preach the Word of the Lord from Mark 12:28-34. This is the account of a Scribe asking Jesus what is the greatest Law; which loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength AND loving your neighbor as yourself.

So may God speak to Your heart this morning and send you out to serve Him through loving your neighbor out of your love for Him.

Holy Father,
we would not know love outside of You
for You are love.
We would not know how to truly love our neighbor outside of You
for You are love.

Many who do not know You, love others
but not in the way that brings You glory.
And so I ask that those here gathered,
who do not know You,
may come to know You in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And in knowing You,
love others with a love that only comes from You.

May You fill hearts,
so much so,
that we are driven to learn and live You holy Law;
obeying You and thus
showing love to our neighbor.
May our obedience bring You glory
and may our love of our neighbors point them to You.
I pray this through Christ Jesus our Lord,
who loved us all the way through the cross and through the grave,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

In preparation to worship ~ Agape Love

Loving God,
Your love is what gives life
breath,
meaning and
hope.
Your love came to this world in Jesus Christ.

Through faith in Jesus,
Your love saves sinners from eternal condemnation.
And Your love is what binds together Your Church in
mission and
ministry
in this world.

And so we gather as Your beloved children
to praise Your holy name
for Your awesome Agape love.
May love show forth in our worship
and
may love lead us to serve our neighbors.
Receive our praise and feed us with Your Word.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Chasten Us, oh Lord

A prayer excerpt, from Charles Spurgeon, that I read this afternoon. His prayers challenge me and help me go deeper in my relationship with Christ. And so I share this with you in hopes that you too will continue to search out your relationship with God in Jesus and go deeper and deeper with him.

Lord, we ask that Thy Word may chasten us whenever we go astray,
may it enlighten us
whenever for a moment
we get into darkness.
May Thy Word be the supreme ruler of our being.
May we give ourselves up to its sacred law
to be obedient to its every hint,
wishing in all things, even in the least things,
to do the will of God from the heart
and having every thought
brought into captivity to the mind of the Spirit of God.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. [Psalm 119:9]

The Pastor -|—

Why God, Why

This pastor’s heart is heavy this morning after reading news about a reporter and her cameraman in Virginia being gunned down and killed on live TV this morning. I won’t go into details here as you can click the link above.

As I read this story, my heart broke and immediately send me into a series of questions, many consisting of: “Why God, why?” as I instinctively started looking for answers. It’s a natural response to a tragedy as one seeks consolation, comfort, hope and maybe even an explanation. Something, anything to help make sense of the evil and sin in the world. I hear this “Why” question a lot and ask it myself.

And there are no good answers to explain why this tragedy happened, but there IS hope. The hope? OUR hope?

OUR AWESOME GOD THROUGH CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD

[Isaiah 43:1] But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

[1 Corinthians 15:55-57]  “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

[Romans 8:35-39, but really, read the WHOLE chapter] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

[John 11:25-26]  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?

…and there are many more, but hopefully this is a start for you. This world is nasty, sin-stained, filled with death, but…

Our God is love, pure and perfect, and filled with Life; a life that is your’s through faith in Jesus Christ. So as chaos reeks havoc in this world, cling to Jesus. May the only answer you search for and cling to be

JESUS.

Mighty and holy God, I lift up to You those affected by this tragic shooting. May family, friends and loved ones know Your love and the hope of the resurrection. Evil may have it’s day in this world but You have overcome this world. May we cling to THAT reality. All praise, glory and worship be to You, oh God, through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

The Pastor -|—

A Life a Worship ~ A Blessing

As many of you are finishing your corporate worship services to continue your life of worship; receive this blessing as you enter the mission field around you:

May your love for God burst forth through your words and deeds.
May forgiveness be the rule for your life.
May grace abound in all that you do.
May patience be extended to all.
And may evil never get a foothold in your heart;
separating you from others.

And now may the peace that surpasses all understanding,
guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus our Lord,

Amen.

The Pastor -|—

You Need Nothing ~ An Offering Prayer

To suggest that You need anything,
Oh God,
is to suggest that You are not sovereign
and thus not self-sufficient.
To think that You need our meager gifts is to think You are impotent without us. May we never think thus.

Rather, may these gifts be an extension of our faith;
our response to Your amazing grace;
for we give not because the church needs these gifts
but rather
we need to give as an outlet to show our love for You.

So bless and multiply these gifts as You see fit that You may be glorified in this unholy world.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Mighty God ~ An Opening Prayer

Mighty God, holy Father,
Your power and majesty go beyond all human understanding
and comprehension.
Your grace breaks through the hardest of hearts.
Your peace puts at ease the most anxious of souls.

Mighty God,
may the truth of Your power be revealed to us through Your Word
and may our faith grab hold of Your majesty and never let go.
May we continue to go deeper in You
and may the Gospel continue to give us hope.

And so we fall at Your feet in worship to praise Your holy name
and to be built up into a holy people sent out into an unholy world.
May we never be found lacking
and may we never be drawn to the lords of this world
whose promises are shallow.

All praise and honor and glory and worship be to You,
Mighty God,
through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

The Pastor -|—