An Easter Prayer of Faith

Holy and awesome God,
We come to this place this morning to worship YOU
because of the LIFE we have through faith in Jesus.
But I am keenly aware,
oh God,
that there may be people here this morning
only because they are visiting family
or because grandma and grandpa said,
“You’re going to worship this morning”
or because they were taught this is just what you do on Easter.
Whatever the case,
oh God,
I pray that the words I speak here may have power,
not because I say them,
but because they are ordained by YOU
and infused with Your Holy Spirit.
If it be Your will,
may someone who doesn’t know You come to faith,
so much so,
that they proclaim Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
May people be drawn to You
that You may be glorified.
And so, may the words of my mouth
and the meditations of our hearts
be acceptable to You,
oh God,
our rock and Redeemer,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

The Mission

Holy God,
what a relief it is that my
strength,
abilities,
knowledge,
credentials,
and the like
are not what you are looking for
to advance the kingdom of heaven.
As Luther said in his sacristy prayer,
“if it were left up to me I would surely bring it all to ruin”.
That is so true.
Rather,
you call the unqualified to proclaim Your Good News;
qualifying us through the Holy Spirit.
May we keep our eyes on You
and not turn inward; thinking either
“I am not qualified” and thus turn away from the mission,
or think,
“I am pretty good” and thus focus on our abilities; derailing the mission.
Holy God,
through Jesus Christ You redeemed us and empowered us.
May we not abandon the mission
but rather proclaim from the mountain top,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.
All praise, honor, glory and worship be unto You,
oh God,
through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen!

The Pastor -|—

Sunday Worship Prayers ~ God’s Kingdom

The preaching text for Sunday is Mark 10:17-31; the rich young man asking Jesus about what he needs to do to inherit eternal life. So the prayers today are Kingdom focused. Use them as you see fit that God may be glorified.

Opening prayer
It is our joy to enter this place of worship this morning. It is our joy to come into this place with our brothers and sisters in Christ to praise Your holy name. It is our joy to come into Your presence to worship You. And as we enter this time of worship, dismantle the walls of our kingdoms, that we have built, and grant us the faith to embrace Your Kingdom, oh God, through Christ Jesus our Lord. May we see Your beauty and flee from our filth. May we see Your holiness and flee from our sin. May we see Your power and flee from Satan. May we see Your love and flee from our selfishness. Holy Father, loving God, mighty King, establish us in Your Kingdom now, through the blood of Jesus, and cleanse us from all impurities. Receive our praise and hear our prayers as we joyfully assemble as Your beloved children. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Prayer before preaching
It’s Your Kingdom I desire, oh God. It’s Your salvation I seek.
It’s Your Kingdom I long for, oh God. It’s Your mercy I need.
It’s Your Kingdom I want, oh God. It’s Your love to which I cling.
And because it is all about Your Kingdom, I desire, seek and need Your Holy Spirit. I need the wisdom that only comes from You. I need Your strength through which I can truly be bold. I need Your Words through which faith and life are created. May Your will be done as I faithfully engage Your most holy Word. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

May God bless your day as you enjoy the hope of the resurrection; looking forward to eternity in God’s glorious Kingdom.

The Pastor -|—

Worship prayers for 05-03-15

Below are some more prayers I prepared for worship tomorrow (I posted the opening prayer yesterday). The text for preaching is Mark 9:42-50. This is the text of Jesus talking about the seriousness of sin. “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off…” For the sermon, I begin with some opening words from Jonathan Edward’s sermon from 1741 titled, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. It’s definitely one of those “fire and brimstone” type of sermons. I wish I had more time to share more from that sermon. If you haven’t read it, simply Google that sermon and you can find a copy to read. I would suggest finding an audio version to listen to.

So with that context I commend these prayers to you. May God bless your Sabbath day as you worship and praise our awesome God.

Prayer before the sermon
Oh God of power and might; worthy and righteous; holy and awesome. You hold our lives precariously in Your holy hands, and as sinners this should cause us to pause and shutter, because really, we are deserving to be dropped into the fires of hell. But You are also a God of compassion and mercy; love and forgiveness; A just God who sees our fallen-ness and our need for a Savior. So it is through Jesus Christ that we worship You and give You thanks.

Oh God, send Your Spirit that those who are here gathered, listening to Your words, may come to a holy fear of You but yet also run to You for mercy and know Your holy love. May sin be adhorant to us and may repentance be our daily worship of You. Through Jesus’ most holy name I pray, Amen.

Offering prayer
This offering here is an extension of our worship of You, oh God; as we place our lives into Your gracious and holy hands. We don’t give these gifts as an investment program; hoping to receive even more from You. We give these gifts because You are worthy and we give them as a matter of trust that You will continue to bless us to be a blessing to others. And so may these gifts bring glory to You, oh God, as we continue to share the love of Christ in this mission field. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Post-communion prayer
Holy Father, You have fed us with Your holy Word and now You have fed us with this holy food. And so with these may Your Spirit drive us to our Savior, Jesus Christ, as we humble ourselves with the fact that we are sinners worthy of hell. But through Christ’s redeeming work, You have shown amazing mercy. Send us forth, now, to live lives of worship and praise of You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Worship prayers for 04/26/15 (Belonging to Christ)

I offer these prayers to you for the glory of God; prayers written/compiled for worship on Sunday. A common thread running through many of these prayers is the theme of “belonging to Christ”. The sermon text is Mark 9:38-41 with the focus verse: [41] For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward. 

May God be glorified in our worship.

Opening prayer [the italicized portion are the words of Charles Spurgeon]
“Hallowed be Thy Name.” Oh that all the earth would ever reverence it. As for ourselves, enable us by Thy grace to use it with awe and trembling; and may a consideration of the glorious character which is intended by Thy gracious name, ever lay us in the very dust before Thee, and yet lift us up with holy joy and with an unwavering confidence. We come before Thee this morning through Christ Jesus to express our entire confidence in Thee. Oh God, may our songs and praises be pleasing to your ears as we come before You in humble obedience. All praise and worship to you, holy Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayer before the sermon
Holy Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to You, for You are worthy, oh God. May we be found faithful and obedient to Your Word and to Your commands. So please send Your Holy Spirit to give life to the words that I speak here this morning; that they may create and/or nourish faith. May the ears of those listening be turned away from me and directed towards You. May any praise that comes from the lips of those listening be directed towards You and not towards me. And therefore may all praise and glory and honor and worship be to You, holy Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayer after the sermon
Once again, holy Father, I ask that Your Holy Spirit may take the words I have spoken here and use them for Your glory. May those hearing these words this morning see their lives as belonging to Jesus, for without Jesus there is no life. It’s a hard thing to be submissive like this; to turn everything over to Jesus; including our very lives, but it’s our very lives You came to redeem from sin and death and the power of Satan. So send us forth as beloved children belonging to You through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Offering prayer
We offer these gifts this morning as an act of faith and worship; remembering that all that we have belongs to You. Be pleased to use them for Your glory and multiply these gifts as You see fit to advance Your kingdom. Through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom we belong, Amen.

Benediction/Blessing [based on Colossians 1:11-14]
May you be strengthened with all power, according to HIS glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. So go and make disciples; proclaiming this Good News, as people belonging to Jesus. Amen.

May the joy of the Lord give you hope and peace this day and always.

The Pastor -|—

Your Breathed Out Word ~ A Prayer

This is the prayer I wrote to be prayed before the sermon is preached. As I have said many times before, to approach God’s word is an awesome privilege and to proclaim God’s word is an awesome task. One should never enter God’s word without prayer; seeking the Spirit to guide you and open you ears to truly listen.

So may God bless your hearing of His word today.

Holy God,

Your holy word tells us that all Scripture is breathed out by You, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that we may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Your word has a holy purpose and therefore needs to be held in utmost respect.

And there is no where else to turn for words of life; for in the words of Peter to Jesus: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.

So may we take this to heart and not try to tinker with Your word, but listen to it and submit; trusting that You are righteous and true; no matter how hard it is to receive such a word.

And so may our hearts be right that we may receive Your word and therefore be transformed. In Jesus holy name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—