Empower Me

Empower me,
oh God,
to live a life worthy of the Gospel.
Where there is hurt, use me to provide comfort.
Where there is conflict, use me to bring reconciliation.
Where there is hatred, use me to show love.
Where there is a need, use me to bless.
Holy God,
Creator and Redeemer,
may Your grace and lover spur me to stay in the game;
not becoming complacent,
and may I have the tenacity to never stop living for You.
All glory be unto You,
Oh God,
through Christ Jesus my Lord.
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Partnership in the Gospel

[Prayer of the Day for Sun, Sept 16, 2018, based on the preaching text from Phil. 1:3-11]

Holy God,
Through Your grace
You have called us to salvation
through faith in Jesus Christ.
Through Your Holy Spirit
You empower us to serve in Your kingdom.
Through Your Son, Jesus Christ,
You knit us together as a holy Church.
May we, together, work to advance the Gospel;
lifting one another up
and bearing one another’s burdens.
To You be the glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Pastor -|–

You Ways and Your Thoughts

Holy God,
the prophet Isaiah records Your words,
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Those words can be frustrating to sinners
who want what we want,
but I also take great comfort
that when everything seems out of control
and doesn’t make sense,
You really are in control.
And so, I come before You this morning in faith.
My life is in Your hands.
I don’t understand many things,
(and forgive me when I claim I do),
but You are God and thus I trust in You.
Mold me and shape me.
Renew me and remake me.
Guide me and lead me.
Transform me so that
my thoughts become Your thoughts,
and You ways become my ways.
I pray this through my Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

A Worship Prayer

Holy God,
We gather as fallen people;
defiled and lost;
crying out to You as a child runs to their loving parent seeking consolation.
We gather as redeemed people,
knowing from which we have been plucked;
the snare of death.
We gather as a worshiping people;
joyful and thankful
that You are God.
And so,
We adore You and praise You.
We worship You and glorify You;
for You are more than worthy.
Hear our cries;
receive our prayer;
accept our worship,
oh God, our Father;
Rock and redeemer.
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

One of those days

Yesterday I had one of those days. For some reason my mind was not focused; running in different directions. I felt like a little kid with an attention span of a…

[look, squirrel]

…you get my point right?

I did feel focused during the sermon [praise be to God] but everything else was just plain flat.

[look, another squirrel]

Yup, that was pretty much it.

When we, mercifully, got to the benediction my mind wandered again. I walked out from behind the altar, raised my hands to give the benediction I have been giving for over 14 years. I opened my mouth…and nothing. I proceeded to fumble for words for a moment and eventually spit out something that resembled a benediction; trying my best to make it sound that I changed it up on purpose. I think I failed on that as well. Thankfully, no one said anything, but now, if they are reading this, my secret is out.

This morning did not go much better. I dropped my kids off at their “Animal Camp” hosted by their preschool. On my way to work I was talking to my wife, saying “Miss Kristen and the lady who drives the big truck, are leading this week“. My wife laughed at me because I could not remember the name of the other teacher.

[Brenda is her name. I eventually did remember that.]

The only saving grace this morning is that my 9:30 appointment with some perspective new members called to reschedule due to illness. I hate to say this but that is probably a good thing. I probably would have sent them running to another church.

God, I need a brain reboot this morning.

[LOOK, SQUIRREL!]

Yup, definitely a reboot.

The Pastor -|—

Ascribe

Holy God, loving Father,
You anointed Jesus in the Jordan River
and proclaimed him Your beloved Son,
but all too often I overlook this very important fact;
that Jesus is not just your Son
but Your Son who died as the
perfect,
spotless lamb
for the atonement of our sins.
May I be drawn into an ever deeper understanding
of the divine nature of our Lord and Savior,
so much so,
that I ascribe to You what is due Your holy name;
for to see and know Jesus
is to see and know You.
All glory, strength and honor
be ascribed unto You,
oh God,
through Christ Jesus my Lord.
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

The Reason for Christmas

Holy Father,
As we inch ever closer to Christmas,
we are reminded that the point of all our preparations is
to worship our Savior,
Jesus,
who was born to die for us.
Many have suggested that Christmas has nothing to do with death,
but without the death and resurrection of Jesus,
we are left with nothing;
no hope,
no peace,
no JOY.
May the JOY of the Advent season fill our lives
so much so,
that Jesus radiates from us
and therefore brings You glory.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—