Pastoral Prayers 21-25
Pastoral Prayer #21
Pastoral Prayer for Easter Season (weeks before)
By Ed Vasicek
We know the most important thing about us is what we believe about You. This includes Who You are and what You have done.
But it also involves where You focus Your attention and what brings You glory. And nothing glorifies You like the atoning death of Your Son on the cross for our sins, His burial, His victorious resurrection, His ascension, an then the special coming of Your Spirit.
Although we appreciate the reality that Christ died for our sins, and we rehearse this truth often in our minds as we pray, read, or partake of the Lord’s Supper, we give special attention to the events surrounding His crucifixion and resurrection this time of year. We set aside Good Friday to focus on His cruel but necessary sacrificial death. We celebrate the victory of His resurrection in real time and space on Easter Sunday.
Father, as we enter this special season, we seek to draw close to You. Help us deal with the sins that rob us of complete harmony and fellowship with You. Help us appreciate anew the price of our salvation. We glory in the fact that salvation is offered to us as a free gift. But sometimes we fail to appreciate that You had to pay the price for that gift, for we could not. We can only appreciate some of the aspects of that payment. We will praise You with thankfulness and awe.
When Jesus died, the Greek text says He shouted, “tetelesthai,” a term for “paid in full.” Some of our versions translate it as, “It is finished.” We sing the hymn, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.” This is certainly true. We are complete in Christ and now wear His righteousness as our own.
So, Lord, help us to become holier and more dedicated to You as we turn our hearts toward the cross and the empty tomb. Help us make time to ponder anew the mysteries and wonders of Calvary.
Lord, we give our worries, cares, concerns, problems, and needs to You. We bring some of them before Your throne silently:
We pray, O God, that you might recharge our souls through today’s service. Help us to leave here inspired, content, trusting You with our struggles. May we grow just a little in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray in His Name, Amen.
Resurrection Sunday (Easter)
Prayer # 22
By Ed Vasicek
Dear God, it is the first day of the week. Nearly 2,000 years ago, on the morning of the Feast of Firstfruits, the earth quaked in Jerusalem, an angel appeared and rolled the stone away from Jesus’ tomb. The Savior arose in His same body, though transformed into an immortal body. He walked through the wrappings that had bound his sacrificially dead state. He emerged from the tomb the Conqueror.
Our God, we are exuberant, elated, and enthusiastic when we ponder the fact that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead! Death has lost its sting and the grave its victory. Instead, we have the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Lord Jesus had finishing paying our sin debt while on the cross He shouted, “It is finished.” This was the ancient phrase to indicate “paid in full.” He had atoned for our sins and the sins of the world. The provision was made. Salvation was now available for all who repent and trust Jesus’ atoning work on their behalf.
The powers of hell, the bondage of sin, and all aspects of the Kingdom of Darkness have been conquered. We look forward to the day when the Victor, our Lord Jesus Christ, returns and the kingdom of this world will become of Kingdom of our God, and of His Christ.
Not only is the grave empty and the Savior risen, but He indwells those who trust Him by His Spirit. As Your Word tells us, Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Romans 8:9).
So, by Your power, Jesus Christ is conquering in our lives. We fight numerous battles against the world, the flesh, and the devil. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
So, Father, help us to live in light of a Living Savior, the Risen Victor, the One Who died for our sins, was buried, rose on the third day, and is now ascended to heaven, sitting at the Father’s right hand.
Lord, we have many burdens and concerns in our lives; right now, we take a moment to commune with You, the lord of Life, and present them silently:
Lord, we thank You once again that our Savior is risen. He is risen indeed. We praise You and thank You. In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Pastoral Prayer #23
By Ed Vasicek
Lord, our Lord, how wonderful it is to be the sheep of Your pasture. You have included us in Your fold, and You lead us as our Good Shepherd.
Father, some of Your children are struggling, some barely finding the energy and motivation to get through the day. We pray for those who are battling the ogre of depression. Lord, we know being down and depressed is part of life, but sometimes it goes on too long and we become too low. Help the downcast to find hope in You, cheer their spirits and give them hope, O Lord. Help us all the see the tokens of Your grace and the evidence of Your working in our lives. Open our eyes, for You are at work in us, both to will and to do of Your good pleasure. When we have no more within us to give, we can then best draw upon the streams of living water that Your Spirit causes to flow from our innermost being. You are with us in the dark valleys, and You offer Your hand to lift us to a better level.
Help us, O Lord, as we battle with our own arrogance. We know that pride comes before destruction. We also know that You resist the proud, but give grace to the humble. Sometimes our arrogance masquerades as a sense of failure, as though we have not reached our potential and are meant to be above where we are. Spiritually, this may be true. But in so many instances, our arrogance can tell us we are entitled to more, to better, to greater heights. Help us stifle this cloaked arrogance and to learn the art of being content. At the same time, do not allow contentment to become complacency, especially in the spiritual and relational realms.
Father, when we consider our lives, our families, our friends, our fellow Christians, and our nation, we are overwhelmed by a plethora of needs. We take a moment to commit just a few of them to You:
Lord, help us to be faithful to You, Bind the evil one as he tries to discourage our faithfulness to you by replacing You as life’s priority. It is so easy for us to put our self-interests above You, O Lord. And we often are not even conscious that we are doing this.
We pray, dear Lord, for all true ministers of the Gospel, all evangelists faithfully proclaiming the Word, and missionaries who are faithfully serving You. Prosper their attempts at ministry, and give them fruit for their labor to Your glory.
As we continue in our time together, minister to us through what we do today. We ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Pastoral Prayer # 24
By Ed Vasicek
We worship You, Yahweh, as the omniscient God, the God Who knows all, down to the minutest particle of an atom. There is no one You do not see; You know the number of hairs on our heads. You keep a count of every sparrow.
But You do not merely see the visible, You see the invisible just as clearly. Thank You that we do not have to spend time defending or rationalizing our choices before You. You know our hearts, you know our thoughts, you even know the way we deceive ourselves.
Help us, therefore, to readily confess our sins and ask Your forgiveness. Help us to humble ourselves before You, for You give grace to the humble but resist the proud. We do not want You to distance Yourself in response to our pride, but to draw near in response to our humility.
Lord, Youi are not distant; You care about our lives, even the details of our lives. Your Spirit grieves when we make wrong or foolish choices. You hold us accountable to the standards You have revealed in Your Word, yet You know that we fall short every day.
Father, we want our lives to be happy. We want to feel good about ourselves and our lot in life. We are certainly not wrong to want to enjoy life, but sometimes that is not what You have for us. Sometimes You lead us through the wilderness through dry and thirsty lands. You do not promise to make our lives easy, but You do promise to never leave us or forsake us. And You are actively developing us – sometimes through trials – that we might be more Christ-like and thus glorify You.
Still, Lord, we remember that often we have not because we ask not. So we take a few moments to present our requests before you silently:
Father, we pray for all true servants of the gospel, that You would bless their efforts at sharing Christ and making disciples. We know that You are the God Who can grant the repentance that leads to life. It is by Your grace, not our works or rituals, that You save us. We pray that our lost family, friends, neighbors, workers, and acquaintances would turn from their sin and embrace the atoning work of Jesus Christ as the basis for their forgiveness. Thank You that because He lives, we too shall live.
Help us, O Lord, to be filled with Your Spirit. May His fruit be clearly evidenced in our dispositions and lives. We lift our hearts to You, O Lord, Maker, Redeemer, and Sustainer.
We pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.