Pastoral Prayers 36-40
Pastoral Prayer #36
Suggested by Isaiah 28
By Ed Vasicek
Lord, You are to us a Crown of Glory, a Diadem of Beauty. You are a just God, and we look forward to the time when Jesus our Lord reigns from Jerusalem, the just King over all the earth. We set the Name of Yahweh, and of Jesus, Yahweh incarnate, apart from all other Names. You are holy, perfectly pure, and completely separate from Your creation.
Lord, often those who learn about You reject You, and the faith is not passed down from one generation to the next. This breaks our hearts, O Lord, and we pray that You would work by Your Spirit. Regenerate the hearts and lives of those near and dear to us, we pray.
But our concerns are not merely local or national. You, O Lord, are saving people and calling them to yourself throughout the world. People of many languages are praising Your Name and taking up the baton of the Kingdom, and we praise Your Name for that. We pray for all true missionaries and evangelists, that You would give them fruit for their labors. We pray for all true believers to be faithful witnesses to the grace of God found in Jesus our Lord.
Lord Yahweh, You have given us Your Word, O Lord. What a gift. Though some mock it or ignore it, we have chosen to heed it. Your Word trumps all. With Your help, Lord, we will seek to obey Your Word. We cannot do this on our own; we need Your Spirit’s help.
Jesus Christ is the foundation of our lives. He is a tested stone, a precious cornerstone. We have believed in Him and will not stumble. We glory in His cross.
Father, we have needs in our lives. Right now, we take a moment to bring them before You:
Our church family has needs as well, and we bring them before You:
Lord, You know better than we, how that we do not belong in this godless world. Like righteous Lot in Sodom, our souls are vexed at the moral depravity around us. Even if others refuse to do so, we respect the boundaries You have set for the good of the human race. We pray that all may see that Your limitations are not imprisonments, but vehicles of freedom.
So, Lord, help us to walk with You this coming week, and bless the rest of our time together, we pray, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Pastoral Prayer #37
(suggested by Romans 5)
By Ed Vasicek
O Holy God, we thank You that, in your mercy, wisdom, and grace, You see fit to count people as not guilty for their sins when they place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Through faith in Him, we are no longer at enmity with You; we are at peace with You. We are no longer rebels, but have chosen to submit ourselves to You as our Lord and Master.
Because of You receiving, forgiving, and crediting Jesus’ righteousness to us, we now can appear freely before Your throne of grace with boldness and confidence. We know we are not condemned, but reporting for duty. All of this is by Your grace, not our deeds or merits.
Lord, we don’t know exactly why You allow problems, sadness, and tribulations to come to us; we wish it were otherwise. But we do know You use these things They produce patience, endurance and strength in us. You develop our character in this way, and You teach us to hope in You. Our hope in You is not disappointing. As a matter of fact, it is through this process that the Holy Spirit comforts us with Your love and develops an attitude of love in us, so that we love You and others more. We do wish there was an easier way. So we will trust You, even though we do not understand.
When we doubt Your love for us in our dark times, our minds are drawn to the cross. There, we see Your love poured out for us as we picture our Savior bleeding and suffering to atone for our sins, we who were so far away from You. We know You love of us not because of life or what we see in this world, but because of the cross. Jesus Christ reconciled us to You by His atoning death and victorious resurrection.
Father, we have many things on our hearts. We take a moment now to silently bring them before You.
We also pray for some of the needs in our church:
Lord, at this time we want to pray for peace and dignity and sanity to reign. We ask You to work in this world of ours.
And now, Lord, as we go forward in today’s service, we pray that You would speak to us through Your Word by Your Spirit. Help us leave here today a little stronger in our faith than when we came in.
We pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Pastoral Prayer #38
Loosely based on I Corinthians 1
By Ed Vasicek
Our Father, we greet You this morning with open hearts. You have set us apart because we have believed in Jesus and are now in Christ. We are part of Your body, the church. We fellowship and thus share with pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and lay people all over the world.
Lord, You saved us by Your favor, not our merit. We thank You for Your saving grace. We also thank you for the strength You provide us to live life in a way that honors You – Your strengthening grace. Our attempts to represent You are flawed at times, but, if not for Your strengthening, enabling grace, they would be even more flawed!
Help us, Lord, to get along with one another in the body of Christ. Keep us from making idols out of even good, godly leaders. Help us to identify as followers of Jesus Christ Who determine Your will from Your Word, not those who are part of Christian celebrity cults.
Lord, our message – that God offers salvation to each one by means of the atoning work of Jesus on the cross– that message is considered a silly fiction by many. Yet by the blood Jesus shed on the cross and by His victorious resurrection, we who believe experience the power of God in our lives.
The world’s wisdom can stimulate the intellect and ponder life’s mysteries, but it is not substitute for the clear revelation given in Your Word. To be a philosopher without Christ does not make one wise, not in the eternal sense. But to know Christ does. We are so grateful, O Lord, that You choose ordinary people to inherit Your kingdom, while those who trust in themselves and their own intellects are bypassed, at least until You humble them and work by Your Spirit in their hearts. It is by faith in Jesus Christ, not intellectual depth, that we are declared righteous by You because we are in Christ.
Today, Lord, we want to bring up a few requests for our church family, Your kingdom, and this world of ours:
We also present our personal requests before You.
Thank You, Lord, for Your watch care over us. Bind Satan, direct us toward paths of righteousness, provide for our needs, and help us to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. We pray in His Name, Amen.
Pastoral Prayer # 39
By Ed Vasicek
Lord, You are invisible to the human eye. Although you became a human in the Person of Your Son, Jesus Christ, the Bible did not even bother to describe how Jesus looked, because that really did not matter. He did not stand out from the crowd in appearance, and was numbered among His fellow Jewish brethren. No portrait was painted, no sketch drawn. You did not want us to worship an image or a painting, but to conceive of You as we should: the immortal, the invisible God. And to conceived of Your Son, our Savior, as one of us.
Lord, we find it difficult to understand how You can be present everywhere at the same time. We can perhaps conceive of You being in more than one place at the same time, but everywhere? You are an infinite God, without beginning or end. You are perfect in all Your ways, and You never err; You are never surprised.
Lord, that You should care about our church is amazing. That You should care about each one of us is even more amazing. Your Son described Himself as the God the Shepherd, and David described You as our Shepherd when he wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd.” And that You are. You track each of Your sheep.
Lord sometimes we are tempted to wander from You, our Shepherd. Some of us may be tempted to isolate ourselves from the rest of the flock, as though we were better in some way: less of a hypocrite, more humble, or more reasonable. Keeps us from inflating our egos through being critical, as though we were the judge and jury; in truth, You are the judge and jury, and we don’t always fare well. Lord, arrogance shows up in our lives in so many ways. Help us to nip it in the bud and the face its ugliness in our own lives. Help us to stop competing with one another and to stop posturing for some sort of superiority. It is ingrained deep into our old nature.
Lord, we have some burdens on our minds or matters for prayer that concern us. We take a few moments to bring them before Your throne of grace:
Father, as we continue in the service, speak to us by Your Spirit through Your written Word. Chip away at our self-centered way of thinking, and form the character of Jesus Christ in our lives.
We pray for the persecuted church, all missionaries, evangelists, and all Christian workers who are true to Your Word. May their ministries be fruitful, may You grant them the wisdom that comes from Your Spirit, and send angels to watch and protect them. Use them in the lives of others and especially to bring glory to You.
We pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Pastoral Prayer # 40
By Ed Vasicek
We cannot understand how everything had a beginning, but You have not. You are self-derived; You created all, but no one created You. You are, by definition, the One Who has always been. Your name is Yahweh, the One Who was, is, and is the come, the One Who causes all to be. You speak the Word, and, behold, what You have said comes into existence. You are not just a stronger version of us: Your knowledge and power extend to infinity. You have limits, but your only limits are those of Your Nature. We thank You that it is not in Your nature to sin, to lie, or to do anything inconsistent with Who You are. You have all power and can do all sorts of things, but You cannot contradict Who You are. That is why You cannot lie, for You are completely holy and pure. And that is why we can trust You.
We thank You that You take pleasure in Your people when they gather in the Name of Your incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. He is present in a special way, a way in which He is not present otherwise, when we gather. We thank You that Your Holy Spirit works within the body of Christ, the church, and we thank You for His work in our lives. It is Your special presence, not a special location, that makes our gatherings unique.
We claim our victory over all the attacks of the evil one, and pray that he would not be allowed to interfere with what You want to do in our hearts this morning.
Lord, most of us have family members, friends, and acquaintances who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We pray that You would grant them the repentance that leads to life. We also know others who have made professions of faith, but, based upon their lifestyle and decisions, we wonder whether they truly know You. Our works indicate who we are within, and Jesus told us that we would know His disciples by their fruit. We pray that such beloved relatives and friends would make clear where they stand by the decisions they make, that we are not left to guess. And, Lord, we pray that they would stand with You and live in obedience to the teachings of Your Word.
Your Word instructs us to pray for those in authority, that we might be able to live peacefully and faithfully, fully expressing and sharing our faith. We pray for our president, vice-president, cabinet, Senate, House of Representatives, judges at all levels, governors, state legislators, and county and city government. May they support our efforts to promote righteousness, and may they take the posture of servants rather than task masters.
Lord, we have some personal requests to bring before You silently:
Father, we pray that You would continue to nurture our faith as a result of our presence here this morning. Provide us with enabling grace, through Your Spirit, to live out the teachings of Your Word, we pray, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.