Pastoral Prayer #46
By Ed Vasicek
O Lord, You have called us to serve You as a kingdom of priests, mediators between You and those who do not know Christ. It is a great privilege but a solemn responsibility. When we see those around us rebelling against You and we try to influence them to turn to You, our attempts are sometimes met with contempt or, more often, indifference. Inwardly we weep before You, especially when those we love choose to alienate themselves further from You and Your holy will.
We thanks You for the thousands who come to Christ each day. We pray that we would soon have an opportunity to lead a wanderer to the Good Shepherd. Use us, we pray.
Father, we know that You supply us with the strength we need to serve You. We can glorify You in our lives, whether others respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ or not. You call us to be faithful, and, with Your help, we can serve You faithfully, despite Satan, the world, and the flesh. We have not found this easy, we must confess.
Lord, it is so easy for us to compromise our doctrinal convictions and our moral convictions. We thank You, Lord, for the grace that helps us persevere, and the grace that keeps us joyful, fresh, and vibrant in our walks with You. When we are tempted to be bitter, You patiently work with us and – sometimes slowly – You help us to release our bitter feelings to You, the One Who will judge all thoughts and actions, the One Who will right all wrongs.
We especially pray for the millions of Christians who live in lands where persecution and ostracism are a constant threat. We pray for our brothers and sisters in camps and prisons for their faith; we pray for believers who have had their families taken from them because of their faith. We pray for those who are physically handicapped because of their faith. Minister to them, and may their captors and persecutors be won to the faith they are trying to destroy.
Yahweh, we delight in praising Your Name, in studying Your Word, and in walking with You. You are never out of date or behind the times. You are always the great, “I Am,” not the “I Was.” Your Word is up to date. We thank You that You always ahead of the curve, never taken by surprise, never swayed by fads or social engineering. You are our stable Rock.
Thank You for redeeming us through the blood of Jesus Christ, the blood that never loses its power to cleanse and forgive. Thank You for Your Spirit Who cries out within us “Abba, Father!” May we remove all obstacles to the Spirit’s work within us, that we might bear the fruit of the Spirit.
And now, Lord, we bring a few of our requests before You silently:
Please minister to us during the remainder of our service as we continue to keep our eyes on You.
We pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Pastoral Prayer # 47
By Ed Vasicek
Lord Yahweh, we delight in You for you are delightful. You Yourself take joy in Your character and in Your wonderful creation; certainly, we Your children through faith in Jesus Christ are right to delight in You. We find ourselves satisfied only in You. Our sinful nature, the world, and the devil combine their forces to make us discontent; Your will is that we find contentment in You, Your Word, Your people, and Your sovereign workings in our lives. We admit that we often struggle and sometimes fail. Still, You help us to pursue contentment, but not complacency. Keep us from confusing the two.
Father, You are perfect in every way and lack nothing. You possess all desirable attributes. You are a magnificent and majestic God.
Help us, O Lord, to avoid arrogance. Keep us from speaking with confidence when we know little. Remind us that we do not know what we do not know. It is so easy to have simplistic answers to the complexities of life. You, in contrast, understand all. You know how one action leads to another, how one hurt keeps us from seeing clearly, how entangled webs make simple solutions impossible. We thank You that You are the God Who helps us deal with what is, rather than what should be.
Lord, we need the knowledge of You that comes from spending time in Your Word. But knowledge is only good if we apply it and live in light of it. So help us to learn and then to do. We often find ourselves with good intentions, but we may not always follow through. Help us to be cautious about making commitments, but, when we do, help us to honor them. You, O Lord, are our example. You do not promise us a life of ease, but what You do promise You keep, in Your time. Thank You that You are an honest God, yet a God Who is patient with we who sometimes even lie to our own selves.
Father, sin is addictive. When You called us to turn from our sin and turn to You, we had the desire to do just that. But we find that, although Christ has freed us from slavery to sin, we are conditioned to still allow sin its way. As we gain more and more victories, keep us progressing, even if it is three steps forward and two back. Thank You for patiently working within us to conform us to the image of Your dear Son.
Lord, we pray for our world; we think of the people of Ukraine, and pray that the war there will soon end. We pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters spread throughout the world. We pray for our nation, president, senators, representatives, judges, state and local officials, that they would find You and that You would create in them a desire to please You above all. We pray also for hurricane victims.
We bring our personal requests before You silently now:
Thank You, Lord, for hearing us, because we pray in the merit of and by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Pastoral Prayer # 48
By Ed Vasicek
Great God and Creator of All, Lord Yahweh Who was and is and is to come:
Early in Your creative week, You created light. True life begins with light. You are our light. You open the eyes of our hearts to understand Who You are. If it were not for Your Spirit preparing our hearts, we would not have grasped that You offer salvation to the repentant free of charge – to us, that is. We would not have understood that when Jesus said, "It is finished," it was. The full price for our redemption had been paid. By receiving Christ as my Savior through faith, we now have eternal life. It is not just something we will have on day; if we are in Christ, we already have it! We no longer need hope that our sins are forgiven, we know they are. We do not have to guess that we have eternal life, we can know that we do. (1 John 5:11-13)
Your light extends to our ability to perceive spiritual truths. We find ourselves drawn to Scripture like a newborn babe is draw to her mother’s milk. Thank You that You are the God Who gives light. As David put it, “You are my light and my salvation” (Psalm 27:1).
Lord, Your Word tells us to cast all our anxiety upon You, because You care for us (1 Peter 5:7). We remember Jesus in Gethsemane and how stressed He was. He sweat drops of blood. He felt the sting of the trauma He had to face, and it wore on Him. But You strengthened Him, gave Him the courage to go on and in the end, worked things for a greater good.
So we too feel the stress of difficult situations and trials. You, O Lord, are not like an upper drug that constantly makes us feel elated. Just as You helped Your incarnate Son through the times of stress, so You help us through our times of stress, as small as they are in comparison. We find relief and the ability to go on through Your strength, but it is not until we are immortal that we will cease to experience pain, whether physical, spiritual, relational, or psychological.
Father, our world and our country has, by and large, turned far from You. Sometimes we feel like righteous Lot in the midst of Sodom, and our souls are vexed because of it. Remind us that You have put us here, in the segment of time and space we occupy. You want us to be involved by growing as disciples and making disciples, no matter where the society meanders. We do not feel like we are up to the challenge. But we have never been up to the challenge. Our sufficiency comes from You. Remind us of this important truth.
Lord, we want to share some of our personal requests with you silently:
Father, it is good that we have gathered here together this day. Minister to us during the rest of this service. We bless Your Name, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.