Father, we have challenges ahead…challenges to make disciples, challenges to our unity, challenges in our interpretation and doctrine and challenges with our holiness. And we know that none of these are insurmountable with your power and presence.
So we pray, Lord, that you will continue to be patient with us. We pray that you will open our eyes, hearts and minds to be people of both Spirit and truth. We pray that our love for one another will grow and that we will not view each other as enemies but as brothers and sisters in Christ…that we will not merely see ourselves as your servants but as your children. We pray that we will not be “older brother” Christians who no longer know how to rejoice for those we are frustrated with. We also pray that we may not be “younger brother” Christians who throw away our relationship with you to indulge sinful passions. Instead, let us dwell in your house as your children…welcoming those who return and realizing that sometimes we are the ones walking back up the hill in shame and repentance…remove our sense of superiority and pride.
Father, we put our trust in you and in your unfailing love. We know you are sovereign and that you will see that your will is done. Teach us your will. We are not wise enough to see it on our own. We need your help. Come quickly to our aid! Humble us with your presence. May you be our greatest joy and gracefully let us rest in your presence.
God, we acknowledge that you created all things…so now, we ask that you will continue to create. Create in us a clean heart and a steadfast spirit. Create a fellowship of love and unity. Create a renewed acknowledgment of your Spirit. Create a people who have not just minds turned to you but hearts as well.
We acknowledge our own sinfulness, our own imperfection. We acknowledge that you alone are God and that you alone know all things. We confess that at times we have fallen for the lie that was there in the beginning…the lie that we can be like you…knowing all things…locking down all the answers…pinning you down on every conceivable opinion…speaking where you have been silent. Lord, we repent of putting words in your mouth and ask that you would humble us and remind us that we are not entitled to know all things. Though you have revealed great mysteries of ages past to the most simple among us, truths from of old hidden from ages past, there are still things about you we cannot know. Give us a peace about that and a renewed sense of awe…Lord, I am afraid many of us have lost our sense of awe about you. Remove our pride and replace it with humility and trust and reverence.
As you know, Father, there is another generation coming up that is going to have many challenges to their faith. We pray for our children and grand children. We pray for their hearts, their souls…their relationship with you and with each other. We pray that you would raise up a mighty generation that is passionate about you. We pray that they will not fall away and that we can be good stewards of all that you have given us…to make inroads of faith and connection with the church back to those who would come after us. We are concerned Lord because this world is an environment where faith will be challenged…we pray this challenge will only make them stronger. Help us to intentionally guide and train them to have hearts and minds set on you…that you would be their greatest desire.
Last Lord we praise you just for who you are. Regardless of anything we have done or haven’t done, you have been patient and gracious to us and we give you thanks. You alone are worthy of our praise. You alone are we here to please. We worship you and adore you and pray we can love others as you have loved us. Hallelujah, come Lord Jesus…it is in your name we pray, Amen!