Our Father in Heaven, we are a needy people. First, we are a guilty people. We have sinned. We have broken Thy law. We have transgressed the Ten Commandments both in deed and in thought. When we sin, we feel dirty. Our conscience condemns us. We thank Thee that there is a promise based upon the completed work of Christ, that we can be washed as white as snow. The burden of guilt and the condemnation of our conscience no longer is our lot in life. We stand today in the righteousness of Jesus Christ as our Savior and our Redeemer.
Lord, we are a weak people. We are susceptible to disease and sickness. As we grow old, our bodies begin to slow down, ache, and decay. We cannot enjoy youth forever. Death can strike us suddenly. Disease can waste us away. Providence can come at us hard. Lord, we need strength. We also need wisdom. We need to understand why. Why me? Why me O Lord? We pray for wisdom. You promised that if we ask without doubting that we will be given the wisdom to understand our lot in life. We can find contentment in our suffering - no Lord, we can even find joy in our suffering. When we see the benefits of trials, then we can find something good. And when we find something good that will come from it all, then we can find joy.
Lord, we are a spoiled people. How can we live in such abundance of material blessings and not be spoiled? How can we escape the sins of our own generation? We have so much and yet there is so much discontentment.
Lord, we are a people who do not know how to think as God thinks. We are not well grounded in the principles of Thy Word. The Bible has become a mere story book in most churches. The Bible has become a crutch to help us feel better about ourselves, or to solve our problems so that we might be more happy than we are. Oh, how the deep things of God are missing in our churches. We are a mile wide and an inch deep. Few are the men who have the wisdom to apply the word of God to the issues of the day. Few are the men who have studied hard and long to rise above the fray of the modern mind.
There is so much at our fingers, from the preaching and teaching of the Word, from the great books that have been left to us by godly teachers, and yet we are often absent when we need to be present. We consider ourselves enlightened and do not see that we live in darkness. We have ignored instruction in Thy law for generations and we flounder in a cesspool of ignorance and sin.
Lord, what we do today will have a major impact upon future generations. If we continue in our ways today, our children will rise up and curse us. They will spit on our graves and trample them with their feet. As a generation, we will deserve it. We will leave them a nation moving in the direction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We will leave them a church divided into a thousand parts. We will leave them with the burden of great debt.
Lord, in spite of us, bless our children and our children's children. History shows us that the faith can be lost in two to three generations. Once we dilute the faith, once we compromise the truth, once we become apathetic, we seal the death of generations to come. What are jewels to us, may be considered worthless to them. We have fought the good fight. We have seen reformation. Lord, let it not stop with us.
Lord, bless the preaching of the Word. Bless those in our congregation who have the opportunity to be a witness to the lost and to witness to the lost. Give courage to our people to engage the lost, to call them to faith and repentance, and to pray for them. Lord, give us true conversions. We don't need mere professions of faith. We don't need merely more people sitting in the pew. We desire to see people converted in the sense that there is a revolution in their lives. Everything changes. The old man dies, and a new creature is created in Christ Jesus. Zeal for the Lord becomes a consuming fire. Lord, give us such conversions in these days when religion is so commonplace.
Grant this morning Your blessings upon us as we come to the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord, by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Christ's Name we pray. Amen.