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Our Father, the days go by fast. Before we live the days ahead of us, they always seem so long. After they have passed, they always seem so short. Lord, help the young to enjoy the good days that the Lord has given them. Help them to enjoy living without pain. Help them to find contentment in the blessings they have. For soon, the evil days come, when a man may say that he has no joy in them. The body grows old and the mind forgets so much. We pursue sleep and it runs from us. Trials and betrayal can make us bitter. Failure humbles us. Success fools us because we think it alone will give us happiness. Money cannot heal a broken heart, and wealth does not protect us from tragedy.
O Lord, we are clay in the hands of the potter. We are but creatures and You are the Creator. You are sovereign. We take part in the great theatre of living. You write the play and we live it. You direct the scenes and we followed the script. Lord, we are in Thy hands. Our times are decreed and our days are numbered. Some days we cry a lot, and some days we laugh a lot. We are called to trust that You have decreed every detail, and that all things work together for good for those who love Thee and who have been called according to Your purpose.
Lord, the world is full of the rich and the poor. It is made of superiors and inferiors. We all have our stations in life. Some are rulers and some are to be ruled. Some are fast and some are slow. Some are given many friends and some are lonely. Some are healthy into old age, and others suffer from their youth. Nations rise and nations fall. The proud are cut down and the humble are raised up. Children are neglected. Wives are abused. Men go without work. Hurricanes arise from the sea and tornados move across the land. Oil spews into the waters, and heat dries up the crops. The baby cries and the mother weeps. The son runs away and the father grieves. Lord, it is too much for us to understand. It is a mystery too great for us.
Lord, we thank Thee for Thy word. In a world full of mystery and confusion, we know that even though the grass withers and the flower fades, the word of the Lord shall endure forever. Jesus Christ is our rock. We are not ashamed of Him.
Lord, help us in our fight against sin. Sin destroys churches. It breaks the family into pieces. It brings nations to their end. It arises from within ourselves. It is ugly. It is powerful. It kills both the spirit and the body. O Lord, keep us sane. The distance between us and insanity is very short. One crisis can bring the house down. One tragedy can change joy into sorrow and sweetness into bitterness. Lord, be our shield and protector. Be our sanity and our rock.
Lord, we confess that You are the only true God. We confess that all other gods are idols. You alone are worthy of our worship. We cannot worship man for he returns to dust. We cannot worship the civil magistrate, for they only rule under Your sovereignty. We cannot worship our wives or our husbands for they are fragile and weak. Lord, you alone are worthy of our worship.
Lord, give us grace to live by faith and not by sight. Help us to know that here at this very moment, You are in our midst. What we do not see now, someday we shall see clearly. What we cannot understand now, someday we shall understand fully.
Lord, we live in a day when the doctrines of the Church are becoming unimportant. People no longer read. People no longer study the writings of the saints of old. We have become managers and entrepreneurs in the Church. We are in danger in forgetting that ultimately it is the preaching of the word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit that gives life to individuals and to churches. Grant unto us the boldness to be faithful. Grant unto us the knowledge that through tribulation we must enter the kingdom of God. Grant unto us the will to be stubborn with it comes to righteousness and the heart to be kind and generous when our brothers cry for help.
Guide us in our worship today. Lead us as a Shepherd leads his sheep. Hear us when we pray. Be pleased when we sing. Grant power to the preaching of Thy word. Give us true fellowship with one another. All these things we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.