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Our Father in Heaven, all of our time belongs to You and surely a few hours on Sunday is no burden to us. Lord, may our time here this morning among Your people be counted as a joy for us. May we indeed count it as the highlight of our week. For us, to go without worship is to find life empty and meaningless. For us, to go without the joy of the Lord’s Day is to slip back into a world without hope.
Lord, we come not to pay our respects for the dead but for the living. Jesus was dead, but behold He is alive forever more. His is risen and has ascended into Heaven at the very throne of God. This is our confession before the saints of God and before a watching world.
Our Father help us as a Church to reach out to one another. For many of us, we see each other on Sunday and that is the extent of our fellowship. Lord, it ought not to be that way. Yes, we are all so very busy. We have so much to do during the week. Help us to find ways to increase our fellowship and to extend our time with one another. Help us to get to know one another. We are a small church, and we should know each other by name. Lord, the day may come, when we really need one another. Help us not to wait until the day of crisis to get to know our brother. At some time, we will all need help, counsel, prayer, even just a visit. Lord, prepare us during the good times for the difficult times that may come.
Help us to be hospitable. Give us the gift of inviting others into our own homes. Help us not to think about such things as how our house looks, or how well we present ourselves. Help us just to be a friend. Help us to find joy by just showing interest in those who travel on this earth and who hold the same faith that we hold.
Our Father, we pray for the future of this Church. When changes come, may the Church be ready to accept those changes. Raise up among the young men leaders who can take on the responsibilities of oversight and service. Give us young men who will be able to assume leadership. Help the older men to mentor the younger men. Lord, this is Thy Church. It is not the Church of the pastor, the elders, the deacons, or even the charter members. It is Thy Church and may we see it grow and expand in the years to come.
Lord, we do pray for our country. The future does look bleak. Jobs are disappearing. The next generation will not know the material blessing of their parents. Struggling to survive is becoming more common. Children and grandchildren may have to move in with their parents. Some will have to take low-level jobs to get by. The days of wine and roses are just about gone. We have lived the good life, but what have we left for our children, but a mountain of debt, few jobs, and little hope for the future. Lord, prepare us for change.
Lord, shower Thy mercy upon the sick. Some of our people suffer so much. Some of our Christian friends suffer so much. Lord, relieve them of pain. Modern medicine can do great things, but it cannot do it all. Men still must die, and death itself may be preceded by suffering. Sometimes the young man is taken from our midst in an instant. Sometimes the mother is gone from her children suddenly. Lord, You have been very gracious to this Church. We have not known much tragedy like others in other places. We thank You for Thy grace.
Lord, bless our missionaries. Bless the teaching and preaching of the word. Lord, bless those who offer a cup of cold water to the sick and dying, but raise up men who will preach the word with boldness. Bless the old, old gospel of faith and repentance. Lord, unless there is a heart to turn from sin, all is fruitless. Unless there is a heart to flee to Christ, all is fruitless. Considering all that we do in the modern Church, unless there is the proclamation of the cross of Christ, all is fruitless. Lord, unless they hear, how can they believe? Unless the preacher is sent, how can they hear? Lord, send the preachers who will use the word of God to drive the word of God deep into men’s hearts. May the word of God slay us, that we might find life.
Our Father, may our worship be acceptable in Thy sight. Others do it better. Others use professionals. Others are bigger. Yea, Lord, may you find that nowhere else is there more sincerity than there is here. May you find that nowhere else is there such a heart to bring praise to the Almighty, Omnipotent, and Sovereign God. O Lord, so let it be here in the midst of our congregation. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.