Monday, August 29, 2005

In the Sanctuary of God - A Pastoral Prayer

Psalm 73.17 - Then one day I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I thought about the destiny of the wicked.

The Psalmist tells us that when he entered the sanctuary of God, he gained a new perspective on life. That’s what happens when we come before God in prayer - standing, sitting, or kneeling before Yahweh, the trivial crumbles away, the anger of the moment is muted by divine love, the pain of rejection is met with the healing arms of the good shepherd, the laughter of our frivolity becomes a grain of sand in the land of deep true joy. Coming before Yahweh we are granted a new orientation. From whatever corner of the earth we come from, with whatever life story, in multifarious tongues we proclaim, “It’s good to be near to God.”

As we prepare to pray with one heart and voice I’d invite you to join me in
Praising God for
- His marvelous creation; the beauty that inspires and blesses us
- His merciful redemption; His wonderful care over Del and Lynn Searls
- His abiding presence; the granting of peace to Alberta Montgomery, to Patti Fiskeaux in the loss of her father, and Earl Bowen in the loss of his mother
Petitioning God for
- the lost, those who run from God’s house in body mind and spirit
- those who are confused , whose mind and mental processes hinder their joy in life
- those who are sick and in need of healing; Tim Frederick
- those in Financial need, that God’s provision would be evident
- those who are discouraged, especially because of set-backs or in plans that didn’t come to fruition
- for the ministry of Mom 2 Mom, that it would be a place of encouragement
- for the church in Zimbabwe, that it would have strength to minister even as it faces its own lack of resources

We’re going to sing again, please feel welcome to come, kneel and pray at the altar.

Following the pastoral prayer I invite you to join me in saying the prayer Jesus taught us, using the phrase “forgive us our sins.”

Let us lift up our hearts to the Lord.

Praise my soul, the king of heaven, to thy throne thy tribute bring; ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, ever more God’s praises sing. Alleluia, Alleluia! Praise the everlasting King.

Almighty God, ruler all Glorious, High King of Heaven we bring you the tribute
of our lives. Through your mighty acts in the story of our world and of our lives you have incorporated us into the life of your Son our Saviour, Jesus the Christ. Through His life within us and the presence of the blessed Holy Spirit we know what it is to be forgiven, ransomed, healed and restored. Some of us are at a stage of rejoicing while others are looking through the glass darkly entrenched in the working out of our salvation. Yet in the face of seeming personal joy or sorrow we join our voices with that of the angels and saints to sing your eternal praise - for it is your life we desire, your love we hunger for, your water that quenches our thirst, your communion that makes us real people in real community.

As we are gathered in a community before you, Father, we pray that you would speak and guide our corporate life. There are many opportunities for division in our families, homes, places of vocation and worship. We pray that you would incline our hearts to your, that we may be as servants to our fellow pilgrims, that your joy and self-giving would flow through our veins, that we would always seek your glory and not our own.
As we have gathered in your house, before your presence, we pray for your word to search our hearts and lift the fog of our cultural conceptions that we might gaze on your glory and life. Prove us and our notions of you that our hearts may rejoice in walking with you.

Know that we rejoice in your many blessings that you have granted to our lives; family, friends, colleagues, for a sense of purpose in life, for setting before us tasks that stretch our imagination and faith in you. For those things we call bad or hurtful, in your time, at your good pleasure you do the miraculous and let us glimpse just briefly the life of Jesus - you let us identify with his sufferings so that we can rest secure in the promise of His resurrection.
Thank you for the peace you’ve given to Alberta Montgomery and to all who are troubled.
Thank you for the testimony our senior adults are to your faithfulness and ever abiding mercy.
We ask that you would hear our personal prayers, as well as the prayers we lift with one voice.
- for the lost, we pray for a faithful and clear witness of friends and family
- for those with mental illness we pray for healing and the restoration of your joy
- for the sick, we pray for the healing power of Christ Jesus
- for the discouraged, lift up their head, open their ears, so that they may see and rejoice in your salvation
- for the ministries of this church, especially mom 2 Mom, we pray for blessing and encouragement for moms, their children and their families
- for our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe, grant courage and grace in a time of great need.
Hear the prayers of those at this altar,
Hear us as we pray the prayer Jesus taught us, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

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