Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Pastoral Prayer, 10-16-2005, Fill our emptiness

O Let the Son of God enfold you with His Spirit and His Love, Let Him fill your life and satisfy your soul. . .
This song we’ve sung invites us, encourages us to do something that runs counter to the fleshly nature - to open our lives to the divine, to seek love and satisfaction from our maker and eternal parent.
This song speaks of brokenness, emptiness, and being imprisoned as the normal condition apart from our surrender and receptivity to the Spirit of God.
So we’re encouraged to listen, to be filled with the Spirit. We often come before God with something to say or to ask, yet the song reminds us that we need to come open handed, confessing our need, listening and receiving from the good Father.

Today we do come with many things to present to the Father:
- for the sick (Helen Carson, Carol Coulliette’s mother, Clyde Bunch)
- Students in the throes of papers, exams, juggling family and work
- those who are lost in Wilmore, the lost in our families
- those who are making decisions about their futures, High School seniors making applications for college, those in career transitions, those who are making plans for end of life needs
- those on the Katrina relief trip, including Pastor Daryl
- the elections in Iraq

Let us also come to listen, to let God speak with us about what may be hindering His work in our lives. Let us rest in His presence, drink from His cup the living water that quenches our thirst, receive from His Spirit the healing that will make us whole.

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.

In Christ alone, my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song; this cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease, my comforter, my all in all, here in the love of Christ I stand. (v.1 of In Christ Alone, by Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend)

Heavenly Father, Precious Son, Holy Spirit, one God in full communion, we enter the tent of your meeting. We come as pilgrims from a foreign land, we come as wayward sons and daughters, we come we broken spirits, we come with the
joy of good news bursting from our lips, we come with shoulders weighed down with grief, we come with the first fruits of faithfulness. We are a varied people, yet we gather together because we are united in our need of You.

We are in need of you and your power. We need your power in the events of our world:
. . . for those among us who have lost their strength; Clyde Bunch, Carol Coulliette’s mother, Helen Carson
. . . for those who are working in the southern part of our nation seeking to rebuild dreams and lives torn to shred by Hurricane Katrina , especially Pastor Daryl and our work team
. . . for students who are juggling the many demands of life
. . . for those with decisions on their mind
. . . for Iraq, its people, its peace, for those from our nation who are helping with the process of rebuilding and bringing liberty

Yet your power alone is not what we seek. Saul had your power, yet he was afflicted because his spirit ran contrary to yours. Saul wanted your protection and glory but on his terms. Speak us, show us where we display the spirit of Saul. . .

give us the grace to confess our sins. Fill our empty and broken spirits with your healing Spirit. Tune our affections to your perfect pitch. May the storms and blessings of this life compel us to stand in your tent and behold your glory.

Hear the prayers of those gathered at this altar, and hear us as we pray the prayer Jesus taught us
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by 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
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory
Forever and ever.

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