Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Pastoral Prayer - June 4, 2006

Today is Pentecost Sunday. Today, we are reminded that the church found its birth, when the Holy Spirit came on the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem. Today we are reminded that Jesus’ words to his disciples are fulfilled; the Spirit guides Jesus’ followers into truth. Today we are reminded that we have a great helper in the Spirit, for when we are weak, or don’t know how or what to pray - either in our sorrow or joy, the Spirit searches our hearts and brings to us the will of God.
Today as we have gathered to pray, the Spirit is searching us, drawing out of us even that which we are unaware of, so that we my pray in accordance with the purposes of God. We do not come to pray in our own strength, or with our own understanding alone; in coming to prayer, we enter a divine moment when spirit speaks with Spirit.

Today we will give God thanks for his blessing among us, we will pray for our needs. We will pray for Nate, Kimberly & Davies McMurphy as they prepare to leave our environs and take up serving the Lord in North Carolina. We will pray for those serving the Lord abroad, especially A & R, we will join our prayers with Christians around the world to pray for Children at Risk, and we will pray for Vacation Bible School. We invite those who will be working VBS to come and pray at the altar as we embark on this special mission. We also invite anyone who would like to pray at the altar to come as we sing once again, “Hear our prayer, O Lord.”
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Let us take on this holy task with joy.

Heavenly Father, Eternal Son, Ever Present Spirit, One God, today we gather in your name. We gather as the people of your creation, redemption, and sanctification. We gather with grateful hearts that have been brought to life by your creative hands, redeemed with your healing hands, and gathered into a new community - the church by your enfolding and leading hands. Through your church, which has been led by your Spirit, we have been introduced to Jesus, the righteous one in whom our broken and wayward lives find healing and truth.
How shall we express this glory? The songs that we sing, the lives we live, seem but the work of young child learning to ride a bike. But a child’s heart is what you desire is it not? So we come, grateful, joyful, take our songs, or prayers, or dreams and mingle them with that of the angels and the saints and be glorified O God.
Today we are anticipating VBS - trusting that through the efforts of this next week young children from our community will encounter You, and that there will be new lives included in Your fold. As we commit this week to you, we pray for needed strength, encouragement, patience and persistence for workers. We pray for the children who come that they may be blessed by your Spirit. As we think about these children we are also burdened by the needs of our culture and our neighborhood, we lift up the needs of children who are at risk, who because of poverty, sickness or the lack of a caring adult suffer in the most elemental necessities of life. We pray for your kingdom to come. Help us to bold enough to pray for your kingdom to come through us.
We are thankful for the lives of the McMurphy’s and are grateful for their presence among us. As they prepare to move to a new home and engage in ministry we bless them and ask for your wisdom to lead them and your peace to uphold them in their journey.
Today we also remember our friends A & R to you, asking that you would do for them what you did for Moses and the children of Israel. Make a way through a difficult land, and grant them peace for the journey.
We rejoice with David and Cammi Hannah, and the new family that began yesterday under the shadow of your blessing. Grant to them, and to all married persons wisdom and grace for the ordering of their lives together.
We thank you for bringing healing to Lois Bauer. We remember to you those who are sick and plead for your mercies.
For those things that have gone unspoken, we lift them to you now . . .
(Together let us sing the prayer we began with.)
Hear our Prayer O Lord
Hear our Prayer O Lord
Incline thy ear to us, and Grant us thy peace. Amen.

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