In our supplement, there is a quote from CS Lewis on prayer that says, "The prayer preceding all prayer is, 'May it be the real I that speaks. May it be the real Thou that I speak to'."
Lewis picked up on Jesus comment to the women at the well that true worship is done is spirit and in truth.
When we come before the Lord, He desires us to bring the fullness of ourselves into His presence, to be open to receiving from Him the truth about who He is and the truth about who we are. It is in the arena of truth that we are able to receive and rest in the words that "those who hope on the Lord will renew their strength." (Isaiah 40.31)
Today we need to pray for strength and renewal for those in our midst who need God's comfort.
We want to give God thanks for the Annual Conference meetings that took place Friday and yesterday. We want to rejoice with the newly ordained elders in our church, Rev. Rick Boyd and Rev. Dwight Winter.
We want to pray for events coming this week – National Bible Quiz meet in Rochester and our team leaves today, Conference Young Teen Camp begins tomorrow, tonight the Wilmore Camp Meeting begins.
This week, Nathan Liversedge and his family travel to Annapolis, Maryland where Nathan will enter the Naval Academy. We want to pray for Nathan and his parents.
These are just a few things that we need to lift before God as a people.
We're going to sing again and as we do, if you'd like to come and pray at the altar, please do, this is a good place to pray.
Let us lift up our prayers to the Lord.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth – the heavens and the earth are full of your glory, this is the song of the angels and saints, and we join our voices with the choir. In praise and awe we have gathered in this place to worship you, to extol your name. You are the Creator of the universe yet, as we're reminded by Isaiah, you also care for our concerns. You long to have your creation, the people of your hand, turn and with a full face talk with you as a friend talks with a friend. You O Lord are our creator and our friend.
We confess that as we pray we do not always live lives that reflect the truth that we know. There are times when we act as if we're the creator of our universe, and in those moments we sin against you and against others. There are times when we forget that you are a friend who will never fail us – and in anxious moments we can find our faith wavering.
Bind us to you, bind our wandering hearts to you. Father speak in this moment, Holy Spirit stir in us ears to hear of the nature of the Father and see the love of Jesus.
With grateful hearts we rejoice in the work you've done and are doing in the lives of Pastor Winter and Rev. Boyd. We thank you for placing upon them the mantle of a shepherd under the good shepherd. As they have heard your call and received your consecration – help us all to hear the call you would have for our lives. Grant us wisdom to use the gifts you've given us in pleasing ways. We pray for Nathan Liversedge as he embarks upon entering the Naval Academy. We trust that your presence will be his source of strength and refuge. We pray for all our young people, and especially those in this period of transition that you would continue your Good work in them. May they grow in grace and love for you and their neighbor.
We're thankful for the work of our Quiz Team and we commission them for the week ahead. Bless their travels. May your spirit take the word they have studied and plant your nature deep in their lives that they may bring to you and all the world fruit of goodness and peace.
We pray for those among us who may be in some trouble, or trial. We remember to you Cassie Shearer and pray for your healing touch in her life. For all those who suffer with a consistent pain, we pray for your mercy.
We're thankful that to Israel you provided Isaiah – who carried forth your word. In our day we're thankful for your church and your people who carry your words of life. We lift up to you the work of Wilmore Camp meeting this week – may you speak through your servants who offer themselves in service. We pray for the Young Teen Camp at Eagle Ridge – shape within the young people who gather a holy imagination and grant to them a hunger for your holy fire.
We lift to you also the joys and the needs of our own lives
Now hear us as we say the prayer Jesus taught his disciple as we pray
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, and 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, power, and the glory, now and forever. Amen.