Elder Prayer (5/8/22)

Lord, this morning we reach inside ourselves and with our whole heart that may be filled with hopes and fears, doubts and disappointments, sadness and joy, we choose to praise You.

We praise You by reflecting on and never forgetting who You are and what You have done.

When we truly consider the magnitude of our sin and rebellion against You, Your forgiveness extended to us should be staggering and a reason alone for continuous, unceasing praise.

Through the death and resurrection of Your precious Son, we are saved from separation from You, restored to a right relationship with You, so that we can experience Your love and tender mercies each day, in all of our circumstances. Because of what Jesus did for us, we are always on solid ground, and we come to You, freely and boldly.

You also fill our lives with good things that renew us each day, but that we often take for granted.  Shelter from the elements, food to strengthen our bodies, breath that fills our lungs, and Your Word and Spirit that equips and empowers us to be the lights You have called us to be. Lights in a world of darkness, where so many near and far don’t always enjoy these simple things and long for You and Your justice. 

You give us the gift of motherhood, and we remember today the steadfast sacrifice of compassionate and patient love that mothers demonstrate each day. May they feel your presence and blessing in their lives this day.

Lord, You are compassionate and merciful, slow to anger and filled with unfailing, loyal love and justice. And all through Your Word we see again and again as You demonstrate these. As many times as we see Your people fail, we see You forgive.

Thank You that You do the same for us. You don’t constantly accuse us, nor remain angry with us forever. You don’t punish us for our sins or deal harshly with us, as we deserve. Rather, You show us Your unfailing loyal love that knows no bounds. The punishment we deserved was borne by another, Jesus, who purchased for us on the cross what we could not afford, a mercy that endures forever.

You’re the perfect Father none of us has ever had, showing tender compassion to us as we follow You. Because You know how weak we are, that we’re only dust in the wind, wildflowers here today and gone tomorrow. We bloom and we die. You know our ignorance, our weakness, our foolishness, our pride, and You still show us amazing love.

Your love remains forever steadfast, to all those You call Your own. Your promises are forever faithful and true, to all those who follow You.

And among those precious promises is that You hear our cry. 

And we cry to You this morning, for Joan Simmers and the family as we mourn with them at Bill’s passing on to the glory of Your presence. 

We cry out for all those grieving and suffering as a result of this past week’s tragic deaths in our community. Use us Lord to show Your tender compassion by listening and crying with those hurting, while pointing them to the only real source of comfort, the Savior that they desperately need.

We cry out for the ongoing upheaval and unfathomable pain experienced by so many as a result of the conflict in Europe. 

We cry for some here this morning who, for them, Mother’s Day is not a day of celebration.

These are real cries, Lord. You hear them, You see them. You know and You care, because You experienced pain and suffering, and overcame it for the joy of knowing it was not for nothing. He accepted His cup. Whatever is in the cup that You offer to us, whether it be pain and sorrow and suffering and grief or the many joys we experience, help us be willing to accept it all because You are trustworthy. While we very often participate in Your Joy, remind us that You also call us to taste of Your beneficial afflictions. While healing our many afflictions, Lord, help us remember that although we suffer, suffering is never for nothing.

Despite the enormity of what we sometimes face, we call to our minds this morning Your rulership over all, even when we can’t see it in action. Your rulership is not dependent on what happens here on earth. Your purposes are being worked out, and there is no one who can thwart Your plan to reconcile all things to Yourself, so that You are glorified and we are one in You.

As we listen to Your Word proclaimed this morning, awaken our minds and hearts to hear and be conformed to the likeness of Your Son as You show each of us our part to be played in the grand drama of Your reconciliation process.

Meantime, we call out to all that You’ve created, to Praise You. We call out to Your Heavenly Hosts, the angels, who listen closely to Your commands to serve You obediently, to Praise You. We call out to a world all around us hurtling towards a Christless eternity, to Praise You.

Lord, this morning we reach inside ourselves and with our whole heart that may be filled with hopes and fears, doubts and disappointments, sadness and joy, we choose to praise You. For You are worthy of our praise. Amen.

~ Dave Kneller, Elder