Pastoral Prayer: Armfuls of Gratitude

Father Almighty,

You have said that the one who offers thanksgiving as a sacrifice glorifies you, and because we long for your name to be exalted we bring you armfuls of gratitude.

Thank you for your kindness and common grace to all men. You make the sun rise and the rains fall on the just and unjust alike. You have bestowed gifts of intelligence, wisdom, character, and truth on all of your creatures. You’ve promised us that while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease. Father, thank you for the stability and firmness of your creation.

We bless you that Jesus Christ your Son came to seek and to save the lost and to deliver us from our selfishness, indolence, pride, and sloth. Thank you that in him we see the perfect picture of who we are called to be. Thank you that, in Christ, reconciling the world to yourself, and not counting our trespasses against us.

And we thank you for calling us and making us ministers of this message of reconciliation. Thank you for taking our bruised and broken lives and remaking them as trophies of your grace. Thank you that our obedience to your laws can become living testimonies to your truth. 

Father, as we have sat at your table, we have reason to say with the Psalmist that a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. 

Knowing that you possess all power and knowing that you delight to give good gifts to your children, we come to ask boldly. 

Father, give your church grace to persevere through this life. Keep us from stumbling into sin and hold back our hearts from presumptuous evil. Help us to never take advantage of your mercy, but to hate sin and shun evil. Make us people of personal integrity, even and especially when that integrity comes at personal cost. 

Father, we pray for all those who love the Lord Jesus that they would be one. Bring unity to the body of Christ in American and Brazil and New Zealand and Russia. We ask for the spread of the gospel to increase towards the ends of the earth. And we ask for spiritual awakening here in our own nation. Give your preachers to power and divine authority to proclaim Christ. Teach your church obedience and reverence for you above all others. Give us boldness to stand up for the truth and to stand against lies. Father, we ask that you’d shake when needs to be shaken in our nation so that the things which cannot be shaken will remain. 

We look forward to the day when the wolf will lie down with the lamb. When the weapons of warfare will be beaten into tools for farming. When Christ shall reign on the earth and every eye will see him.

Until that day, we ask that you lead us by your Word in the power of the Spirit, in Christ’s name, and for his sake. Amen.

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