Almighty God, you are unsearchable, yet we have had the privilege of gazing upon your glory in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We bring our tribute of praise to you. It is small and unworthy, for how can sinful man render sufficient praise to an infinitely holy God? Our righteousness is as filthy rags! And even the best of our praise and worship we can render to you, is tainted with sin! But in spite of all this, we humbly bring our small and unworthy tribute of praise with the assurance that you our God do not despise anything that seems to be little and insignificant if it is offered to you with a right attitude. You choose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are. You turn a gift of water into wine. And a widow’s two small copper coins, which are only worth a few cents, can be as valuable to you as gold. We therefor come to you as we are and with what we have, however unworthy it may seem to be, knowing that for Christ’s sake and in Christ’s name, you will graciously receive us and be glorified by our worship. Help us to commit to you our entire souls, minds, affection, and loyalty, withholding nothing.
Dear holy and loving God, when we approach to you in prayer today, we shamefully recognize, with broken hearts, that we have sinned against you every day and failed to live in accordance with your revealed will for our lives. We haven’t paid attention to your holy teachings, and we always tend to turn away from the truth of your word when we find it hard to apply to our lives.
Oh Lord, have pity on us and forgive our sins.
Glorious God, given how sinful and unworthy we are in your sight, we would like to express our amazement at all of the mercies and blessings we have received from you over the last week. When we try to count our blessings and to name them one by one, we are astounded by the great number of mercies we have received from your gracious hand! One of these great and tremendous blessings for which we are very grateful is the gift of life.
We are grateful to you, Lord, for the gift of life. Even though life can be hard and full of pain, shadows, disappointments, and daily perplexing struggles, it is still a wonderful privilege to be alive. Help us, Lord, to see our lives as a stewardship from you, for which we will be held accountable one day for how we used this trust. With this pending accountability in mind, we plead with you Lord to enable us to view life as a magnificent call to higher behavior and a challenge to live God-honoring and God-glorifying lives that are nobler in every purpose and more steadfast in every grace. May our lives be defined by a broader and stronger love for you and our fellow men and by a steadfastness that no wind of temptation can shake. Please, Lord, grant us the grace to receive life in this spirit and to focus our attention on these lofty goals until all of our petty ambitions are destroyed.
We would also like to thank you Lord, for sending Jesus Christ to us in human form, because taking on our human nature brings him so close to us.
We also thank you for our Savior’s enormous sorrows, for remembering them frequently helps us to raise above our own afflictions. Every time we think about how Jesus died on the cross for us sinners, we are amazed by such a great love that you have shown sinful human beings. We often wonder how you could love us so much, and we ask ourselves why you didn’t just throw us in a pit of forgetfulness, gather the unfallen angels around you, and surround your throne with adoring praises. Surely, you have planned a great future and a wonderful destiny for us.
Lord, for some of us, life in this world can feel like a barren wasteland, but we thank you for the way you have led us these many years in this wilderness. We are sure that we will not fail to fulfill your purpose for our lives if we look to your providence, heed to your word, and make the Bible the source of our counsel.
We thank you for the message from your Word, which we are about to hear. Your word is a lamp to our feet. It is the true light that gives light to every man who comes into the world. May we comprehend the light, receive it, reproduce it, and cherish it as the best gift from heaven for our lives.
Lord, we admit that even though we praise you in church and talk about how great you are and how many promises you, the God who can’t lie, have made to us, we contradict ourselves every day with our actions and act as if we don’t believe in your power.
For example, you have urged us not to worry about anything, but to make our requests known to God through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, with the guarantee that if we do, the peace of God which cannot be explained will fill our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. You have also instructed us in 1 Peter 5:7 to cast our burdens upon you because you care for us. But up to now, we have refused to cast our burdens upon you. Instead, we have doubted your love for us and chosen to worry during times of great difficulty. We have acted as if your promises had failed, and we have lived like orphans who have forgotten that God is our Father.
Deliver us, Lord, from the wrong perception we have about you, and let us see in every circumstance your unfailing love for us in Christ Jesus, your dear Son. Save us from all delusions, useless ideas, and unworthy goals, and fill us with a burning desire to know you and your truth better, to honor you and glorify your name, and to cling to you with unwavering devotion in the good times and in the bad times. Give us the grace to worship you not just when we are joyful on the pinnacles of glory, but also when we are suffering in the valleys of life, and to cling to you and be able to declare, as Job did and say, “Though you slay us, we will hope in you.” Continue your holy ministry in our hearts until all dross has been burned away, leaving only the beautiful gold of genuine wisdom.
If anyone in this church has a dispute with someone, let it end right now. If anyone in our midst has an unloving thought about his or her fellow, cleanse the heart of that vile thought right now. If there is any person in our midst who has knowingly harmed another, instill in that person an immediate desire to repent and ask for forgiveness of his or her sin from both God and from the person he or she has sinned against. Where our purposes are right, make them stronger. Wherever our advice is based on vanity and characterized by wickedness, Lord will flip it upside down and frustrate all our sinful endeavors and visit them with darkness and confusion not with an intention of destroying us in your divine displeasure, but with a gracious goal of drawing us closer to yourself.
Lord, help us to remember that “God is good all the time and all the time God is good” and to ravel in these truths with righteous delight not only in our words but also to practically demonstrate that we believe this truth in our daily actions. Then Satan, who opposes and accuses the believers, will have no power over us and will fail to find anything in our hearts that he can use against us.
Father, send comforting messages to the ill, the worried, those who believe they have been abandoned, and those who are depressed. Help the parents who are chocking with debts or are having trouble paying their children’s school fees. Provide for the students who are about to spend weeks at home because they are unable to pay the required school fees to begin the term with their classmates. Give hope to those who dropped out of school.
Meet each of us at our various points of need. Where there is particular fear, may there be particular help, and we pray that you will provide hope to all those who are suffering and enduring hardship. Carry us when we are tired and provide for our needs according to your will and the extent of our need.
Lord, we pray for our church and all the other churches that have come together to worship you today. We pray that you will help us to render acceptable worship to you. May we worship you in sincerity and in truth! May our tithes and offerings be accepted and welcomed as pleasing in your sight.
We ask for all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen