Tag Archives: Prayer

Prayer Guide for the Prayer Vigil for our Schools (08/21/20)

Thank you for participating in our prayer vigil for our schools. This has been a difficult time for everyone, but it has had a particular impact on our children. Their usual routine of going to school, socializing with friends, and receiving an education has been turned on its head. And, as we begin the new school year in just a few days, we find that the virus is still negatively impacting the academic and social lives of our children. They, and all those involved with the school system, are in need of God’s mercy and His sustaining hand. And so, let us call upon the Lord…

  • Pray for our students. Pray for as many of our children as you can by name. If there is any particular need that you know is present in their lives, pray that God would be glorified in meeting that need (Ps. 50:14-15). Pray for them, especially, that they would come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, and united to Him by the Holy Spirit through faith, would come to know God as their Father (Rom. 8:15-17).
  • Pray for their social development. We were made to be social creatures; one of the primary ways children develop socially is through their interaction with others during school. Pray that, during this time when they are not able to be with one another, that they would seek other opportunities for socializing, and especially with those who will sharpen, rather than dull them (Prov. 27:17). Pray also that, when they are able to return to school in-person, they would renew healthy friendships, and socialize in beneficial ways.
  • Pray for their academic development. We know that the first several weeks of this school year are going to be virtual; it is also evident (and scientifically proven) that virtual learning is not ideal when compared to in-person classes. Pray that our children would take responsibility for their own education, and that they would seek to love the Lord with all their mind (Matt. 22:37-38). Pray that the deleterious effects of virtual learning would be blunted and that our children would be attentive and excited to join in their classes, even though in a virtual format. Pray that God would give them a healthy curiosity, and that He would open their eyes and ears to His glory declared by His creation – from the beauty and wonder of the skies above (Ps. 19:1) to the magnificent order of the mathematical equation on the page (Gen. 1; see also, 1 Cor. 14:33,40). Pray that they would avoid idleness, but diligently work, and that to God’s glory (2 Thess. 3:6-12)!
  • Pray for our Teachers. For teachers, this time has also meant a “new normal” in the way they teach our children. Pray for each teacher you know by name, and again pray that the Lord would be glorified in meeting any need they may have. Pray that they would not grow weary in the good work of teaching our children (Gal. 6:9; 2 Thess. 3:13); pray that God would help them to be faithful to their calling as they face each challenge that arises. Pray also that God would give them wisdom in teaching, especially when it comes to teaching in an unfamiliar virtual format. Even though they have to be away from their students for a while, pray that God would strengthen their love for children and the bonds they have already formed with their students (1 John 3:11;4:7). Likewise, pray that any teacher who does not know the Lord Jesus as their Savior and Lord would be born again and brought to faith in Him; and that those who are Christians would show their students the love of Christ and take every opportunity to witness to them of God’s grace in Jesus.
  • Pray for parents. Many parents have gone back to work and are having to find childcare while they’re away; other parents will be home with their children. In both instances, pray that parents would encourage their children to be diligent learners, and that they would take an active role in the education of their children (Proverbs – the whole book is a set of wise sayings from a parent to their child). Pray especially that parents would be active in daily leading their children to the Lord (Eph. 6:4)! Pray that parents would work against the disturbing trend that we’re seeing in our culture, and instead of delegating their role to screens, would be truly active as loving, godly parents, and spend quality time with their children, not just in the same room as their children.
  • Pray for the health and safety of all involved in our school systems. For the first several weeks, learning will be done virtually. But, at one point or another, students will be meeting in-person again, and that raises fears of widespread contagion. Pray ultimately that God would bring this pandemic to an end! Pray for the health and safety of our students, our teachers, and all those who will be in daily contact with others in the school system. We believe that God is sovereign, and that He will cause even this to work to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). And so, even in the midst of this pandemic, let us praise our Lord, Who is ever with His people (Is. 41:10), working for their good and His glory!

Order of Service 08/16/20

Call to Worship     James 4:4-10

After this, whoever is leading worship (regularly the father or grandfather of the family) should pray for himself and his family as they join together to worship the Lord, that their attention would be captivated by the glory of God, and that they would rejoice together in the Lord.

The Apostle’s Creed     recite together the essential tenets of our faith

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Hymn     “Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slQ6MTJLU4I

Confession of Sin

As is our custom, begin with a few moments of silent, personal confession, and then join together in our corporate confession:

Almighty, everlasting God and Father, we acknowledge and confess that we indeed were conceived and born in sin and, therefore, inclined to all evil and slow to all good; that we unceasingly transgress Your holy commandments, and corrupt ourselves more and more. But we are sorry for this and desire Your grace and help. Therefore, have mercy upon us, most gracious and merciful God and Father, through Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Grant to us and increase in us Your Holy Spirit, so that we may recognize our sin and unrighteousness from the depth of our heart, feel true contrition and grief for them, die to them completely, and please You wholly in a new, godly life. Amen.

At the end of this confession it is appropriate for the person leading to read 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The Gloria Patri     either spoken or sung

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Family or Personal Prayer

Please spend this time in prayer for one another, for the church; for our community, our county, our state, our nation, our world; pray for our leaders; pray for all those who are being impacted by this crisis, and for all those who have contracted the virus or have lost someone who has; pray through the prayer requests that are shared via our OneCall system; pray freely in the Spirit and lay your anxieties and concerns at the feet of our gracious Lord in full confidence that you are heard through Jesus Christ our Mediator.

The Lord’s Prayer     to be prayed together

Scripture    1 Samuel 7:1-4

Sermon    https://soundcloud.com/user-374933433/1-samuel-71-4

Hymn     “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Msh0PAJfPU

Closing Prayer

It is appropriate at this point for the father to bless his family, the husband to bless his wife, and all to bless each other. Afterward, as it is the Lord’s Day, I recommend that you spend the rest of the day in the Word, in prayer, worship, and rest. God bless you all!

Prayer Guide for Day of Lament, Prayer, and Fasting (06/08)

If you are taking part in the day of prayer, lament, and fasting for the situation in our country, the following is a suggested prayer guide to help direct you. Thank you for your participation!

Please begin by reading Psalm 12, a psalm of lament.

  • Pray for our leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Pray that God would give them wisdom and humility in leading our country, our states, and our local communities (Prov. 8:15). Pray for our president, our members of Congress, our Supreme Court, our governor, and all the others we have elected to make decisions for this country. Pray that they would seek to honor God in right and equal administration of justice for all (Ps. 82).
  • Pray for those who have been the victims of the unjust misuse of power and authority (Prov. 17:15; 6:16-19). Pray for the families of those who have died at the hands of murderers in high places. Pray that the Lord would deliver those who are suffering from injustice in any form (Ps. 68:5-6). Pray that the Lord would reveal to you ways in which you can be of service to those who are suffering injustice.
  • Pray for those who are the victims of racism (Gen. 1:27). Pray also for the repentance of those who hate others because of the color of their skin, their nationality, or any other foolish excuse for hatred. Pray especially for those who profess to be Christians and yet harbor racist or xenophobic prejudices (Gal. 3:27-29). Pray that believers would love each other (John 13:34) and that we would honor God by loving our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:34-40; Luke 10:25-37).
  • Examine your own hearts and confess to the Lord any ungodly prejudices you might have, seeking to turn from your sin and by the power of the Holy Spirit put to death the deeds and attitudes of your sinful nature (Rom. 8:13). Know that for those who confess their sins, God is faithful and just to forgive their sins and to cleanse from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).
  • Pray for those who are looting and rioting. Pray that justice would be done in their situation as well, and that they would repent (Rom. 13:3-4). Pray for the business owners who are suffering through the sinful actions of these looters. Pray also that the actions of the rioters would not mute the message of those who are peacefully seeking change.
  • Pray for the police. Many police officers are just as sickened by the events in Minneapolis and elsewhere as the protestors are. Pray that God would protect and strengthen those officers who are truly seeking the protection and welfare of their neighbor; pray that they would not be unjustly villainized.
  • Pray that the protests do not lead to an upsurge in cases of the coronavirus; pray for the safety of both the protestors and the police and National Guard who are congregating in large numbers.
  • Pray that Americans will work together, despite political differences, for the good of all.

 

Parents and grandparents, this would also be an excellent time, before or after prayer, to talk to your children and grandchildren about the issues that are facing our country. Be open to their questions and help them to understand why Christians reject the sin of racism. Teach them that all human beings are made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27) and are descended from the same first parents. Teach them that they are to treat everyone with dignity, regardless of color or nationality, because all human beings are God’s image-bearers. Teach them also that those who belong to Christ Jesus, who are united to Him through faith, are one people, though we come from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, and that this is God’s good and beautiful purpose and for His glory (Rev. 7:9-10).

See also https://epc.org/news/june8lamentfastingprayer/