O God who is, who was, and who forever—shall be, we humbly gather as your Church whether participating at home or in-person. Our very act of worship sends shudders through the spiritual realms because your people have gathered to celebrate you, to love you, and to be empowered by Spirit to leave this place loving even the most difficult to love. Our very act of worship is our simple but effective way of helping to establish the Kingdom of Heaven in Fort Lauderdale and beyond.
Lord of Hosts, we pray for this planet you have charged us to care for and to tend. Forgive our flippancy towards our natural resources and remind us those resources have limits. Convict each of us and help us evaluate the quality of our stewardship of our lands and waters.
Furthermore, enable us to be good caregivers of our communities and how they are governed and led. The Apostle Paul reminds us to obey our leaders in government; Lord, we pray for judges, commissioners, mayors, senators, and congressmen and raise up women and men who are worthy to follow. Help us to unwind the American flag from the Christian cause and stem the tide of those like Christian Nationalists who try to conscript Jesus into their agenda. As grateful as we are for the privilege of living in America, Jesus, it is you and only you who is Lord of the Church and indeed all creation.
Spirit of Peace, we pray for those caught in the conflict of war. We lift the innocents who are dying in Syria, Ethiopia, Korea, and Ukraine. We pray against aggressive countries that seek to control, abuse and kill to seek power and control over others and their lands.
Meddlesome God who pricks our hearts and consciences, help your Church to humbly admit that it portrays conflicting values on ethical Issues. For example, we proclaim the right to life while pushing for capital punishment; we condemn Putin for invading another country but fail to confess we have done that to indigenous people in our own land. We proclaim unity and equality but continue to segregate and discriminate subtly with our words, lack of social involvement, or deeply held opinions.
Jesus, oh Precious One, mold us into the Body of Christ, the Church, we can become. Enlarge our vision and instill in us a spirit of boldness and passion that move our feet, open our hands, and breaks our hearts for the Samaritans in our midst. Tear down walls of division and infuse us with the Spirit of inclusion, tolerance, and love all centered around Jesus.
In the quiet of our hearts, we personally pray specifically for —
Those families grieving the death of a loved one…
Individuals waiting for medical test results and who are scared…
Single parents trying to provide for their families…
For healing in relationships of those who are splitting apart…
The children and adults who suffer from emotional trauma and depression…
For the people who are held back by fear while feeling your encouragement to step out and risk…
And finally, we lift up to you the names of those we each know who need your touch.
O Lord, in sure and certain hope and trust, we offer these prayers to you. Hear us now as we pray the prayer Jesus taught us to 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 debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
forever and ever.
Thank you again, dear friend.