As you know, I like to share occasional examples of pastoral prayers. I do this hoping they may provide inspiration for others as they prepare their prayers week by week. This particular prayer was prayed by Steve, an associate pastor at Grace Fellowship Church.
We’re so grateful that you incline your ear to hear our prayers. We don’t deserve your attention, yet in your grace, you hear us, and you answer us according to your perfect character. As we just heard read from your Word, you are gracious, righteous, and merciful. And because of that, we can call on our souls to rest in you. You have dealt bountifully with us before. You have answered our pleas for mercy and you have given us new life in Jesus Christ. And so we rest in you because you never change. You are good forever.
Lord, we thank for the gift of prayer. Thank you that you have made a way for us to call upon your great name. Thank you for inviting us to pray at all times and to pray all kind of prayers and supplications. Thank you for giving us the Bible that teaches us to pray your Word back to you. We especially think about the Psalms that give us words of lament, words of confession, words of praise, words of petition, and words of resolution. Thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit that intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words when we are too weak to pray. Thank you for giving us prayer when we don’t know what to do or where to go. When we’re lost, confused, or overwhelmed, we know that we can always pray. Thank you that you accomplish many of your purposes through the prayers of your people. Your word says that the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
O Lord, in light of these truths, we ask that you would help us to be people who are marked by prayer. Cause us to be quick to remember you in every moment, not only when things are super hard. Help us to remember you and pray to you in every triumph and trial, in every joy and sadness, basically in every season.
Lord, we confess that we often stray from prayer. We can pray faithfully for a season, but it seems like the discipline can easily fizzle out. And so, I pray that you would forgive us for our prayerlessness. Forgive us for becoming lazy and apathetic with our spiritual communion with you. Forgive us for giving up so easily and not even caring at times. Help us to walk our talk in our prayer life, and live our lives constantly before your throne of grace, lifting up all kinds of prayers and supplications.
To that end, we want to take this moment and pray for the elders of this church. First, thank you for my dear brothers who serve faithfully day-in and day-out to shepherd this local church. Personally, it’s a joy for me to serve alongside these men and co-labour for the sake of the gospel and I praise you for that. We pray that you would continue to use us to pastor this church in a manner that is worthy of you. Help us to go low serve our congregation well for their good and your glory. Grant us longevity in the ministry. I’m sobered as I think about that the great number of men who have fallen into sin over the years. Men who have served faithfully on the outside while keeping sin hidden on the inside. As I think of this sad reality, I pray that you would keep us from being so proud that we don’t confess our sins and walk in the light. I pray that you would keep us from a sinful love of authority and power. Keep us from growing cold in our love for you, our love for the sheep, and our delight in the ministry. We say with King David, “Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.” Preserve us, O Lord, and help us to run this race faithfully knowing that there is the crown of life at the end. Help us to have a love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
As we pray for our existing elders, we pray also, that you would provide this church with more elders. Men who would be both qualified in character and in skill. We pray for godly men who humbly aspire to the office and are eager to serve in this capacity for the glory of your name.
And Lord, we also pray for 20schemes. We praise you for this ministry that is committed to planting churches in the poorest neighbourhoods in Scotland. Thank you for granting us the privilege to partner alongside this ministry and support them with our money and prayers. We rejoice in seeing the kind of growth they’ve had over the years and how they were already able to reach a number of the Schemes with the gospel and how they were able to plant a number of healthy churches. Lord, we pray that you would continue the increase. We pray that you soften the hearts of the people in the Schemes so that they would respond to the good news of Jesus Christ.
Lord, we especially ask that in this time, you would comfort our brother, Pastor Paul McLoughlan, whose wife suddenly past away this week. Most of us can’t imagine the weight he is carrying in his heart right now. But your Word tells us that you are near to the brokenhearted. So be near to him and grant him the grace to persevere in this time. We pray for their little girls, Rebekah and Lydia that you would be near to them as well. Lord, we pray that this experience of losing their mother would only drive them ever closer to Jesus Christ who is the resurrection and the life. We take heart knowing that there is the resurrection of the dead because Christ rose from the grave. So may the balm of the gospel and the hope of glory bring about healing to the McLoughlan family and to the whole 20Schemes family that is suffering through this loss.
O Lord, we’re so very thankful for your Word that gives us truth to deal with every moment. Your Word is good and it brings nourishment to our soul. And so as we prepare to hear your Word read and preached, help us to open our hearts wide open to receive your Word. Conform us to your truth and lead us on the path of righteousness so that we would live a life glorifying to you. We pray for Pastor Paul Martin that he would preach with the strength that you provide. Set aside any distraction from his mind and help him to speak the truth in love. Lord, we pray that you would give him clarity of mind and clarity of speech. May the words of his mouth and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to you,