Among the resources I love to provide the wider church are samples of our local church’s services, as well as samples of our pastoral prayers and other elements. I put these out there in the hope that other people can benefit from them. This pastoral prayer was prayed recently by Paul Martin, senior pastor of Grace Fellowship Church.
O Worthy God,
We join with the heavenly host to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” We bow low in our hearts this morning and agree with those who see you without a cloud between and say… “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Worthy you are, O Lord.
Yet our lives have not reflected this the way we should like. We have lived like comfort, entertainment, jobs, agendas and sins are more important than You. We have valued ourselves more highly than you. And for that we ask you to forgive us. O Worthy God, we long for the day we will stop sinning forever. When we will see you and be like you and be done with sins and sorrows and stumblings and slip ups forever and ever.
Until that day comes, Merciful God, remember that we are dust. We are feeble and broken and incapable of any spiritual life or good apart from You. We remember this. We cling to this! You are the only One who can bring us safely over Jordan to Beulah Land. The only One who can deliver us from evil. So do this, Lord, according to your promises.
Some of us have fallen badly this week. We have ended up saying things we now regret as we stand before You. Our petty anger seems so silly before your glorious might. Forgive us. Others of us feel we have barely made it to another Lord’s Day. Trials and temptations have hounded us like a persistent dog. Nipping at our heels all week long so that we almost stumbled into unbelief and despair. Remind these dear ones of Your Son, who had his own heel bruised as He crushed the serpent’s head. And since that enemy of ours has been vanquished. Help us all in our faith — to not just give a mental assent to the Gospel but to live in the light of the Gospel. We don’t deserve it, but we long for it — a great booster shot of confidence in You and Your Word and Your ways.
Give the confident hope of the Three Thrown into the Fiery Furnace, to that brother or sister getting pressured to compromise at work. Give the soaring trust of Peter as he looked at Jesus and walked with Him on the water, to that sister facing another week of toddlers, meals and laundry. Give us all even the partway faith of that man with the demon-possessed son who looked at Jesus and said, “I believe; help my unbelief.”
Bless your church around the world. May she steadily advance in every place encroaching up against the gates of hell. What are those gates to you? They will not prevail against the steady advance of the Gospel! Nothing can stop God. Break apart those forbidding bars and set the captives free. Do this saving work in our own assembly today. That man who comes to church since his family comes — but has no true relationship to Jesus. That young woman who sits here week after week trying to think of other things, anything but the Gospel and her need to repent. Break through her unbelief and save her from hell today.
Bless the preachers of the Gospel that have been raised up here and sent out there. Julian Freeman, John Bell, Paul McDonald, Peter Mahaffey, Habib Sakr…. as we pray for Habib we ask especially for their missionary family there at Grace Chapel… the Dunlops in Kenya. Watch over and heal their little boy Thomas after his many weeks in the hospital.
We pray for your blessing on Royal York Baptist Church. Thank you for sending those we love to that church. Won’t you bring a season of great encouragement to them, even in their trials. Give wisdom and strong leadership to Peter. Raise up our own brothers who were sent there with him to each be a Barnabas, encouraging all the saints. Cause every sister who left here and went there to be a real Dorcas, filling up her days with good works that bless the members.
And Lord, thank you for the Pregnancy Care Centre. We ask, O God, that you would protect and provide for our dear sister, Linda. Overflow her life with the grace, spiritual power, Biblical wisdom, and financial resources to be used by You to protect the most vulnerable and help those who have fallen into temptation. Please save the children in our city. And save moms who now deeply regret past decisions. We thank you that there is grace and salvation for every sinner.
And now, Lord, show us more of Yourself.
We are about to listen to a man preach Your Word. We do this because we believe you have commanded us to do this and you have promised to bless the means. Our hope is not in the man, it is in You. But we pray for the man. Grant Him unction — that unmanageable, unprovokable, work of Your Spirit coming alongside him and making us hear not just his words, but Yours.
You have told us that you will look with favour on : “he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at Your word.” Make us shaky listeners today, God. Put a tremor in our hearts as Your Words come forth.
And do this all because of Jesus Christ, the true Word of God, who gave Himself for us, redeemed and rescued us, lived and died for us, reigns and will return for us.
All of our hope is in Him… and that You will hear His intercession on our behalf… combined with these stammering requests made perfect to Your ears by Your Holy Spirit.
Thus we ask all of this in Christ’s Name. Amen.