Category Archives: Prayer

A Benediction and Prayer Based on Colossians 1:9-14 and Romans 15:5-6 


May you be filled with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 
May you live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: 
May you bear fruit in every good work, 
May you grow in the knowledge of God, 
May you be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might
May you have great endurance and patience, 
May you share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Amen and wow!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13 

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A Simple Prayer


God, please teach, lead, inspire and help me…

To listen intently, before I speak.

To think things through, before I write.

To earn, give, share, invest and save, before I spend.

To throughly investigate before I invest.

To forgive – always and forever.

To never gossip.

To try again before I quit.

To diligently plan before I retire.

To increase my giving as the year’s roll by and the graces accumulate.

To proofread one more time before I hit send or submit.

To pray for others, continually.

And to be always thankful for all that you have done for me, continue to do for me and will always do for me – blessings, grace, family, friends, wisdom, love, a house, a loving wife, a church, a faithful Pastor and a good life.

Amen.

What We, the Church, Can Learn from the Airlines


The Gospel Message of the Airlines
The airlines have a critically important message to share with each and every traveler and they don’t want anyone to miss it.  For this reason, the flight attendants act out their message, this same message is spoken over the PA system, the message can be read on a card with pictures located in everyone’s seat pocket and it can also be viewed on a video screen on longer flights.  Their message can save lives and they know how to deliver it well and how to appeal to all of our senses.  Of course I am referring to the safety instructions.
 
Our Pastors also have a critically important message to share, we do as well.  In fact, it is infinitely more important than the airlines message. We need to deliver this message so everyone hears it, sees it, feels it, smells it, sings it, prays it, meditates on it, breathes it, loves it, lives it, abides by it and tastes it.  
 
  • It’s already in our pew bibles and our bulletins so we can read it.  
  • It’s in our songs so we can sing it, ponder it, tap our feet to it and feel it.  
  • It’s in our prayers so the Holy Spirit can massage it and God can answer it.  
  • It’s in our statues, art and stained glass windows so we can adore it.   
  • It’s in our creeds so we collectively can voice it. 
  • It’s in our scripture readings for our contemplation, consideration, cogitation, meditation, pondering, rumination, deep thought, musing, deliberation, study and further reflection.
 
So what is the “it”, what is the critically important message the church needs to share?  It is the Gospel of course.
 
But getting back to those airline safety demonstrations, here’s the thing, I know how to buckle a seat belt.  I’ve done it 84,680 times.  So I tune this part out.   You do as well.   Unless I am flying Southwest because some their flight attendants are creative and they make even the mundane seat belt demonstration interesting, insightful and colorful.  And so it is with the gospel, I have heard this message enough times to save all the people in China, about 3,016 to be close to exact.  So if we follow Southwest Airlines technique, our Pastors and Worship leaders need to inject the creativity that our great God has instilled in them into their preaching and in their worship planning and preparations.  In fact, I pray that the Holy Spirit sparks a flame 🔥 in you and your whole ministry team, revitalizing and rejuvenating your thoughts, ways and means.  May he fill your mind with exuberance for the word and bless your tongue to preach the word purely and with passion.  May he use your gifts to excite your people for their savior and may his kingdom grow prolifically as a result of his gifting, his blessings and his grace, need I say not yours.  I know this is possible because even after hearing the Gospel 3,016 times, my current Pastor brings it to life for me week after week.  But sorry, he’s not amazing, God is. 
 
Isn’t it interesting that our final reward isn’t money, power, fame, success or admiration.  It’s praise, worship and rest.

Saint Michael and All the Angels


Prayer of the Church
St. Michael and All Angels
The following prayers were written by a friend, Pastor Michael Zarling, for use on Sunday September 25.
Almighty God, in the beginning you made the earth and created mankind upon it. With your own hands you stretched out the heavens. You marshaled their starry hosts. You created humanity to have dominion upon the earth. You created the angels to guard the crown of your creation in all their ways.
For the works of your creation and our salvation, we join with the archangels, the cherubim, and seraphim in praising you, Lord. We gather around your throne to sing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord almighty. Heaven and earth is full of your glory.” We thank you that you send the angels as your servants to do you will. Your angels were present at the conception, birth, temptation, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus. We join with the angels in worshiping you for the work of your Son in winning salvation for the world and we sing with them, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to those on whom his favor rests.” We rejoice with the angels in heaven over every sinner who repents. We are grateful for the angels you send to carry the souls of your departed saints to Abraham’s side in heaven. We await the trumpet call on the Last when you will send your angels to gather your elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
Prayers of intercession.
Gracious God and Father, we thank you for the gifts of forgiveness in Absolution, of cleansing from sin in Baptism, of Christ’s body and blood in Holy Communion, and of a peace that surpasses all understanding in the Benediction. We thank you for the message of the angels that announced Christ’s arrival, who proclaimed Christ’s resurrection, testified to Christ’s ascension and will trumpet Christ’s second coming. We are grateful for the holy angels you send to minister to us as they ministered to Christ in the wilderness. For all this, we thank you. And we ask that you hear our humble prayers, so that we might praise your holy name with one voice with the cherubim and seraphim, the apostles and prophets, the martyrs and your Holy Church, all through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Thank you Pastor Zarling for sharing.

Paul’s Prayer for You


If the Apostle Paul were here, this is how he might pray for you and share God’s blessings with you.  I know this because he prayed this to a church bursting with Ephesians.

May God, out of his glorious riches, strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
May Christ dwell in your heart through faith.
May you be rooted and established in love,
May you have power,
May you dwell with all the Lord’s holy people,
May you grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
May you know this love that surpasses knowledge
May you be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
– based on Ephesians 3:16-19

Now that’s a benediction!

And I will add,
May the beauty of Christ be seen in you,
May you be with Christ
May you become more like Christ
And may you live for Christ

And again from Paul, but this time from Ephesians 1:

He chose us.
He adopted us.
He predestined us.
He gave us His grace.
He redeemed us.
He forgave our sins.
He lavished God’s grace on us.
He made known His will to us.
He marked us with a seal.
He guaranteed our inheritance.

That, brothers and sisters, is how much favor we have with God.

May the beauty of Christ be seen in you!

The “in” in “Sin”


The “in” in “sin“.

Yes, it’s part of the word sin.  What we struggle with most seems to be inwardly focused.

  • What’s in it for me?
  • Adultery starts on the inside, in our hearts and minds.
  • Murder also starts on the inside.
  • Jealousy, inside
  • Pride, inside
  • Idolatry inside
  • Hate, inside
  • Lust, inside
  • Prejudice, inside
  • Anger, inside
  • Greed, inside
  • Worrying, inside
  • Revenge, inside

In our hearts, in our heads, in our mouths, in our deeds; sin starts in us.

We need help on the inside, we need to let the Holy Spirit work on us from the inside.  For us believers, He’s already in there anyway.  This is the reason why we pray in church that the Holy Spirit transforms and renews our hearts and our minds.  This is such an important prayer because it leads us to repentance.

You can spot people who have an outward focus can’t you?  They are kind, compassionate, considerate, generous, caring, loving, forgiving, patient – as a matter of fact they tend to act like Jesus and they use their gifts of the Spirit in so doing.  Incredible how this all comes together isn’t it?

Let me share this prayer with you which is a gem of traditional worship:

Lord God, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may hear and believe your Word.  Cleanse our minds and renew our hearts that we may live for you here and hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. (Christian Worship, Evening Prayer, page 56)

Open My Heart


Open My Heart Lord

 

One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.  – Acts 16:14

 

There you have it.  The Lord opens hearts.  In this case he opened Lydia’s heart to respond to a certain message.

 

God, won’t you open our hearts?
Open my heart to respond.
To respond to your peace.
To respond to your teaching.
To respond to your grace.

 

How about opening our hearts to be more generous?
To give to the church.
To give to the needy.
To give of my time and talents.

 

How about opening our hearts to love on a deeper level?
To love you more.
To love my family more.
To love money less.

 

How about opening our hearts to me more patient?
More patient at work.
More patient while waiting in line.
More patient while on the phone, on hold.

 

How about opening our hearts to worship?
To worship God in truth.
To worship God in Spirit.
To worship God as a lifestyle.
To worship God like Lydia did.
To use the gifts God has given to me to praise Him.

 

God can open your heart.  It doesn’t matter if your heart aches or if it’s as frozen as a tombstone, in a field, in Fargo, in February.  The Lord can crack it open and fill it with His warmth, His presence and His love.

 

God
Opens
Hearts!
❤️
Amazing! 
❤️
It
Says
So
In
His
Infallible
Word!
❤️

Fill Me Up


Fill
Me
Up.

Lord, fill me up with confidence.
Fill me with love.
Fill me to the brim with wisdom.
Fill me with understanding.
Fill me with courage.
Fill me to overflowing with hope.
Fill me with your Spirit.
Fill me with truth.
Fill me with kindness.
Fill me with patience.
Fill me with peace.
Fill me with perseverance.
Fill me with You.

Fill
Me
Up.