Dear Gracious, Sufficient, and All-Wise God,
Thank You for the privilege of prayer. Thank You for leading us to Your throne of grace and for Your altar always being open to us. Thank You for holding us in Your bosom and for being better to us than we’ve been to ourselves. Thank You for watching over us and keeping us in spite of us. Thank You for leading us and guiding us. Thank You that Your word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Thank You for not leaving us to our own devices but loving us enough to correct us and set us straight when we need it!
God, You know that sometimes we are foolish. Sometimes we are stubborn. Sometimes we insist on doing things our own way. Sometimes we have been idolatrous and have not learned from our mistakes. We are prone to wander. Forgive us, O God. Help us to have hearts, minds, and actions that are in line with Your will and reflective of You.
On this eve of the Epiphany, we pray for Your church. We pray that we would embody who You’ve purposed us to be. We pray that we would be faithful to the tasks You have entrusted to us, even as You have been faithful to us. Help us to rise up and be Your hands, feet, and mouthpieces in this world. Let us not be so busy doing church that we forget to be the church. Let us not be so caught up in form or fashion or tradition that we end up playing church, not exemplifying it. Help us to be authentic in the ways we show up on Your behalf. Let us exhibit Your compassion, love, joy, righteousness, mercy, grace, peace, wisdom in all that we endeavor to do. Help us to walk in the power You have given us!
We pray that we would fully embrace every opportunity to be light and salt in this world. Help us to walk in Your love, Your light, Your wisdom. Let us not hide under a bushel…or be silent…or turn a blind eye to injustice in this world. When our voices are needed, when our help is needed, when we are needed, let us be marked present and accounted for. In moments when we might deliberate too long or be slow to take a stand, move us to act on behalf of others and personify Your love, we pray.
Let us not be swayed by smooth talk, vain imaginations or the empty promises of this world. Help us to be grounded in You and not influenced by wolves in sheep’s clothing. Give us discernment, strength, and courage, we pray. Equip us and prepare us. Mold us and shape us, transform us into who You would have us to be.
And, for those who have been hurt by the church, we pray for Your forgiveness and their healing. None of us is perfect, O God. When our imperfections are detrimental to others, we pray that You would help us to fix it. In the same way, help us to be slow to take offense, to be open and honest with one another and quick to reconcile. Hear our prayers, O God.
We also pray that we would love our neighbors and our enemies, as You have instructed us. Help us to put aside pettiness and selfish ambition. Help us to see the world and Your people with Your eyes. Help us to hear and listen with Your ears. Help us, O God, to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.
It’s in the Name of Jesus, in whom hope, joy, and love spring eternal, we do pray. Amen.