Pastoral Prayer - God's Gracious Gifts
You are a God of grace. A God who shows us kindness not because we deserve it but because You are kind. Your love is measured out not according to us but simply according to its own greatness. You offer us grace upon grace, even though we often take it for granted.
Lord, all the good gifts we enjoy today are products of Your grace. The food on our tables, the company of friends, the very breath in our lungs – we did not earn these things. We do not own them. We are clay animated by Your Spirit, creatures of the sixth day just like cattle or the mosquitoes in my backyard. In ourselves we are nothing, but in Your kindness, You have given us the bounty of this world for our enjoyment.
More than that, we are sinful people. We often turn astray. We serve what You have created, consume what should be stewarded, use and hurt others. In our hearts and in our actions we worship ourselves and destroy the goodness of Your creation. Yet in this too You are gracious. You have moved toward us in relationship even as we have fled from You. You have forgiven us our sins in Jesus Christ, covering them with His blood, even though it was people like us who drove the nails through His wrists. You have adopted us, rebel children, as Your sons and daughters and given us the everlasting inheritance of Your kingdom.
Father, may Your grace draw us toward You today. May Your kindness call us to repentance, Your mercy assure us of welcome, and Your faithful love speak safety to our hearts. Remind us of how far You went in saving us – coming as one of us, dying on our behalf. Let our wonder and Your salvation draw us to worship and teach us to seek Your ways.
We pray that Your gracious love would be especially present this morning to those who are heavy on our hearts.
- For those who live in shame and anxiety, speak forgiveness and peace.
- For those who are far off or wandering, draw them near in Your gentle arms.
- For those who are tired or discouraged, give the hope that each day is new in Your neverending mercy.
- For those who are sick or dying, give comfort, healing, and the assurance that as they are in You they have a hope of life that even death cannot destroy.
All of this we pray in the name of Jesus, Your grace going so far as to take on human flesh. We pray in His name, and pray as He taught us to pray...