Pastoral Prayer - Psalm 8

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens. You speak and the stars ignite. You gesture and the earth is contoured with valleys and mountains. Every creature, every good gift in all of creation is the work of You and You alone. Without you none of them would exist; you are the source and the sustenance and the fullness of all things.

You have established Your strength in us, though we are like children. These little ones we saw Your promises spoken over this morning in baptism – we err in thinking they should be more like us. We, instead, must recognize that we are like them. In the work You do through us and the victories You win for us, it is not by our wisdom or strength but by the might of Your right hand.

When we look at all the works of your hands, what are we that you are mindful of us? We pretend to greatness, but before Your true greatness all of us must grow silent. There is nothing in us to impress You. Our greatest works are but trifles to You. Our best obedience but an imperfect offering of Your due.

You are that majestic, yet in Your grace you have set us just below the angels and given us dominion. You have called us to represent You in creation, to work Your will among the works of Your hands. We are to be Your servants in the fields and cities of this earth. This is a significant calling, one with dignity and authority, and one which we do not deserve.

We confess, Lord, that we often fail in this purpose. We do not steward well the gifts You give. We do not love well those You have called us to love. We work evil in our sin and permit more evil to grow in our indifference. Yet in even more undeserved mercy, You do not cast us out for these failures. Instead, You are at work restoring us and calling us anew into the purpose for which we were made.

Teach us to show forth the majesty of Your name in all the earth. Call us to battle the destruction of sin. Raise us up to wield our dominion rightly, to turn from injustice and selfish tyranny and to diligently and faithfully work Your world for Your glory.

In light of Your majesty and in Your mercy, we pray especially that You would be near those in need of both Your power and Your care. Strengthen those who are sick. Encourage those who are downtrodden. Humble those in prideful rebellion by Your might and bind up those who are broken from sin by Your grace.

All of this we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, Your perfect servant.