Pastoral Prayer - The Lie That We Must Do Great Things

Lord of All Things,
We come before you this morning in the midst of ordinary lives. For most of us, the last week has not been remarkable. It won’t be remembered in distant years. Even if some part of it was noteworthy, most of it was occupied with ordinary things, eating and sleeping, working and fellowshipping in ordinary ways.

Father, remind us that you are the God not just of the extraordinary but of the ordinary. You are glorified in all things, the everyday as surely as the noteworthy. Your kingdom is built by unremarkable people doing unremarkable things to the praise of Your name.

Calm our hearts from the anxiety born of the lie that we must do great things to attract your notice. Some of us have never done something the world would recognize as great. Some of us have sought to do great things for You and failed. Yet You do not look to us expecting greatness. You have supplied all the greatness we need in Jesus Christ, and His righteousness and renown have become ours as we trust in His work done on our behalf. We do not need to be the heroes of this story – Jesus is the hero, and we need only to walk as those rescued by Him.

Safeguard our steps from the faithlessness born of the lie that only great sins bring ruin. Help us to recognize that most of the world’s brokenness is the result of impatience, pettiness, self-absorption, gossip, inaction and careless speech far more than dramatic, scandalous rebellion. Forgive us for all of the ways we therefore participate in creation’s destruction and Your glory’s defamation and call us to diligently put to death every subtle moving of the flesh.

Empower our days with the knowledge that what we are doing matters. There are no little people and no little places in Your providence. Each of us is at the very center of Your plan to bring life to this world. Make us diligent in our service and hopeful for the redemption of all things, whether we see it begin in this age or await it in the age to come.

Father, we pray now that these ordinary things we use to worship you, our mouths and hands and minds and hearts, would be engaged in holy service to the glory of Your great name.