Pastoral Prayer - Batter the Doors of our Hearts

You came from the farthest country, from the throne of heaven, from infinity above us, with this gracious aim: to seek and save that which was lost. You came, glorious Traveller, though our hearts were shut against You. In our sin we barred the gates. Yet in the kindness of Your strength, You made an entrance into the souls of Your people by the moving of Your Spirit.

Almighty Lord, batter down the doors of our hearts that we might welcome You! Like the New Jerusalem, may our gates lie ever open to You. Pierce the shutters of our sin and break the padlocks of worldly anxiety and shatter the walls of Satan, and enter in and dine with us today.

Work in us this morning as we gather in Your name. May the proclamation of Your Word enflame our hearts. May our prayers lift us up like incense to Your throne. May the words we sing pierce through our ears into our inmost beings so that we might believe and be animate by their praise. In our worship, let us catch a sweet glimpse of You and hear the footsteps of Your grace.

Father, as we pray that we might know You, we pray this for the world as well. Do not let Babylon have her dominion. Do not let the Dragon triumph in the nations. Ride out, great Messenger of Good News, and gather in the harvest of salvation. Make Your home among our neighbors, among our countrymen, in every nation on the earth, that Your name might be exalted and we might live in love.

As we pray that You would go out, we pray also for ourselves, that we would be Your ambassadors. Your gospel call speaks through our mouths. Your knocking at heart-doors is with our hands. Give us the boldness that comes from knowing that as we address ourselves to peoples’ ears, You by Your Spirit are able to open and enliven their souls. You came as a Stranger on a mission to become our Lover, and the gates of hell will burst before this pursuit of love.

We pray especially this morning for those who have a special calling as ambassadors of the gospel – for evangelists and missionaries, church planters and translators of Your Word. We pray also for all those Christians engaged in moving across borders and into communities where you are not known. Make them witnesses to Your grace and agents of Your coming, and remind us that while the specifics of their calling are unique, the need to bear witness is one we all share.

(Inspired by a prayer by Robert Hawker, The Poor Man’s Morning & Evening Portion)