Father, blessed be your name! We praise you for your great love and faithfulness!
In your great love and faithfulness, you chose people for yourself. And you did not choose good people, but wicked ones. You did not choose clean people but dirty ones. You did not choose loving people, but hateful, envious, selfish ones. You chose them to showcase your love and glory.
If we were to choose people to come into our presence, to bring close to us, to share our wealth and glory with them, to love and protect, we would not choose people like you chose. We would put them to test and take only the ones that pass. The people you chose are failures, in every sense of the word, and you chose them, for your glory, to turn them into sons and daughters.
If we were to choose people to save, we would do it at arms-length. We would definitely not save our enemies. To the ones weak enough not to be a threat or nice enough to be friendly, we would give some money, time and advice, we would become angry at the injustice they suffer and call for reformation or revolution, but we wouldn’t hug them, become homeless in their stead, take the sickness upon ourselves or die for their wrongs. But you gave your one and only son, Jesus Christ, for us.
And you promised them an inheritance and you gave them a pledge, the Holy Spirit. How amazing is your love and faithfulness!
Father, we confess we are wicked, hateful, envious, selfish and forgetful. This past week we forgot your promise of eternal life and the promise of your inheritance, and we worried about our studies and about our career prospects and families. In our desire to protect and promote ourselves, we crafted narratives about how we are better than other people. We sought our own interest and did not care about the people next to us. Our hearts prodded us to indulge in lust, pride and greed and we followed the impulses of our hearts.
Father, forgive us our sin! Transform us through the Holy Spirit.
We thank you, Father, for your mercy and forgiveness, which we have by faith in Christ. We thank you that you shepherd us onto the right path, even as we try to turn left and right. We thank you that you show us grace. We thank you for the daily bread and that our names are written in heaven. We thank you for the great shepherd, Jesus, who stands between you and us, who guides us into the promised land and who is preparing a place for us.
We pray Father for love for you and for faith to believe that you are a good and loving God. We pray that we would love your commandments and your Word. We pray that we would appreciate the boundaries you have put in our lives. We pray that we rejoice in your promises more than in the momentary comforts which you have so graciously provided.
Help us, Father, “set aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us” and help us “run the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,[…] who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”. (Heb. 12:1-2)
We pray Father for the ones struggling in our midst right now. Please grant relief to those in pain, peace to the restless, comfort to those who mourn and mercy to those who are fighting physical ailments. We pray you provide jobs and guidance for those looking for work.
Father, we pray for the Gospel, that it may spread in Northwest DC. We pray that you soften the hearts of the people around us and reveal your truth to them. Make us bold, strong and courageous in proclaiming the Gospel.
Father, we pray for the Gospel, that it may spread in NK and Bur. You love all people and you do not take pleasure in death, but in life. Please grant light and life to the peoples in these countries. Do not allow oppressive and idolatrous societies to hold back your Word. Protect our brothers and sisters in these countries and empower them!
In Christ’s name, Amen.