Monday, March 23, 2009

A Pastoral Prayer for the Church in America

I wrote this prayer early yesterday morning and prayed it during our worship service. I am sincerely pleading with God to send reformation and revival to His church in our country.

Our gracious and loving heavenly Father, we come to you today in the name of Jesus. We're so thankful for this privilege of meeting together as your people to worship and honor you. We're encouraged and strengthened as we sing and pray together and as we hear your Word preached and celebrate the Lord’s Supper we are built up by your grace and challenged in our walk with you.

We need to hear from you today and we need to be drawn closer to you. We are all needy people and we earnestly seek your will and your way. We have formally confessed our sins this morning but again acknowledge our waywardness individually and as a church. We find comfort in your acceptance of us through Christ and draw strength from the prayer Jesus prayed for us when He asked you to make us one- to give us unity. The Lord Jesus prayed that we would manifest His Glory by your power. The Lord Jesus asked you to make us perfectly one, that the world may know that you sent Christ.

Father, please give our church strength to honor and obey you in these desperate days. Father, please restore saltiness to your church in the United States. For too long your people have seemed to care more about the “American Dream” than the Great Commission. For too long your people have seemed to care more about popular pagan opinion than the counsel of the Holy revealed by your Word. For too long your people have seemed ashamed of the very clear, essential message of the Christ and Him crucified, fearing some kind of cultural backlash rather than obediently proclaiming the message of the Gospel- which is the power of God for salvation.

Restore to your church a spine. For too long we have acted as evanjellyfish instead of being boldly and biblically evangelical. Restore to your church a depth of conviction and courage. Restore to your church an unflinching confidence in your inspired and inerrant Word. Restore to your church, in this godless culture, a resolve to uphold the name of Christ against the onslaught of relativistic intolerance no matter what the cost. Help us to say as Paul did- “We are not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Lord, we confess that much of the cultural decline now coming in to clear view is not so much the result of unbelievers acting like unbelievers, but rather it is because believers are not thinking, living, and influencing as believers should. You have made us salt and light, not agents of decay and obstruction. You have given to your church the words of life and true enlightenment, not words of irrelevance and hindrance. Give to the Church of this generation a restored vigor and zeal for Christ, give to the Church of this generation urgency and bravery in the face of unbelief.

Father, we can see where the church’s inaction and complacency has led us- We now live in a land that cannot seem to distinguish the obvious- What is human life? What is marriage? What is right? What is fair? What is justice? What is truth? God forgive us! All of these things have become obscured and we are paying the price for it. So many lost men and women, despite degrees, positions of power and influence, and high political ranking are walking around as relative zombies because they are dead in their transgressions and sins while people who are called by your name seem to be more worried about the decline in their 401k’s than a culture in decline and souls on their way to hell.

Father, the current financial crisis of our land is a symptom of a deep sickness- help us, your church, to learn what needs to be learned and give us the grace and strength to repent and witness a spiritual revival in our day. I pray for the preaching of your Word to go forward. I pray for the gospel to be preached again in clarity from every pulpit in this land. I pray that where the gospel has been compromised and there is an insufficient view of your Word- that you would grant repentance or shut those places down. I pray that people upon hearing your Word preached would be born again by your Holy Spirit, from the President of the United States to the alien in our gates. I pray that you would work a transformation in this country like the one witnessed in the days of Jonathan Edwards. I pray that you would give your people a joy and sureness about the Word of God and the gospel of Christ once again.

I pray that you would make Redeemer to be a place of faithfulness to your Word. Please bless our efforts to disciple and train men, women, children, and families to walk with Jesus Christ all their days. I pray for our worship services, Sunday school classes, Home Fellowship Groups, bible studies, men’s ministries, women's ministries, Crown ministries, counseling, missions efforts, and our school, Westminster Christian Academy. Perhaps no other days in America have needed such an effort to disciple than now.

Father, as the Lord Jesus prayed, so do we- glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. The Lord Jesus glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave him to do. Please bring glory to yourself now through Christ’s Body on earth, your Church.



Zach said...

Powerful prayer, Tony--and most needful at this hour.

And as an aside, may I note that yours is the loveliest church I've seen in Johnson County. The first time I saw it, I remarked to Mrs. Brissett, "Why can't the Catholic churches around here be that beautiful?" It tells the world that you've given God your best. Well done.

Reepicheep said...

Thanks Zach. The new St. Michael's is pretty impressive.

Our building actually has a subtle "cruciform" shape...shhhhh, don't tell the hyper-regulative people!

Frontier Forest said...

Reading this powerful, poignant, penetrating prayer was great! But being there, hearing your passion, your fire, your righteous indignation, was a worship experience I will never forget! I talk to many of the brethren yesterday, and I agree with Elder Bob Reymond. He said we must get this on Face book and U-Tube, so Pastor Brian, get-er-done!
All of us remember the impassioned prayer from Rev Joe Wright and the stir that has invocation caused in Topeka. Well, all of us would to the Lord that you take your prayer and your passion, go with Lance to Topeka and share this Spiritual bombshell with the legislature. Also, I pray that somehow, someway, we get this prayer on the desk and into the hands of baby killer Sebelius. I have done my part to see this Word spread. Sending this on to every believer in my address book was not only a joy, but act of obedience unto the Lord.

Michael Lockridge said...

Amen and amen.

Facing a time of personal renewal, I am challenged and encouraged by your prayer.


Rick Calohan said...

Thank you Tony for sharing this prayer, the words are just as powerful and profound now as they were the moment I first heard them. Like Woody, I was compelled to send this prayer to those who I correspond with regardless of their walk with or without Christ.

Zach, I invited you to actually attend Redeemer if you have not already and experience not only the beauty of our church on the outside but also the beauty found within the prayers, music, and most importantly the sound Biblical teachings of the Word of God by our Pastors and Elders on any giving Sunday.

Salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in the Scripture alone to the Glory of God alone! Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria!

pjw said...

It was very obvious yesterday that when you prayed this prayer so fervently, you were putting into words what was in the hearts of many in the congregation, judging from the number of "amens" and "yes, Lord's" I heard around me throughout the prayer. Thank you so much for printing it, but I agree with Woody about getting it recorded for further distribution.

jmounts said...

Tony, without a doubt the most convicting and convincing prayer that we've ever heard. Just glad that we were at Redeemer yesterday, and were privileged to participate in your charge to the Father and to us, His sheep. Keep up the Good Work!

Malcolm said...

Tony, thanks for posting this. I was hoping to get a copy.

Anonymous said...

I praise God for the powerful prayer yesterday you prayed. I have never(in a PCA church) heard so many yes Lord and Amens. It was truly a prayer from the heart and God given.
We do have a beautiful building, but the real beauty is who resides on the inside, the indwelling Holy Spirt who resides in every beleiver that come to worship our Lord.
The fire has been lit, lets not let it burn out.

Zach said...

Brother Rick, thank you for your gracious invitation, however I generally have somewhere else to be on Sunday mornings. Perhaps we will cross paths elsewhere around town.

Frontier Forest said...

How about them collective passions! Keep em' comen!