Whatever trials and troubles your family has gone through, God can make a triumph out of them. God never wastes an experience. let's pray for the needs of our families.
pray for our church families right now. You know what state your church is in. You know what struggles we are facing right now. E. Stanley Jones used to say that in too many of our churches, "There are three cheers for nothing, and three sneers for everything." pray for the church, not that God might bless our programs, but that we might become part of what God is blessing.
pray silently for someone you find personally reprehensible. Kurt Cobain In one of his songs, there is this line: "Jesus wouldn't want me for a sunbeam." How come no one got the message to Kurt Cobain that Yes, Jesus does want him for a sunbeam?
Why are we hating and reviling people for whom we should be praying? Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used to say: "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." Who would you put on America's Least Wanted List? Pray for those people this morning. Then pray for your enemies - by name, in silence.
Why aren't we praying for other churches in town? Yes, mention the pastor by name, name the church by name and pray for the strength of their ministry. Right now, let's name in prayer another pastor and church in town.
"EAP Index." EAP stands for Evidences of Answered Prayer. times in life when God has answered prayer and what kind of answer God gave. An EAP Index presupposes that we are embarking on tasks that are too big for us to do alone. If you are doing something, and you can do it without God's help, then where is God? It's only when we begin to do things for God that we can't do without God's help, that are beyond our powers or abilities to accomplish, that God is in it. Thank God for the EAPs in your life - the Evidences of Answered Prayer.
Our nation needs help. Let us confess the sins of the nation. How would you fill in this blank ?... "God, please forgive our ," or "Lord, I pray for the of the nation (greed, hatred, sexual impurity, etc.). Pray for one thing for our country in a one-sentence prayer.
Let us pray now for our church, our denomination. Let us ask God to bless our (e.g., Lutheran) bodies of Christ. The church is right now undergoing a New Reformation. The future will happen. But will the future happen in the (e.g., United Methodist Church)? Can the future happen here? The Scriptures say that it can. In the words of Isaiah 58:12 - "The ancient ruins will be restored by your own kindred and you will build once more on ancestral foundations; you shall be called rebuilder of broken walls, restorer of houses in ruins"(NEB).
Let us pray now for our leaders - name them. Pray for our judicatory/conference/diocese/presbytery. Pray that this New Reformation might not pass us by and leave us a monument to a dying order.
Finally, let us pray that we might go forth from here a changed people, a transformed tribe, ready and eager to witness to our risen Lord in whatever, wherever and whenever God chooses. Do you believe there are burning bushes still out there? Will you leave this place open to the stirrings of God's Spirit?