I plan on writing these posts in order to give an example of what a prayer might look like. I am not personalizing these prayers, but instead, praying them in a collective spirit, like Jesus did in the 'Lord's Prayer'. Yet in our own prayer lives we can personalize these prayers, reflecting on the specific needs of our own churches, friends, families, and selves.
It is my prayer that these posts each week will give you and me a more vital and effectual prayer life.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you-- that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. (Rom 1:8-12)Our Father in heaven, we come before you now with thanksgiving and praise for all the works that you have done. We thank You especially for the Body of Christ, the Church, which Christ has purchased with His own blood. You alone have given Your Son as a sacrifice for sins, and implanted faith in us. We thank You then, Father, that the faith of your children is being displayed in all the world. And that in all the world Your are calling out people for Your own names' sake.
We confess now of our own self-centeredness and pride, looking to our own selves and living in our little our own worlds, when all the time we should be living in the light of that community that is the Church universal. It is a deeply troubling sin that we do not mention our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world who are serving You, and even dying for Your kingdom's sake. We repent and come before You now asking Your forgiveness.
We seek to emulate the Apostle Paul, who did not fail to make mention of the Your church, and live in the light of Your gracious plan to bring people from every tribe, language, people and nation.
Change us, and make us conscious of Your work in the world. Give us the wisdom to use our gifts that have come from you for the building up of Your kingdom, and rid us of our pride, so that we can receive instruction, strength, and love form those you have gifted in Your Church.
We leave these requests with You in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.