Prayers for the Church, others, and myself

Palm Sunday, I started a new devotional that follows the church calendar titled "A Guide to Prayer." Actually, I have read through, studied, and meditated on the weeks leading up to Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday several times since I was given the ministry devotional in 2000, but this year because of my new job at a Methodist church and a personal desire, I think I may continue the devotional even past holy week.

Last night, my heart's cry prayer was for nothing to ever come between Jesus/God and me. For no one or nothing to take His place as first in my heart and as the most important relationship in my life. As I read today's devotional, the words of Henri Nouwen from "A Cry for Mercy" radiated with my heart's cry, "help me become a trusting friend," "Let me be reborn in you and see through you the world in the right way, so that all my actions, words, and thoughts can become a hymn of praise to you," and "Why do I keep relating to you as one of my many relationships, instead of my only relationship, in which all other ones are grounded?"

And then as I continue on, I come to the part of the devotional in which I am to pray for the church, for others, and for myself, and I pause, unable to pray, even after the above agreed upon thoughts. As my devotional was soaked through two Sunday's ago in septic flood of my apartment, I am left to share and impart these journalistic thoughts and prayers online for the moment.

Prayers for the church:
Lord, Jesus, as I embark on my first day of work in a new church, I pray and ask for your blessings, that I may be a blessing to the church and that they may be a blessing to me. I am not quite sure what or where you have called me to place myself in this church body, but I trust that You have a plan, and I am excited to see how that plan unfolds. Help us to use our time together wisely as we prepare my hours and plan for the next week. May you be honored in all we do and may you guide me in the ways for me to spend my time this week and in the coming weeks serving within this community. Thank you so much for blessing me with a new church home, a congregation full of love, a place to worship you in new ways, and a church staff who I respect and admire. Thank you for calling me to a place of blessing. May you be praised.

Lord, today I lift up the following churches: Elkhart Christian, 1st Christian of Spencer, 1st Christian of Mahtomedi, Shueyville Methodist, and Noelridge Christian. I ask Father that you bless and guide the leaders of the church, help these houses to become houses of prayer, and call the members to draw closer to you and deepen their faith walk, striving to put you first in all things. I pray that the men and women who have been called into leadership and servanthood in these churches may be men and women who are full of the Holy Spirit and faith and may be known as "good" men and women (Acts 11). I ask father that you may guide them and help them to encourage the churches "to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts," that your hand may be with them, and that a great number of people may come to belief and turn to You as a result of their witness and the witness of the church. Lord, I also ask that visitors when visiting these church homes may say "the evidence of the grace of God" amidst these congregations and that these congregations may not depart from "telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus." I also ask Father that you send out members of these churches to other communities locally and throughout the world to proclaim your good news and I ask Father that they may be both the salt and the light of the earth and that their proclamation may be found pleasing in Your sight. And as you send them out Lord, I ask for your blessing of protection upon them, that they might return safely to share news of their adventures and testify to the amazing work you accomplished through their faith. Thank you Lord for these churches and thank you Lord for the ministries that you have called me and will call my family too. I pray the same for Young Life, Youth for Christ, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Aide to Women, House of Hope, Mission of Hope, Serve the City, A.C. Green, Watershed, and the various other ministries who are working alongside the church to further the churches reach. Please bless these ministries as well and guide them along your paths of righteousness for Your name's sake that you might be worshipped and brought praise as your kingdom is expanded and the lost come to a saving-grace relationship with you. Amen.

For Others
Lord, I thank you for your miraculous healing of Mackensie and for her sister Abby. Lord, may they not forget this miracle and may the medical community be amazed as they are witness to your miraculous work.
I pray for new life and open eyes, an awakened heart, and renewed spirit for my uncle and his sons. Please provide an amazing group of fellowshiping men for them to find a place of encouragement, honesty, and safety. Bless the boys in their sports activities, give them safety there also. Peace. new life.
Pastor Schoeninger's family as they grieve, as well as for my friends in Philadelphia, Amy and her family, Jeff's family, and the Jacksons. May you be honored as they remember their loved ones and help us as the Church to come around them with Your love. Pray for spiritual fruit and new life's in Christ for the unsaved family member's and friends and for both boldness and discernment for the believers.
For baby Macey, that she may grow up knowing you and that her family may also come to know you as their Savior and Lord and grow continually in that relationship. Keep her safe and healthy and guide her to become a woman after your own heart. Bless her with wisdom and a great knowledge (heart, mind, and soul) of You.
For all of the married couples - that their marriages may be enriched and their love may grow.
For my engaged friends - for their wisdom during this time.
For my friend in seminary - Your truth and Truth may be revealed to her as she continues to seek You and Your will
For ministry accountability partner - Your blessings upon her, wisdom, faith, continuous above reproach life, quality time with friends, family, and housemate, refreshing time with God
For my unsaved friends and family - that they may come to know you as their Savior and Lord and be transformed with a renewing of their mind and heart
For my immediate family - financial blessings, wise stewardship of time and resources in jobs, joyful recreation, wisdom in rebuilding the basement, insurance surprise blessings
For my sister - she continues to grow in wisdom as she continues to seek You, Prom - fun night with many good memories, discernment about college, for her future husband - that he is growing in his relationship with You right now and that you are preparing them for each other, for her grief with Titus - strength (our wisdom on how to comfort and friend's understanding of the loss of a pet friend)
For Scott - blessings and wisdom, a safe trip full of great experiences, for work while he is gone and once he returns, for spiritual growth, and for his family - blessings, health, and joy

For Myself
Lord, help me to put you first, guide me with wisdom with Young Life, teach me to pray for others, help me to worship you through this new devotional, fresh start and wisdom as I go through my belongings and decide what to pitch and what to keep, a prayerful heart, knowledge and direction on my place with my family, that green house I drive by in Western, the prayer of my heart about Young Life, ministry in CR, long-term dreams and hopes, further education, and evangelistic preaching, for your desires and plans for my life to become my desires and prayers, financial wisdom, provision, and blessing, For thy will to be done.

Comments

katie z said…
I use that devotional as well =) - well, one of them.. i think there are three.

THEY ARE FANTASTIC!!!

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