Sunday, 01 November 2020 21:01

Our Prayer

Opening

Father, I love it when they say: “Let’s go to the house of the LORD.”
We sing and give thanks surrounded by the sound of celebration! (Ps42:4)
Now we stand within your gates. (Ps122:1- 5)
With You, in Your holy Temple. (Hab2:20)
Let us, let all the earth be silent.

Fountain of every blessing,
Tune our hearts to sing Your grace.
Let Your never-ceasing streams of mercy
call for our loudest songs of praise.
Teach us to adore You, ever,
while the hope of endless glory fills our hearts with joy and love.

Others seek their own interest.
But You seek only my salvation and welfare. (Imitation of Christ, Kempis)
We panic, act like orphans.
But like a father, You stay true to your sovereign plan.
The Trinity is never stressed over how things are going to turn out
despite our weaknesses and doubts,
Salvation still marches on
because it is not based on our character, but on Yours. (Trapp10/23)

The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes
because in it, You offer to us what You demands from us, Your righteousness,
(You offer to us) as a free gift that we need and don’t have. (Rom1:16)
Thank you, Father, for meeting us where we are.
If we are asked to meet you where you are, we would be damned.
The death and resurrection of Jesus were necessary.
We have no power in ourselves to be wise, good and faithful.
Without the rescue, we are a danger to ourselves and to others. (Trapp10/24)
Father, would you help us see your saving messages in our daily lives,
How you move in that wrath to save us.
Instead of focussing on the broken glories of creation,
Help us pursue Your restoring glories because of Your character and promises.
Shape our responses to pains, difficulties, losses, failures, illnesses, sins,
by your glory and not by the seeming size of our troubles.

Confession

This world’s problem is not protest, pandemics, or trade war
They are symptoms of a much bigger problem:
the big problem is unrighteous souls in rebellion with the living God,
taking every opportunity to twist the truth, bury, suppress it,
You therefore unleash Your wrath against us.
On Judgement day, are we going to be consumed like chaff or will we be saved? (Rom1:16-17)
If we ever take this wrath lightly, help our unbelief.

We don’t want you as king:
We make you stand at the door and knock. (Rev3:20)
We trim and crop You to fit into our own kingdom.
We spin the truth, evade our own unrighteousness,
to make it look like we are worshipping you.
Sometimes, we can’t even see our own sin anymore.
But we can see them in others,
Turning the message of sin into focus of other’s people’s sins.
When you are patient to us, woo us to repent,
we think you are just a friend, pay no respect to your deity,
take the riches your kindness, and tolerance lightly. (Rom1:18-23)

Expose our darling sin, our idols –
the bitterness we love hugging, the sweetness of being a victim, our Delilah’s.
Forbid us to dally with sin.
Help us subdue it, even to the point of sacrificing our own Isaac.
As Jonah said; "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. (Jon2:8)
Help us identify and smash these idols
They are blocking the grace that could be ours.

Lord, turn and look at us like you looked at Peter. (Luk22:61)
Give us the self-knowledge of who we are,
That this is all about my depravity.
The more we know our sins, the more we understand your patience.
The deeper we experience our sins, the deeper we experience your grace -
The grace that could explode with power in our lives.

Pray for us as you did for Peter. (Luk22:32)        
Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control us. (Gen4:7)
Satan might have demanded permission to sift us like wheat.(Luk22:31)
But Your special, covenant love for us will triumph over everything that tries to destroy our faith. (Jer32:40)
So, when the rooster crows, (Mat26:31–35)
Let it be a reminder of your victory over Satan.
Let sin no longer be a place where we sink lower and lower,
But where we meet the enemy in Your strength, (Stott)
An endorsement of your gift of forgiveness, (gift of) grace, and (gift of) joy. (Luke22:31-32, 1Peter 5:8)

Pray for ourselves as a church

We pray for ourselves as a church.
Our mission is the proper display of your glory in the universe
how we can successfully reveal in our lives your righteousness in the gospel is our greatest interest. (Rom1:17)

But, do we still love you as we did at first? (Rev2:4)
Are we awake and alive? or are we asleep and dead?
Are we compromising your holiness,
led by common culture, rather than by your word?
Are we salt and light? or we have succumbed to the stains of the world?
Do we hold each other’s sin accountable? or do we tolerate Balaam and Jezebel? (Rev2:14)
Do we live in affluence and complacency,
Sailing, relaxing into the presence of the king at the great white throne? (Rev20:11)
Or we have a heart living and beating for Jesus.

I ask that you make GCC not only a place known for bible knowledge, but a place
where we invite you as king;
where holiness, and radically transformed lives are the purpose of theology,
where God is heralded and adored, not just explained and analysed, (Rom9)
where the reality of God and the power of your word is to create an authentic people -
a people who ask not who I am, but whose I am.

Forbid us to think that we have achieved it, (Phi3:13)
But constantly tuned in to your word, stand firm, stay grounded.
Enable us to endure, press on, keep reaching forward, (Rev2:25)
Guard us from walking away from a gift like this! (Col1:23)
Set us on fire with your presence. (Brother Lawrence)
Help us overcome trials by persevering in faithfulness to Jesus,
trusting, obeying, walking thru them,
Instead of being engrossed in our own small problems, trying to fix and to remove them. (Rev3:1-6)

We dedicate ourselves as a church to spreading the supremacy of God.
Fill us with the passion to live out the unstained gospel;
let Your grace and mercy flow out of us to bless the people around us
let no one will take away our crown. (Rev3:11)

Hope of the Final Days

I am so drawn to the two scenes at the beginning and at the end of the Bible.
In the beginning scene, Adam and Eve hid from you in guilt and shame as a sad result of their sin (Gen3).
At the end is the wedding feast of the Lamb. (Rev19).
It too is a gathering of sinners, but no one is cowering in shame. (New morning mercy 6/29)
They rejoice like in a loud thunder.

Oh, on that day when the clouds roll back like a scroll,
When the trumpet resound, and the Lord descend,
Christ come with shouts of acclamation,
Everyone, every eye, even those who pierced Him, will see Him. (Rev1:7 Dan7:13; Zach12:10)
He will lead us home.
What joy shall fill our hearts.

We shall be freed from sinning.
There will be nothing between us
and what we aspired to be as children of God.
We, clothed in blood washed linen,
shall see thy lovely face
sing Your wondrous grace. (Come thou Fount)
To everyone who is victorious You will give fruit from the tree of life. (Rev2:7)

Until then, we will be joyful in the God of our salvation!
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines,
we will rejoice in the LORD! (Hab3:17-18)

Jesus, who
Lived sinlessly,
Died sacrificially,
Rose victoriously,
who sought us when we were strangers,
who will return triumphantly,
it is in His name we pray,
Amen.