Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Prayer for Paralytic Souls

Cause us to rise up this morning, O God.

We do not have it in and of ourselves to rise from our beds, let alone attain to the level of spirituality that this service of worship requires. Without you we are dead. Without you we can do nothing. So we pray now that you would descend upon us and stir up our hearts. Awaken our souls by your grace. Make our spirits to be lively and ready to dance in your presence.

Give us grace that we might repent. Make us attentive so that we might grow. Above all, let our lips be loosed that we might praise you. May our ears be opened that we might hear you. And let us glorify and enjoy you as you would have us.

Brought To Our Knees

We bow low, O God, for we are sinners in need of your grace. We feel it at every level. When we look into your law, it speaks to us. It tells us we are condemned before you. Our consciences are continually pricked by your Spirit and the conviction of guilt weighs heavily upon us day after day. Were that enough, the devil whispers in our ear and reminds us of our many sins. He accuses us unrelentingly and terrorizes us with our offenses.

We are brought to our knees before you. We come to you with nothing but our weakness and wretchedness, and we beg you for your mercy and grace. There is no other place that we can run. Only to Jesus do we fly.

For He is our only hope. Our only consolation is the promise of salvation and the cross of our dear Lord. We thank you that you sent him to die in our place, and we pray that you would continue your good work within us. Continue to deliver us from our sins. Let not only the books be cleared, but save us from ongoing sin. Cause the corruptions that still entangle us be crucified with Christ and let new obedience blossom in its place.

We pray that we might become the righteousness of God and that good works might characterize our lives. We pray that our love would increase and our holiness would abound to the glory of your name. May it be that we receive a hearty portion of your grace so that we might live upright lives before you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

God on High

You are the great one, O God. Worthy are you to receive our praises. You ruleth on High with a mighty arm, ready to save. Your eye watches your congregation. You guard them with love and strength. You disperse your enemies and bring them down to the dust. But those who look to you are safe. They live and do not die. They awake to the morning’s light and take joy in the work of their hands.

We adore you today because you have been our God. We gather together to unite our hearts in praise. And we ask that you would give us the grace to worship you in spirit and truth. Let us mimic the angels as they fall before you. Let us offer the sacrifices of reverence and contrition.

We are your servants O God, and we call upon your name. Let your glory now be exalted and your being manifested among us.

A Prayer for the Grace of Devotion

Today's confession of sin comes from Thomas a Kempis' work, The Imitation of Christ.

O Lord, my God,

You are all my good. And who am I that I should dare to speak to you? I am your poorest and meanest servant, a vile worm, much more poor and contemptible than I know or dare to say. Yet remember me, Lord, because I am nothing, I have nothing, and can do nothing.

You alone are good, just and holy. You can do all things, you give all things you fill all things: only the sinner do you leave empty-handed. Remember your tender mercies and fill my heart with your grace, you who will not allow your works to be in vain.

How can I bear this life of misery unless you comfort me with your mercy and grace? Do not turn your face from me. Do not delay your visitation. Do not withdraw your consolation, lest in your sight my sould become as desert land.

Teach me, Lord, to do your will. Teach me to live worthily and humbly in your sight, for you are my wisdom who know me truly, and who knew me even before the world was made and before I was born into it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Draw Us In

Draw us in, O God. Draw us into the holy place. The place where you dwell. The place where our souls find rest, peace, and renewal. We want to come to the place where most men would not dare to venture, for fear of death. For there we find our life and our heart’s longing.

Draw us away from this world, away from sin, and away from the grasp of the devil. May we taste of your sweetness today. May we be exposed to the radiation of holiness. May we be intoxicated with your love. And may our souls be stirred up to serve you again.

We desire something different this morning, something otherworldly, something divine. We don’t want a formalistic religion. We want something experiential. We want to abide by your rituals, but we do not want to be ritualistic. But that will only occur if you reveal yourself to us here. Our hearts will only be stirred if you come to us and touch our hearts.

So extend your hand now. Let your Spirit pick us up into rapturous dreams so that we can see your face.