Your children are here before you this morning.
Some of us are rejoicing. We’re coming off of weeks that have seen good success in our work, or blessing in our finances, or happiness in our relationships.
But some of us are hurting. We haven’t had success in our work, our finances are near collapse, and our relationships with our children or spouse is a mess.
Father, as well, some of us are grieving. Our hearts still hurt so badly over the loss of a loved one that we don’t know how we’re going to make it into the next hour.
But we’re here Lord – here before you – here crying out to you in our joy or in our pain – because you are the only source of blessing, and you are the only source of help and hope.
Father, thank you for Jesus. He revealed you to us. He died to ransom us from bondage and slavery to sin. His resurrection from the grave gives us our hope of salvation – both now and for eternity – and hope that the pain of today will one day give way to eternal and endless joy.
We thank you, too, for the gift of your Holy Spirit to teach us all that we need to know about you – to equip us to love and worship and serve you – and to sustain and strengthen us when our faith grows weak and almost fails.
Father, the heavens above and the earth below shout the glory of your wonderful works.
There is no place on earth where the language of creation does not give you praise, so that only those who have hardened their hearts will refuse to believe this evidence and turn their hearts away from you.
Thank you for the wonderful rain and the glory of the thunder that you sent to us yesterday.
Thank you for the gift of music – this great and mysterious means by which we express our hearts to you, and which also inspires and encourages us to know and love and serve you more.
Thank you for the songs of the birds this spring – reminding us that as you provide for them, you will also provide for our every need.
Thank you for the beauty of leaves and flowers – of fruit on trees and vegetables coming up from the ground – reminding us that resurrection life is a reality – that you raise what is dead and dormant to life and abundance.
Thank you for a night of restful sleep, renewing the strength in our bodies to wake up this morning, and to go about our tasks each day.
Thank you for the provision you have made for food and clothing and shelter.
You have blessed us abundantly, and in our abundance, we pray for our brothers and sisters around us – and around the world – who have needs that have yet to be met.
Open our hearts, Father, and let us be your hands and feet in serving and providing for our brothers and sisters.
We thank you as well, loving Lord, for minds that can think and choose and worship and pray. We thank you for the gift of conscience that is used by the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin and lead us into righteous living.
We ask that you keep our fears and trials and worldly concerns from distracting us from our calling to be your witnesses – your ambassadors – your “missionaries” in our personal mission fields.
Help us to represent you well – to be faithful witnesses to your grace and mercy and love and power – to faithfully reflect the image of your glory that you have placed within us by your Spirit.
And may we represent you well. May others get a true picture of who you are and what you are like by the love and unity that they see among us.
Open our hearts to love and worship and receive you afresh this day. Shine the light of your presence on us and illumine our minds. Strengthen and empower us through our worship together today so that we might lift high the name of Jesus Christ in all we do and say.
And it is for his glory that we offer this prayer.