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23 Jan 2021

Amaze us with the wonder of how you remembered our sins on your Son. Give wisdom to those who lead us so that our denomination may grow healthy, gospel-advancing churches. Some of your children wrestle with their thoughts. We stray into the counsel of the wicked and the way of sinners. Increase our belief in the Gospel, through which nothing that is broken is beyond restoration. Forgive us, Father. And it is in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that we pray. And the day that you have made and the day in which we rejoice, is the day of the victory of our Lord Jesus. Help us to have eyes to see how we can be missional in our communities. Father we come before you this morning and ask that you would be especially near to Katelyn, Lori and Greg (name witheld). Let them experience you in their studies and in creation around them. Some in this room today are facing trials that, from our vantage point, look insurmountable. Our Father, thank You for how You re-center us on the truth of who You are. Even when you walked the path of deepest darkness, the path to the cross, you trusted your Shepherd. We pray for those who are in our own sphere of influence, that you would direct their hearts to Jesus and his trustworthiness. We pray for those who are coping with loving a prodigal. May all the nations indeed turn to you and worship you for the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. What good news it is that you have established a stronghold against your enemies, and that you have silenced the foe. Please also give them strength to care for their aging parents in whatever way you would guide them to. Thank you for your plan to make all things new. To create a city where the sound of weeping and of crying are heard in it no more. We are grateful for the unique ways that you minister to your people when we gather. This Psalm calls us to ascribe to you the praise that you deserve and so we do that. We lift up our students to you as they finish out their school year. As we look back at 2020, we must confess, as ever, that we fall short of trusting and obeying your word as we ought. At the same time, we pray you would continue to intervene in areas of our world where our brothers and sisters are under great persecution. Shape it to love and approve of whatever is good and noble and to abhor what is evil. We hope in that one day our confidence will not And lead us forward in this season-of-Lent journey toward simplicity. Show us the beauty of your Son and grow a deeper longing in our hearts for when that day comes that our waiting is over, that day when we no longer must wait for your coming in glory, that day when every tear is wiped away, every wrong is made right, and our mouths are filled with laughter, and our tongues with songs of joy. We pray for those with loved ones whose hearts are far from you. For those caring for aging parents, bless them with patience and gentleness. Not a day goes by that we don’t hear of more people, people made in your image, dying because of their skin color, ethnicity, or just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Lead us to the place of inward praise and worship. Forgive us our self-centeredness, our impatience, and our pride. We recognize that we face an hour-by-hour battle of where we fix our eyes and where we seek for joy, and that often we choose fear instead of faith, temporary pleasures that fail instead of Your faithful presence. Even in our prayers today may we be reminded that we sit in the midst of this congregation, filled with a variety of people, filled with a variety of life experiences, and filled with a variety of struggles, doubts, disappointments, and fears. Rouse us early from our slumber on Sunday morning. We forget that it is because of your great love that we are not consumed. Lord, we lift up those in our congregation who are facing trials that seem insurmountable. We acknowledge that we have no ability to save ourselves. We ask You, like the psalmist, to forgive us for our hidden faults—those sins that have not yet come to light even to us—and to keep us from willful sins, that they would not rule over us. For our court and justice system, we pray for decisions that recognize the worth of every human being, no matter how far down one has sunk. We ask that in the first couple months and years of their life together that You help them build a firm foundation of love and trust and joy, centered on You, that will be able to not only withstand the challenges of ministry in another culture, but will be a haven where many people can see and experience Your love because of them. We think of Katrina and David and we pray for Muslim peoples in North Africa. Father, help us to realize we will always be learning what it means to follow you more deeply. Thank You for the blessing of living under Your rule, King Jesus. This morning we take refuge in you afresh. And we answer that we will do as the Psalmist suggests: We lift up the cup of salvation, the cup you lifted up as the new covenant in your blood, and remember your death until you return. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus, because all of it was purchased with His blood. bringing all people into healthy relationship with Jesus and one another, Oh Father, we come today so grateful that You are the God who hears us. Many people do not have flood insurance, and the needs there are great. Lord we pray that the Gospel would so saturate our lives, our families, and communities that when we actively seek out and interact with our neighbors, you would look beautiful. Lord in the midst of uncertainty, help us to pray as the Psalmist did: though the sorry may last Protect marriages and parent-child relationships and the tender spirits of young ones amid global crisis. It is only by your power that battles were won before even being fought. As you set our hearts upon you, speak through our words and actions, that others around us would see you shining through. As we close out this year, Lord, our minds and our lives are still spinning with the unprecedented realities in which we find ourselves. We thank you that Pastor Larry is using his gifts to train leaders there to share your gospel. He arrived through the travail of a human mother, he saw light, he took his first breath, he was cold, he cried, and he was utterly dependent on his parents for his very survival. Root these things out of our lives. Do good to their persecutors and save them. May you give them clear direction on how, as a couple, they may use the arts to further your kingdom when they return to East Asia. To delight in your commands. This year has brought pain, chaos, and uncertainty, but we know that this is the kind of backdrop that can showcase Your faithfulness. Give them an eagerness to see new people brought into their GC, and we pray this would continue to become the kind of community where all people—regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or marital status—can find a home. Lord we lift up our Gospel communities to you. On this day of resurrection, look into the hearts of those who come here feeling like they are dying inside. We are distracted by what has happened this past week or what is going to happen this week or what plans we have for later today. Challenge all of us to move beyond worshipping on Sunday into engaging in one another’s lives during the week. Lord, when we hear the Psalmist say, “I will make your faithfulness known through all generations” we ask the question, how do we do this? you made life in all its beauty; With [names withheld], we feel that anguish today. We pray that peace and safety would reign. Thank you, Lord, for the rich history that’s been recorded in your Word, which is not a legacy of our good works but of your relentless grace. We pray this morning for Pastor Larry as he serves with Training Leaders International in the Philippines by providing theological training to local pastors there. Supply the needs of those whose jobs and livelihood are lost or jeopardized by this crisis. Help us to move through the world with a spirit of thanksgiving for the beautiful things that point back to their source: You. ... then Uncorked in Centennial is saving relationships by the class-full. Lord we confess that we have loved the wrong things. As the psalm writer reminds us of your creative power and your sovereignty over the nations, please remind us of your sovereignty over our lives and over your church. Father, we praise You that Your unfailing love surrounds us. In a world that is controlled by earthly, human success, give us hearts that value faithfulness. You offer us, mere mortals, the dust of the earth, your eternal self. We pray for those with relationships that are broken as the result of sinful words and actions. We pray for the end of political unrest and violence in the Philippines, and for the powerful advance of your kingdom there. May we rejoice in experiencing the blessedness that you promise in this psalm. They are discouraged. We pray your blessing on all our volunteers who are directly investing in the next generation. We are foolish if we don’t pause to look back and remember your faithfulness, and we are naïve if we look back at 2016 with rose-colored glasses. We ask that you would cause this surgery to be successful, that you would sustain him through the eight-week recovery, and that you would give an extra measure of grace and energy to [name withheld] as she cares for him and their two little ones. For these we pray earnestly for healing to come now, and for hope in our ultimate healing in the resurrection. Help us to practice the fear of the Lord, that we my gain a heart of wisdom. Thank you for their humility and their focus on Jesus. How striking it is to think of every single thing, animal and inanimate object, as being personal and joining with every human being in lifting a resounding chorus of praise to you! May we present our beliefs in a way that does not look down on them, but rather in a way that is a natural expression of who we are and our love for you. May we have the same boldness if someone approaches us and directs questions our way. Forgive us for letting fear and national policy get in the way of showing compassion. Heavenly Father, what beautiful images you give us to ponder and to relate to Christian community. LORD we remember our brothers and sisters around the world. We thank you for her faithful presence here at Centennial, and we thank you for the example of faithful gospel ministry she has been for us. Rightly this psalm calls us again and again to praise you. Father God, teach us to number our days that we don’t become distracted or deceived. But we are comforted by this; you know what it’s like to lose a child. We ask all of this in the name of your Son. Teach us to have the same understanding of how great you are. for the night, joy comes in the morning. Thank you for this opportunity for them to get away and have fun and build relationships with one another. Give those in authority a greater desire to listen to various viewpoints with a desire to truly understand. We pray for organizations like Union Gospel Mission who seek to serve both physical and spiritual needs in our community. We are also thankful for the relationship you are starting to form between Ben and Tiffany. Please grant this to the leaders you have placed in our local cities, our states, and the national level. Reveal to us the idols of comfort, security, and approval that keep us enslaved to an introspective, disconnected, and self-focused life. We pray in the name of King Jesus, Son of David, risen from the dead. We pray for the students in our own congregation. Give the leaders and congregation of Elmwood wisdom as they prepare to make final decisions about this new direction. Gracious God. We ask for the fulfillment of this psalm, “Sing to the Lord, all the earth.”. Mobilize your church globally and our denomination specifically to respond to the hurt in our neighborhoods, towns, cities, states, country and world. Give strength to your people. Forgive the selfishness that has led us to be so consumed with ourselves that we are hardly moved by images of small children being pulled from the rubble of a crumbling city. We see around us the world that you have made, full of life, power, and beauty. May we be counter-cultural in our love and respect for one another, and may our community of many ages be a light to those around us. They are weighed down by heavy burdens, some of which are plain to see, and some of which remain known only to you. Many face an uncertain future because of their physical health – whether chronic illness, cancer, or other problems that frustratingly escape diagnosis. When we see the condition of our world, full of injustice and conflict, we are tempted to despair. Lord the cross bids us to come and die and to sacrifice for one another. We ask for much fruit from the 9 days he is gone. Forgive us, Lord, and open our eyes and hearts to worship you in the splendor of your holiness. We thank You, Father, that the boundary lines for us have fallen in pleasant places; You have included us among Your chosen people, Your royal inheritance. With so many messages screaming at us in December, remind us of that which matters most; that it is in the person of your Son that righteousness and peace kiss each other. May all that is said and done in this worship gathering today make him look beautiful to us. When we’re fighting sickness, fatigue, or burnout, lift us up and be our Strength. We are grateful that the women in attendance are from varied backgrounds and stages of life—some married, some single, some with children of their own, some with children on the way, some older, some younger. We ask that your Spirit would be granting wisdom to Katrina as she continues to meet with Helen. Give us the grace of truth and clarity. In your mercy, guide us to know how to stand up for the vulnerable, whether they are women, children, elderly, minorities, or disabled. Direct our attention to the Cross which demonstrates your love for us, and bring comfort to those who need encouragement and hope today. Holy Spirit, teach us as a church family how we can best position ourselves and invest our resources and our capacity towards that end. God, today we suffer and today our nation suffers because we have placed too much importance on human rulers. We ask for your guidance and clear direction if this is the path you want us to take to make the greatest impact for your kingdom. Along with Bernie, we are eager to see the many ways you will show your love and faithfulness to her. Help us to remain faithful to you God. May they taste and see and take refuge in you. As our faith ebbs and flows you remain faithful. You are our provider, our protector, the one who perfectly loves us. Thank you for the work that has gone on to prepare this conference and we pray for a beneficial time where all involved can experience unity in the gospel and honor your name. We join the praises of your Old Covenant people and we thank you for granting to David the remarkable deliverance that you did as we remember the terrible circumstances and anguish that he described the first portion of the psalm. We elevate ourselves above the God of the Universe. Lord, continue to make us the kind of local church family where no one has to hide. Please grant the doctors wisdom as they review the current results and decide on what direction to take for further testing. God, we confess that we are addicted to our pride. For police who will be protecting the peace. From busy ants scurrying around collecting food to giant sea creatures playing in the ocean. Help parents who face abiding challenges of logistics, employment, educational supplementing, and relational tensions within the home. Help us to keep a multiplication mindset as we look not only toward launching another congregation and multiplying our Gospel Communities, but to bringing the good news of the gospel to our neighbors and coworkers and to the next generation. Would you grant them creativity to know how to create a space where those who are not yet followers of Jesus can experience the community of the Church. Some of your children carry a daily sorrow in their heart, often hidden behind a smile. Help us to build who we are on You, our good and faithful God. May it shape our minds as we allow You to teach us. God, our Father, we echo all the words of this psalm. The psalmist is very clear that You are the one who will bring ultimate judgment on the wicked. This morning we want to lift up our state and local leaders as they make significant, very difficult decisions in response to COVID-19. Lord, we want to praise you for this in our own lives as well, but some among us are still feeling the sticky mud and mire move from their feet, to their knees, up to their thighs as they continue to sink deeper into despair. Lord, like the psalmist today, we want to be among those who are blessed because our sins are covered and our guilt removed. Lift these people up and let them see their vocation as a mission field…  a place to make small differences on a daily basis. God, we earnestly want to see change, please start in our hearts. As we continue to learn what it means to trust in you more fully, may we continually be shaped into the image of Jesus. And lastly father we ask that the people of St. Louis would be able to see a clear demonstration of your love through the lives of our team. Spare them and us from decisions and laws that would slow or hamper the free spreading of the gospel in our own country and around the world. In the midst of the chaos surrounding us at this time, we can give thanks along with David for where you have placed us in this world. Be near to Jill and to Andrew in the recent loss of Jill’s dad and Andrew’s mother. You are my God.”. We pray you would meet the needs of Brian and his family as he has already started to work here and his family is still in California. and footsteps in the dew When we struggle through the consequences of poor decisions we have made, you again are there. When we look at the world you have made, we are filled with awe. As you revealed yourself to the wise men so many years ago, reveal yourself to us today. We ask this in the name of your Son, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please help the logistics of their move to Minnesota go smoothly. Whether it be physical, relational, emotional, financial, or spiritual shadows that cover us—or more than one—I pray that we feel the comfort of Your presence and that it chases away the fear. And we pray for your church in Texas. You trusted his provision and direction and protection day by day, moment by moment, when you walked this earth. God, together we proclaim that you are good and faithful. Help us to make good use of the days you have blessed us with. Forgive us for our self obsession and erroneous thinking that we are accomplishing so much in this life, with the building of our kingdoms and guarding of our possessions. We pray that you would comfort, encourage, and sustain those who suffer from health problems, and cause them to look to the resurrection of Jesus as a source of hope that our imperfect bodies will one day be fully healed and restored in your presence. Lord, you know the sheep of your pasture, you know each one, you know where they have been and what they have done, and we, too, ask that you would remember mercy and not sin. And you willingly gave yourself up to those who were out to destroy you, to your mortal enemies who surrounded you, so that you could be the atoning sacrifice for our many sins. And teach us the simplicity of living in biblical community. Lord we mourn for lives lost, but we also mourn for your world. We feel defeated because we cannot care for our family in the ways we wish we could, we cannot provide everything our family needs, and we cannot protect our family from the dangers in our world. Help us to see the needs of the people around us, in our neighborhoods, our workplaces, our city, and even the far reaches of the world. And on the cross you bore the punishment for our sins, so that we would not fear that God has abandoned us. You know the pain in their heart. We take comfort knowing that this psalm was written by David, not on the mountain top of intimacy with you, but in the darkest valley, when his soul was in anguish. Lord, there is so much hate and divisiveness in this world, but may your people love without boundaries and begin with us. Forgive us, Father, for not making You the place we always turn our eyes. We pray that you would give us, their church family, tangible ways that we can show your love and faithfulness to them. You redeem. All the time you are good. You found rest in him, you poured out your heart to him, in the face of deceitful, murderous opposition. We are narrower in our mercy than you are. Our Father in heaven, we give you praise today for the marvelous things you have done. For those of us this morning wrestling with pain and questions we do not know how to understand, may we find comfort in the fact that You know. We ask for protection on their drive and fruitfulness in their ministry, that those they come into contact with there would see You in them and be drawn to You. Teach us your way and lead us in a straight path. God, our minds simply cannot comprehend the sheer magnitude of your rule. Teach us to joyfully proclaim it. You sustained him all the way to the cross, and you raised him from the dead. May the fruitfulness of your people in that fellowship and those neighborhoods be a profound blessing to many. As the academic year comes to an end, cause us to view the summer months through gospel lenses. 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