Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-8; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 24:37-44
Our Lord, having confessed with our mouths the creed, we meditate upon you in our hearts. Grant us repentant and humble hearts, hearts that are prepared for your coming. Teach us how we can make our hearts ready for you, how we can prepare the way for you to reign in our lives. Take your rightful place as Lord of all that concerns us – of our relationships, choices, attitudes and thoughts. May your kingdom come into the details of our lives, bringing us the joy and hope of the reign of Jesus.
And so we pray, waiting for you to come to us, offering you access into every area of our lives:
We pray for the Church worldwide. You are the God of endurance and encouragement. Grant us grace to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that we may glorify you with one voice. Help us to welcome one another in love as Christ has welcomed us. Grant Church of the Apostles wisdom to follow you obediently in all our endeavours, and we ask you to establish the work of our hands, especially…
We read the promises in your Word of the coming King. We long for His reign of truthfulness, justice, and freedom. May His kingdom come to the nations of the world, granting righteous judgment for the poor and meek of the earth. We eagerly await the day of His rule, when the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
We think of all the areas in the world that are torn by war, disease and hunger; that are overridden by corruption and injustice; places where the poor and oppressed cry out. Hear us as we remember them, O Lord, for you are a God who listens to His people’s cry.
Consider the groaning of all creation as we wait for your coming and long for Your justice. Until then, grant us wisdom to steward your earth responsibly: to care for the creatures you have made and to live in harmony with your handiwork. Help us to be faithful intercessors for all these things, calling to our minds this week the welfare of the world, especially….
We pray for the needs of our community here in Columbia. Grant us discernment to minister your love and truth to those around us. Grow in us a greater love for our neighbors, our classmates and coworkers, our families, friends, and enemies. Teach us this week to prepare the way for your coming in the every day details of our lives, especially…
O Lord, our hearts are overwhelmed as we consider the suffering and trouble all around us. Grant us the mind of Christ to look on pain and still trust in your character, that we might courageously believe in the midst of the brokenness and pain all around us. Give us compassion and a mindfulness of others as they suffer in body, mind, and spirit. Enable us to offer words and deeds of comfort and truth, knowing you to be the One who comes to us, even in the midst of suffering. All men and women belong to you, and we commit to your care those in pain, especially…
We trust your Word, that Jesus is the firstborn among many brethren, that those who have died in Christ will also live with Him. We entrust to your continual care our brothers and sisters who have died in the faith, especially…
We are thankful for these lives and examples of faithfulness, even as we mourn the separation of death. Grant us grace to hope in the midst of our sadness and grief. Help us to believe your promise of eternal life and, so believing, to eagerly await the return of Jesus.
You are trustworthy and gentle with us, O Lord, and your love for us never fails. You will not abandon your people, and you are faithful to all you have promised. You are the God of hope; fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may about in hope. Draw us near to you this week, enfolding us in your encompassing presence. In our incompleteness, in our longing, come to us and abide with us. Make your home with us as we learn to abide in you, through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Amen.