A Prayer of Ascents

Here is the prayer that I concluded my message with this past weekend at Eastbrook. I wrote this prayer as a way to reflect and weave together themes we have experienced throughout this series, Ascend.

Eternal God,
guide us who live as exiles and strangers
upon the time-bound paths of earth;
in our trials and tribulations give us grace,
and in our overflowing joys receive praise.

Grant us faith that, walking day by day with You,
we may seek an eternal country
more than we seek the goods
of these our earthly countries.

Strengthen our drooping hands and weak knees
that we might not grow discouraged along the journey,
but might run the race set out for us
with the goal of winning the prize in the upward call in Christ Jesus.

May we run together as one –
people of every tribe, tongue, and nation –
showing Your glory to a watching world
by the way in which we love one another in grace and truth.

We pray for Your grace and strength in our journey
until the day when we round the last hill’s rise
and gaze into the Eternal City
where we will see You face to face
in the new heaven and new earth,
where all manner of things will be made new.

Until that day, we say: come Lord Jesus.

Sunday Prayer 51

We choose to abide in You,
You who are the Vine of the Lord;
we choose to abide.

We abide in Your love,
that love which called our names before anything,
that love which brought forth all creation;
we choose to abide.

We abide in Your commands,
those commands for which we were made to live,
those commands which bring us to life through obedience;
we choose to abide.

We choose to abide in You,
who place us in the hands of the great Vinedresser;
we choose to abide.

[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]

Sunday Prayer 50

You are our God, and we praise You;
no other is worthy of praise like You.
May our gathering together bring You delight
as we worship You in the splendor of Your holiness.

There is no other Name –
no hero, no leader, no friend, no preacher –
who deserves praise like You;
receive all our praise, oh God.

Then let our daily lives overflow from this gathering
as a living sacrifice of worship offered upon
the altar of our praise to You.
Take each thought, word, and deed
and receive them as worship,
even as You refine them in holiness more and more.

As we walk this earth day by day,
may the sweet aroma of Christ emanate from our lives
in the incense of prayer.
May that sweet smell overwhelm and counteract
the stench of death in this world,
drawing people to the good news
of Jesus the Messiah and Risen King.

Receive our praises, oh God,
and take our lives, oh God,
for Your highest praise.

[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]

Sunday Prayer 49

Heavenly Father,
Your awesome power surpasses our view,
and Your majesty is beyond our comprehension.
It is even this reality which makes Your grace more amazing
and Your love more tender.

The Scripture tells us:
‘The Name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe’ (Proverbs 18:10).

We run into Your Name – Your character –
for refuge because of Your power and majesty;
if You are for us, who can be against us?

And we run into Your name for covenant-love,
finding that nothing can separate us from
the tender, fierce love of the God who made us
and came for us in Christ.

We seek You.
We praise You.
We hide in You.
We live in You.

[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]

Sunday Prayer 48

After the dark of death
After the loss of life
After the gift seemed broken and discarded
After the pulsing pain
After the weary final gasp
After the heavy heave of stone over tomb

The light breaks forth
The Son shines like day
The victory resounds and heaven cheers
The surging joy
The rising hope
The empty space now filled with life

our risen King
light of the world
we worship You
incarnate life
resilient Lord
we praise Your matchless Name.

[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]