One of the most meaningful portions of our worship gatherings are our public prayers. Every week we include a pastoral prayer led by one of our elders. Our pastoral prayers begin with a prayer of thanksgiving, before praying specific requests for our church, a sister church, our nation, and our world. The following pastoral prayer was prayed by Mike Lindell on November 15, 2020.
Father, over the past few weeks we have expressed our thanks to You for Your word: for the authority of Scripture, for the inerrancy of Scripture, and for the clarity of Scripture, and this morning we give You thanks for the sufficiency of Scripture. As Your word is the ultimate authority, as Your word is inerrant, and as Your word is clear, so also is Your word sufficient. It is sufficient for knowing You, for knowing who we are in relation to You, for knowing that we have sinned and fallen far short of Your glory, and for knowing how to be reconciled to you through faith in Jesus Christ. It is sufficient for faith and godliness and worship and service. It is sufficient for life itself for Your word tells us that Your divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. And that knowledge comes from Your all-sufficient word. Traditions, and philosophies, and shifting cultural norms must all bow before Your word, for it is breathed out by You. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. Your word tells us to take care that no one takes us captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. You tell us that even if an angel from heaven should preach to us a gospel contrary to the one in Your word, let him be accursed. Your word is all sufficient. As Psalm 19 says, The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward. Lord Jesus, You have left Your bride with a sure and sufficient guide for faith and practice in the midst of a world cursed by the fall. So may we rejoice in the sufficiency of Your word and contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
Father we pray for Poquoson Baptist Church this morning that You would continue teaching us and molding us into a church that understands and does what is just and right. In Micah 6:8 Your word says that You have shown [us] what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? In Proverbs 21:3 You say that to do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Isaiah 1:17 says learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause. And in Amos 5:24, let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Father, You are righteous and just, and so we pray, teach us to know what is right and to do what is right and just in Your eyes.
We also pray, Father, for our sister church, Collinswood Agape Baptist Church in Portsmouth. We pray that You would continue to strengthen them in Your word and unite them as two congregations have joined into one. Grant them to be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. May they be a church that is faithful in proclaiming the gospel, in being imitators of Christ, and in being fruitful in every good work, that Christ may be glorified through them and that others may be drawn to You. We pray for pastor Robert Lee that you would fill him with Your Spirit to preach and exalt Christ. We pray that You would grant him wisdom and grace, strength and vision to lead the church to make disciples for Your glory. We pray for our nation this morning, Father, for deliverance from addictions that can destroy the body and waste the mind.
Tens of millions of Americans are addicted to substances like alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, opioid painkillers, cocaine, heroin, and various prescription drugs. Having lost a friend from high school to a heroin overdose I know that addiction can happen to anyone. Grant wisdom we pray to lawmakers to pass laws that can better control the misuse of legal drugs and stem the flow of illegal drugs. Grant law enforcement success in stopping the flow of illegal drugs into this country. Grant doctors wisdom in prescribing drugs. And for those who are addicted we pray for release from those chains and for them to find freedom and joy in Christ.
Father we pray also for the world and this morning we pray for the African nation of Tunisia where 11 million souls live. As the country is more than 99% Muslim and Christians make up barely one quarter of one percent of the population, we pray for an outpouring of Your Spirit. Grant the gospel to penetrate the darkness. Grant workers to plant seeds and establish churches. For the few Christians there we pray for faith and endurance as they face persecution from friends, family, and the government, and risk their jobs or worse simply for following Christ. Your arm is not too short that it cannot save and so we pray for the salvation of multitudes in Tunisia, including president Kais Saied. We pray that You would give him a heart to govern well so that there may be justice, freedom, and peace, and so that the gospel may be allowed to freely spread and take root.
And now Father, we pray for Hopson as he brings us Your word. Fill him with Your Spirit and grant us understanding as Your word is preached. Give us ears to hear, and give us hearts inclined to wholly follow You. Move us to worship You in Spirit and in truth. Holy Spirit, speak to us today, we pray. May our worship and our response to Your word, O God, bring You glory for we ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.