Whether it be for use during a sermon or for personal reflection, below you will find a compilation of pastoral prayers.
God of Love,
We want to live fully, moment by moment. We ask for your help, that in every waking second, we might surrender to you with responsiveness, obedience, sensitivity, and pliability. The sense of being led by an unseen hand that reaches ahead and prepares the way is what we seek in you this day. And so we open our souls in this moment to your glory and your loving grace.
Help us to be so enveloped in your love, that time is transformed for us. Rather than continually looking ahead with anxiety or behind with regret, let us simply be carried along in the power of your presence. Let each hour have a simple priority, to operate within your plan. Yes, we want to cooperate with you to such an extent that all aspects of our lives are part of an active and organic conversation with you. We know that when we live more fully within your grasp, we are infinitely richer and invaluable to others, through your grace. We want to live spirit to spirit with you O God, and we want that to be the defining characteristic of our lives. And we keep two ideas ever before us, to be like Jesus and to respond to your guidance in every situation
And so casting aside any bent to disparage others, any desire to promote ourselves, any pessimism or pettiness - we humble ourselves to you, and live a posture of love and servitude to others, let us offer ourselves in this moment….
Loving God and Almighty God,
We think about your instruction in scripture: “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” And when we think about our own lives, a feeling of futility sweeps over us. For we strain to achieve goals far less than perfection. We struggle just to see you, understand you, and be established within you. Our goal is to live as you would have us live, and to find the peace and fulfillment in doing so. And yet each day, we shudder with disappointment in our lack of resolve and in the choices we made out of pure reactivity rather than intentionality.
We want to avoid wicked living, but not merely because we fear punishment. We want to do good, but not only in hope for a reward. We want a faith and a belief that is so much more than a transaction, an arrangement with you. We know that if our spirits do not feel the strong reverberation of you as Holy Spirit, we should be aware that something is missing in our relationship with you. It is time for us to be fully known by you and to become your friend. And so, we press on to grab for ourselves an intimate knowledge of you and place that in the center of our being, knowing full well that Christ has already made us his own.
Even though Christ died for us, many live as enemies of the cross. We stagger at the death of awareness of you and reverence for your guidance in our society. But we soberly remember the words of Paul that for such people, their end is destruction, their god is the belly, their glory is their shame, and their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. We look forward to our transformation in Christ, conforming to his glory, and recipients of his power. We claim this promise from scripture, and we go forth insisting on spiritual progress and expecting to find Christian strength and virtue by running the race. Life is so very difficult at times, never giving us a chance to pause and catch our breath for the next challenge, and so we cling to God and his promise of victory.