Prayer: Beyond Good Intentions (Matt. 25:1-13)

Lord of love, we thank you for grace unmeasured, vast and free. We pray for your resurrection life in us that awakens hearts that have grown cold, and minds that have grown dull, and hope that has grown distracted and weak.

God of truth, we do thank you for a legacy of faithfulness in our church in proclaiming and teaching the truth of the good news that you have entrusted to you in your word. We pray that you would not allow us to lose our first love, but to show our commitment to the gospel in word and deed. We pray that Central would be known in our city for showing the truth in love as much as teaching the truth in words, for our giving as much as our resources, for reaching out to share the gospel with others as much as we delight to lift up our hearts together in worship.

And so we pray that you would enable us to love in the way that you have first loved us. Please help us move beyond good intentions to love you, to remember you are present with us every moment of every day, to choose to live a praying life and an obeying life in every situation.

We ask that you would help us beyond our good intentions in loving the people in our lives. We lift up to you now the people in our lives that we want to love and need to love, but find it very hard to love, the people that we need to forgive, people that we have avoided or insulted or pushed away in fear or anger. Please make us faithful to bless and to pray for your richest blessing these people that you have brought to mind. Help us forgive as you have forgiven us in Christ.

Sovereign Lord, we ask that you would help us move beyond good intentions in loving our city and the people in your world who are in great need. We pray for

– for partnership and unity with other Christians and other churches

– for friendships in our neighborhoods and work places and schools

– for new avenues to serve others in

We pray for your help through your church for refugees and those oppressed by the horrors of war in Syria and Iraq, for sisters and brothers suffering threats and pressure but still walking with courage and integrity in China, India, the Philippines, Nigeria, and elsewhere.

Father, in all these things we pray for the power of Christ to make us faithful ambassadors of your glorious gospel, so we pray in the words that you taught us: Our Father…”

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