Prayer: Sacrificing What Is Dear (Hebrews 11:17-19; Genesis 22:1-19)

Our Redeemer-King, we thank you that you are a God who meets us at our point of greatest need.  Thank you do not ask us to sacrifice anything without the promise of your provision, that what you from us never exceeds what you give to us, and that your work will never lack your supply.

We thank you that in Christ you know the pain of sacrifice more than anyone and that in Christ your accepted the greatest sacrifice for us for the joy of your mission, so that your love and healing power would prevail over our selfish and destructive attempts to save ourselves. Lord, please open our eyes to see that sacrificing everything we have to your service is our greatest honor and purpose and the way of abundant life.  We ask you put to death our pride and fear born of unbelief and fill us such boldness and peace and confidence in your promises that we also can take up our cross and follow you for the joy of finding true life in sacrificing for you and your great purpose for us.  We pray for boldness and peace and confidence even when we don’t understand the path or the process.  When we are full of doubts, please fix our eyes firmly on Jesus, whose resurrection is the living proof that your word and your promises and your good and perfect will for us cannot fail but are all fulfilled in him.

And please fix our eyes on the people around us so that we can see their needs with your compassion and serve them with the gifts that you have gracious given us.

In the lives of our family, our friends, our co-workers, and our St. Louis neighbors, we pray that

where we have caused hurt, we would sacrifice our pride to offer our confession and repentance;

where there is pain, we would sacrifice our comfort to offer comfort;

where there is loneliness, we would sacrifice our time to offer our presence;

where there is rejection, we would sacrifice the comfort of being among friends to offer welcome to someone new;

where there is tension and conflict, we would sacrifice our peace to offer patient understanding and your peace;

where there poverty and need, we would sacrifice our money and other resources generously to offer relief and hope and opportunity;

where there is discouragement and despair and darkness, we would sacrifice our energy to offer the light and hope of the gospel in love;

We pray specifically today for Eric Stiller and Central West End Church and for West County Presbyterian Church.  We thank you for their confident trust in your faithfulness and promises that leads them to sacrifice greatly to establish new communities devoted to your mission in new locations.  We pray that you would guard them against discouragement and you would cause their churches to grow and flourish.  Please provide all that they need to become sister churches who faithfully worship you and serve the communities where you have placed them with your truth and love and healing power and eternal life.

We pray especially for all St. Louis churches to sacrifice our lives to serve this city in all the vocations where you have placed us.  Please renew us in the mission of overcoming evil with your goodness and justice, hatred with your love, division with the unity in your gospel, mistrust with the radical welcome of your grace.

Father, we cannot sacrifice and serve unless you rule in us and provide for us.  So we are bold to pray in the words that you taught us, “Our Father…”

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