Our God, this morning we lift our prayers to you as our comforting King and our conquering Saviour.
You have made everything and you made it “good.” But we have brought corruption into your beautiful creation, and desecrated it and ourselves. Forgive us our sins.
As your redeemed children, we suffer the disdain of this darkened world in which the devil seems to have so much control. Help us.
Whether the enemy masks himself in comfort or leisure, in power or beauty, or if he appears naked and brutal, let us not hide or run and shrink from standing firm in the faith, clothed with your armor.
What an army we must appear! The world looks upon us and sees us and laughs, or scorns, such a pretentious bunch—the old, the young, the sick and lame, the weak and poor. And so we are, Lord—powerless and weak, undeserving. But we do nothing more, nothing else, but point to our Master. When you appear in great glory, splendid and triumphant to establish a glorified Eden—a new heaven and earth—where there will be no tears, no evil, no death, no enemy—we will see you face to face. You will disband your army and take us home and there we will celebrate and rejoice and know perfect rest with you.
Until that day comes, help us to be strong in the strength of your might, standing firm against the deceit and the schemes of the devil. By your Spirit, make us shine as light in a dark place, being alert and steadfast. Make us warriors of prayer.
We pray for your children whom you have called to be faithful in the face of raw violence: help them stand and look to our conquering King and Saviour as worthy of all our allegiance and humble submission. We pray for those who endure pain and humiliation behind closed doors and a veneer of respectability and pretence: liberate them and succour them. We pray for all who are abused or helpless because they are ignored or ridiculed and regarded as worthless or useless (nugatory): lift them up and give them your dignity.
Grant us wisdom and discernment to recognize evil; and grant us the courage to name it and oppose it. We pray especially for anyone, great or small, who has responsibility for the care of others: show them, help them, to lead in peace and goodness.
You have caused your kingdom to break into this world. Help us to walk in the true grace of your salvation, bring your beauty and light into all that we do, living in the power of your Spirit, fixing our eyes on our coming King and Saviour.
We lift our prayers to you in Jesus’ name. Amen.