a pastoral prayer

Ligon Duncan recently prayed this sweet, pastoral prayer…

O Lord – Living, True and Triune God,
We love you more than the world.
We need you more than life.
We are not here today as a diversion,
or to go through the motions,
we are here in the midst of a dread battle,
because we need to be together with one another
with the Captain of our salvation, more than we need food.

We are here because of your grace,
Otherwise we would be somewhere else destroying our own lives.

We are here not because we are good, or because we are better than others;

rather we are here because
you found a way to justify the unjust justly;

we are here because
in your love you gave your Son to bear death’s agony for us;

we are here because
in your justice you made your Son, as our substitute, to suffer the sentence that our disobedience deserved;
we are here because
with your power you have bought us back from sin, selfishness and Satan,
and united us to the risen Christ,
renewed our hearts,
freed us from sin’s bondage,
and moved us to repent and believe;
we are here because
in your faithfulness you have kept us from falling, as you promised to do, until you bring us safe home, triumphantly to our final glory, and yours.
This is all of your doing, all of your grace, and so all to your glory.

Because of this, we want men and women and boys and girls
from every tribe, language, people, and nation to know, love, and worship you.
Do this thing, O Lord.

Lord God, draw near to us then, now.
Hear our prayers. Receive our praise. Open and draw our hearts.
Speak Lord, your servants listen – and we hang on your every word.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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