Had we been able to gather together for Palm Sunday services at Grace Covenant, our Women’s Ministry Coordinator, Gwen Martin, was scheduled to offer the Congregational Prayer. Though we are not able to gather together due to the threat of COVID-19, Gwen still composed a prayer that we share for use as a devotional tool.
Our Great God, You are seated on the throne, high and exalted. Hosanna in the hightest! You are Holy and Almighty, the whole earth is full of Your glory (Isa.6:1-3) You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations (Ps. 90:1). Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere (Ps. 84:10). Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage (Ps. 84:5).
On this Holy Week and Palm Sunday, may we behold the mystery of Christ our Savior and Lord – our King Who was robed in human frailty, Who condescended to take on flesh in order to ransom us and to become our atoning sacrifice for sin. Today we have this treasure in the jars of clay that we are, to show that this all-surpassing power of the cross of Christ is from God alone. So, now we fix our eyes on the Savior and King of our eternal hope.
We plead for our world. When our flesh and hearts are failing, encourage us to cling to You, our Messiah, as the strength of our hearts and our portion forever (Ps. 73:26). We pray for the Name of God to be lifted high among all peoples on earth and that You, Lord, will be worshipped by all. We pray for the timely spread of the message of the Resurrection and that many people will come to reflect the grace of Jesus Christ in the coming days. During these uncertain times, we ask You to draw nations of families to Yourself and bring healing to those suffering from the pandemic virus.
For our community, we pray for an abundance of Your mercy, asking you to sustain caregivers, medical and emergency personnel, and employees operating in areas of essential services with miraculous good health, protection, and physical and mental courage. May each one know that You are the Source of true help (Ps. 63:7) and that real shelter is found in the shadow of Your wings.
We ask for discernment and effectiveness for those who serve in leadership at Grace Covenant as each one faithfully applies their gifts to their God-given ministry. By Your Spirit, fully enable our church pastors, elders, deacons, and staff to continually carry out their leadership responsibilities as a fragrant offering and pleasing sacrifice to You, God.
For our congregation, we pray for spiritual unity and the ability to enter into worship in modified ways. Let us not become lethargic consumers of media. We ask You to meet us in authentic ways as we adjust to social distancing during this spring season when we are celebrating the hope of Easter. We ask You to provide a real sense of togetherness in Christ as we undertake to manage our temporary changes in lifestyle.
We pray for Your perfect knitting together of our unborn children, the health and protection of mothers-to-be, and the unconditional love of parents poured out for their children in their raising. Bring each covenant child to abiding faith and preparation to influence the world as those who have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
Among our missionaries and members of the armed services, we pray that You grant the foresight, provision and protection needed for carrying out duties while making disciples, on campuses, at home, and abroad for Your glory. We pray for Your steady hand of guidance and Your gift of boldness. We pray for increasing reliance upon Your Holy Spirit for spiritual resources when times are tough, lonely or life-threatening.
In the face of the brokenness and turmoil of individuals in our church family, we pray that Your mercy and comfort will be even greater. In the face of illness and physical limitation, we pray that Your hope and healing will overshadow. In the face of loneliness, depression, anxiety, or weariness, we ask that Your support and consolation replace these things with the joy of the Resurrected Lord. In the face of all these things, make us a people who are not blind to the needs of others, but are instead responsive and compassionate.
Through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, help us to exercise our gift of faith in the realities of non-normal life. Give us unyielding spiritual fortitude as we are assured that You have overcome the world. Assist each of us in daily putting on of the spiritual armor from Ephesians 6 required to resist the enemy of our souls. We pray, Lord, that You would replace our distress and discouragement with deeper and deeper faith. And, may we experience and demonstrate Your resurrection presence daily.
In the Precious Name of Jesus. Amen.