So I had the task of writing a prayer of adoration for our Easter services last week. Public prayer is difficult. Some think we need better public prayers and pray-ers, some think Christianity ought to just do away with it for awhile. Both those voices need to be heard. Truthfully, I second both for different reasons and at different times. But as one who happily lives in a church that treats public prayer (whether silently or out loud) as an important part of worship, I embrace it. Here is the prayer I wrote for our worship this last Sunday.
O God our Father – thank you for the gift of what we just read and the truth you so clearly laid out in your word. For you are our Creator: you have made all things in heaven and earth. Everyone here owes the gift of our life and breath to you, Lord! But not only have you seen fit to make us and everything that is, but you outshine all of it in the glory of what you have done in and through your son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Jesus, by your cross and your life laid down you set your people free. In your grace and mercy you saved us and obtained forgiveness for all your people. We praise you for your limitless patience with us and your mercy to us that is greater than all our sin. We adore you for your strength revealed in your suffering and sacrificial love on the cross. We bless your name this morning, Jesus, for reconciling us to the Father so that we may know you and enjoy you for all time. All praise and honor and glory to you!
Now, Father, make yourself known in a fresh way today as our savior and mighty deliverer! You know the hearts of everyone here this morning. You know all our desires, thoughts, and secrets. Would you come and cleanse us, make us new by your Spirit? Would you fire in us a bright and burning love for your son Jesus Christ? Would you give us the grace to let ever fiber of our lives praise and magnify your powerful name? Whether we wake or sleep, whether we work or rest, whether we live or die – only let you presence be with us and at all times shining through us.
Oh Jesus, that we here at this church would have the grace to reflect your great love to this community in our own sacrifice and service! We are counting on your resurrection to see us through. We are bold to ask these things for our brothers and sisters present today, for it is in your strong and loving name that we pray, Jesus, in the power of the Spirit – Amen!
Full disclosure: I based this prayer in part on our scripture readings and song selections for Easter, and I also borrowed from the BOCP Collect for Purity, a traditional “Savior of the World” prayer, and “God Enjoyed” (found in the Valley of Vision).