How You Have Loved Us!

A pastoral prayer

A pastoral prayer delivered on April 21, 2024, at Grace Bible Church in Escondido, California.

Our God and Father, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the work of your Holy Spirit that we may love you more perfectly, and magnify your holy name more and more.

Loving Father, how you have loved us! You did not spare your beloved Son but delivered him up for us all. He left the glories of heaven for the brokenness of this world. He who was King became a servant to sinners. He who is Life gave himself over to Death for our sake, because of your great love for us. Thank you, Father.

Our merciful Father, we thank you for your severe mercy. You keep us from being comfortable when we stray from your paths. When we refuse to confess our sins you make us miserable, as if our bones are wasting away. Your hand rests heavily upon us. Our strength evaporates as if dried up by the summer sun. O Lord, the misery of unconfessed sin is a grace; it’s a sign of being your children, of being loved.

Hear us now as we confess our sins to you in these moments of silence [Pause].

Loving Father, we thank you for your promise to forgive us through Jesus Christ when we confess our sins to you. We thank you for casting our sins into the depths of the sea. Our hearts sing: “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”

Lord God, drive foolishness and pride from us. Give us wisdom to know you, hearts that delight in you, wills that submit to you, and energy to serve you. Meet our weaknesses with your power. Let our lives magnify the beauty of your gospel.

Our God and Savior, all our hope rests on you. We have nothing apart from you. Delight us with yourself, now and forever. Fill us with gladness because we belong to you. Let us rest in you. Steady our wobbly hearts with your faithfulness.

Help us to grasp more fully Jesus’s great love for us, the height and depth of it, the length and breadth of it. Stretch our minds and hearts. Fill us with all your fullness. Cause our jaws to drop at such wonderful love.

Our God, you are worthy to be worshiped by people from every corner of the globe. We thank you for the opportunities we’ve had as a church to send and support missionaries. Refresh and renew [Name] during their furlough. Continue to bless [Name’s] ministry in Barcelona, [Name’s] work in Argentina, and [Name’s] ministry in Canada. Keep [Name] safe in Israel.

Father, we thank you for the Clothing Giveaway yesterday. We ask that our neighbors would see the clothing and other items as small tokens of your kindness. Would you create a curiosity in them about this church and why we give away clothes? Give us opportunities to talk with them about your grace. Give us more opportunities to serve and bless our neighbors. Let us be a cup of cool water to our community.

Lord, your Word instructs us to pray for civil authorities. We pray this morning for the Mayor of Escondido and the City Council. Cause them to govern with integrity. Give them creative ideas for addressing our city’s needs.

Our generous God, every good and perfect gift comes from you. You are the fountain of blessing. Renew us today with the grace that flows from the sweet springs of your kindness. Deliver us from the Evil One. Preserve us to the end by the power of your Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.