Our Father in Heaven, we thank you for the heat in the winter time and the shade in the summer. We thank you for the water we drink and the food we eat. We enjoy apples and oranges in the winter and long days of sunshine in the summer. We often give thanks before we eat, but we request that You hear our thanks as part of this worship service today.
Lord, we thank you for the Sabbath. We thank you for a day of rest. We have not always been able to get to Church on Sunday this winter, and we realize how important it is. So often, only when you take away our blessings, do we know how important they are to us.
We thank You that this time with God's people in the assembly of the congregation, is indeed important to us. So many in the modern world have no desire to be present in the Lord's House. So many in the modern world do not know Thee. Some have made a wretched choice. Some have refused water when they are thirsty. Some have refused to eat when they have been invited to the table of the Lord. We count ourselves blessed that before the foundation of the world, You chose to count a great number as Your people. We attribute our presence here today to Thy Sovereign Grace which originated in the great counsels of God before the world was made.
Lord, we know there was nothing good in us that we would be counted among the people of God. We were dead as the most dead man today who has no hope apart from Thy grace. You did not look ahead and foresee what we would do. You selected a certain number that is fixed and cannot be changed. You sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay for their sins. He sufficiently paid for all the sins of the elect. He did not just make it possible for all men to believe, but he guaranteed that the sins of all the elect would be paid and that through the power of the Holy Spirit that each of those ordained unto eternal life would come to Thee through the hearing of the gospel.
Lord, not unto us belongs any glory. Not unto us belongs any credit. We do not cooperate with Thee as if You did Your part and we must do our part. No, O Lord, God forbid! All that we are, all that we have, our faith, our sanctification, our desires to be in the Lord's House on the Lord's Day comes from Thy grace.
Lord, we thank Thee that of all those that were chosen unto eternal life, not one of them will fall away. We do not have to worry whether we have the ability to keep ourselves in grace. We do not have to worry that we will lose our salvation. We know that the God of grace who first called us and justified us through Jesus Christ will also finish what He began.
Lord, we have no pride. We have nothing to be proud about. What do we have that we did not receive? How can we be a proud people? How can we be an arrogant people? There is nothing left in us but hope in the cross of Christ. There is nothing in us but hope in the grace of God.
Lord, grant that each of us may be humbled today, for we know that You are opposed to the proud but give grace to the humble. Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
Our Father, we pray for the sick and elderly among us. We ask that as they begin to face the latter part of their lives that they may finish well. We ask that their faith might increase as their age increases.
Our Father we pray for the young and restless. We pray for those who are planning for the many years ahead of them. Lord, help them not to fall into the pit. Help them to walk according to Thy word, so that the rest of their lives are not given to merely survival. When they fall at such a young age, help them not to become bitter. Help them not to become depressed. Help them to be humbled and to know early in their lives that God's way leads to life and not to death. Christ came to give us each joy and that more abundantly. Help our youth to avoid the slavery of debt, the pride of their strength and beauty, the disrespect for gray hair, and the culture that calls them to think contrary to the ways of God.
Lord, remind us of Thy eternal love. Whatever befalls us, be there for us. May tragedy be turned into victory. May tears be turned into joy. May fear be turned into confidence. May we be changed from glory to glory. May Christ become more valuable than gold, yea than much fine gold. Lord, we ask all these things in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.