Our Father, we come before Thee with all humility. We are very much aware of how short we fall of being what we ought to be. Lord, why You have chosen us to bear the name Christian, we shall never understand. We stammer in our speech. We are slow to understand. We are mostly concerned about ourselves. We don't seem to make any difference in the world. Others could far better represent Christ than we.
Lord, we wonder why we were called. In Thy presence, our mind can only think, "Depart from me O Lord, for I am unworthy to be in Thy presence." We are not worthy to have You in our house as a guest. We are not worthy to be in thy presence.
We have failed in so many ways. As husbands we have failed to love our wives as we ought. As wives, we have failed to submit to our husbands in respect and honor. As parents, we have failed in our discipline, in our love for our children, and in our responsibility to inculcate in them self-discipline. As children, we thought ourselves wiser than those over us, and we have sought our own way, disregarding the wisdom of the sages.
Lord, the Church is fragile. Sin always beckons at the door. We live in fear. Who knows what crisis will come before us tomorrow. Who knows what doctrine may divide us. Who knows how the tongue may light a fire that no man can put out.
Lord, right now we are on watch on the walls of the city. Keep us awake and alert for the devil is always sowing seeds of discord among us. The enemy awaits our fall and our failure. May the Holy Spirit keep us safe in the bosom of Christ our Savior.
Generations come and go. Life is actually very short. So quickly the voices from the pulpits change. New overseers shall arise to watch over the flock. The flock itself will change. The past will only be a memory. Yet, Lord help us to prepare the next generation for the battles they must fight. Help us to give them a sense of the importance of their calling.
Lord, some have strayed away and left us. Some have left the Church. Some have sought other places where the message tickles their ears. We have stood on Thy word over the years. We have practiced discipline in the Church. We have loved Your people with a great love, yet we have not tolerated sin and rebellion. We have called the people of God to come out from the world and stand with the people of God. We have paid a price for our faithfulness. Yet Lord we could not have done it any other way. There is a passion among us for the things of God. There is a passion in us for the truths of God. Lord, to be like Jesus is our calling.
Lord, help us to be witnesses for Christ. Give us opportunity to speak of the love of Christ. Make us such a reflection of the true grace of God, that others would envy us and ask us what God we worship. May others see in us something very different than they see in themselves. May they see conviction. May they see stability. May they see predictability. May they see Jesus.
Lord, help us to remember that worship and assembling as the people of God is so important. You seek those who worship Thee in spirit and in truth. We are glad to be in the house of God. It is a joy to be here today. We could have slept in. We could have gone to other places. We could have entertained ourselves. Lord, we thank Thee that You have created in our hearts the desire to be here this day.
We confess with our fathers that Jesus died according to the Scriptures and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. We confess that He now sits in Heaven at the right hand of God the Father. Lord, we don't know where heaven is, but we know that Jesus is there in his resurrected body. We confess that He will come again to judge the living and the dead. We confess that as we are found in Him, we shall be with Him for all eternity. We confess Jesus Christ as the sufficient Savior, the Lord of lords, and the hope for all the world. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.