“Almighty and Most Merciful Father, we thank You and praise You for the manifold ways in which You have blessed us, Your children, collectively and individually. We stand in awe of who You are and what You’ve done through your Son, Jesus Christ. We love you, Lord!
We pray this morning for the expression of Your Church that we find ourselves in, The United Church of Canada. God, we acknowledge that our institutional impulses and hang-ups have, at times, caused us to stray from your ways like lost sheep. We have too often followed the deceits and desires of our own hearts, instead of living with a posture of utter trust and reliance upon You. For this and our other sins, forgive us, Lord.
Wonderful Creator, make us into the likeness of Jesus, we pray. By the power of the Holy Spirit—the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead—resurrect our lives with new life, new energy, a new passion for Your name. Grant us hope for the future which only You can see, humility about our own limited perspective about what is to come, and the wisdom to know the difference.
As GC43 approaches, we pray for all the leaders, clergy, laypeople, commissioners, stewards, and behind-the-scenes servants, who will come together in Oshawa to make decisions about the direction this church is heading in the years ahead. We pray that what we profess to believe about gatherings of church courts would actually happen—infill the commissioners and the whole room in which they meet with the tangible, physical, overwhelming, and undeniable presence of Your Holy Spirit. Show Yourself to them, O God, so that the decisions that they make and the votes that they cast would be deeply informed by Holy Scripture and by Your Living Word as you move in their midst.
Strong Deliverer, You are mighty to save, and we bless your name. May you see fit to preserve us and empower us to continue our participation in this Kingdom work to which You have called us. May You revive Your Church, across denominational lines and human divisiveness. We seek to do Your will. In the most holy and powerful name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we ask all these things. Amen.