Steve Loftis

April 28th, 2024

Holy God, 

We acknowledge that we need you, desperately. 

With all that we are, and all that we have, we acknowledge that you are our one true God.  

You are our creator.  We see you and your handiwork in all of creation.  We stand in awe of the beauty and magnitude of your creation.  We see you in all that surrounds us.  We are amazed!

You are our Redeemer.  The glorious springtime reminds us of your redemptive power.  In the creation around us we see how you are redeeming and renewing the created world around us.  Our yards and neighborhoods are telling us of your redemptive and renewing power.  We know how you love. We have prayed our confessions and received our assurance of your redemptive grace. Redeem us, Holy One, that we might show you to those who have yet to experience your redemption, renewal, and grace. 

You are our Sustainer.  Each day we need you to strengthen, nourish and sustain us.  We need to see and feel your presence.  As we have sung, we need Jesus.  We are sustained by learning his ways.  It’s more than that God.  We need your sustenance to follow Jesus, to walk in his way, to be his hands and feet.  As we remember your teachings, your examples, your decrees, we are sustained in our efforts to follow you. As the psalmist reminds us, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.”  Sustainer God, help us to live into your law.  

Holy God, in our meditations on your laws, your precepts and your decrees we remember that time when Jesus was asked to define the greatest commandment.  Jesus told those within earshot, “It all boils down to this….Love God with all you’ve got.  And Love each other, even more.”  This is the truth of your law that we seek to live out in our lives.  

In our meditations we remember, also the words of John who wrote letters to the early church.  I one letter he wrote, 

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

John’s admonition echoes your words spoken during your last night before your crucifixion, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Holy God, in the light of these meditations and truths we seek your sustaining and redeeming love. We need you, Jesus, to dwell in us so as we attempt to embody your love for all.  God of love, teach us to love more fully.  

Lord, help us to love in action towards those in need of your love.  Sometimes, God, we find ways to act out your love in tangible and visual acts.  We pray for your wisdom, grace, and strength to empower us to act more lovingly.  

Sometimes, God, we realize that we have no tangible, tactile acts by which we can live out your love.  At those times, we can feel helpless and ineffective.  It seems as though we can do nothing to affect those in need of love.  Then we remember that we can pray.  Therefore, we pray.

God we pray: 

  • For those caught in the ravages of war, on both sides.  For it is as someone wrote, “It is okay to be heartbroken for more than one group of people at the same time.”
  • For those whose lives are filled with grief, in all its many forms, and its many causes;
  • For those touched by storms;  
  • For  those whose bodies ache and who struggle to overcome illness;
  • For those who find themselves as the targets of hatred, whether that hatred is based in political, racial, cultural, or just something trumped up just so that the hater can hate;
  • For those who hate – that their hearts may be softened by your love
  • For the homeless, the hungry, the poor, the sick, the belittled, the overwhelmed, the…

God, sometimes our lists of prayer concerns for your people become overwhelming to us.  It’s at these times that we remember that the Apostle Paul wrote, “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”  

Holy God, hear now our silent groans.  

Holy God, hear our meditations on the personal things that touch our hearts, and for which we need Jesus. 

Holy God, sometimes we are at a loss for what to do or say next in our prayers.  It is at these times that we turn to the model prayer.  And so we collectively pray, as you taught us, saying…

OUR Father…