September 26 – September 28, 2019
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Crescent Hill Baptist Church -- September 7, 2008
O God, we know it’s presumptuous to pray.
Yet we must, for you have commanded it, and we can’t face life without it.
We know, too, why you have commanded it.
Not just because we need it, but because you’ve fallen in love with us and can’t get along without us, Mad Lover that you are.
You put yourself on the spot when you did it, you know, and now here we are, coming just as we are, to put before you our “souls’ sincere desires.”
What is our soul’s sincere desire?
We can’t really put it into words because so many other thoughts have come in and taken control of our lives, but here are some of the ways we’ve learned to express it:
We can’t hear ourselves say those words, though, without recognizing that we have failed to live them and need to ask your forgiveness. Forgive us, O God,
Your loving kindness and infinite patience alone can assure us that you forgive us, but we know that your grace impels us to renewed resolution to love our neighbors like you love—without partiality and without limit. And we know that your love alone can transform us and energize us to love our neighbors as we have never loved before.
In humility, then, we gather here in your presence, O God, to plead “that your love may grow more and more in us in understanding and in every sensitivity, so that we may have a sense of things that really matter, in order that we may be pure in heart in the day of Christ and filled with the fruit of righteousness that redounds through Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God” (Phil 1:9-11).
As we bow in the presence of you “whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere,” we lift up to you a few of our concerns for neighbors:
O God, we pray that you will give us
Now we make bold to pray the prayer our Lord Jesus taught us to pray, saying,
“Our Father . . .”