Prayer from Bryant and Sarah Lee
God, You are great and You are good, and we praise Your holy name. Thank you for the opportunity to gather this morning and to worship You freely. Keep us mindful not only of the privilege that we have to seek You in worship and to communicate with You in prayer but also of the freedom that we have to do so openly and without fear. Let us remember that not all people in this world share with us this basic freedom, and give us hearts that remain thankful for the freedom that we do have.
God, we are so small. And, at times, this broken world makes us feel even smaller. From family strife to career setbacks and disappointments to health issues to financial struggles, the hardships we face are a constant reminder that we live in a world not as you intended it to be. God, keep us from becoming discouraged. Remind us that while we may be small, You are big. You created this world that holds our hardships; You are bigger than our struggles. Remind us of Your Word, God. Remind us that when You are for us, no one can be against us.
God, thank You for Your encouragement and for the power of Your promises. Remind us that no matter who we are, no matter where we are, no matter what we have done, no matter what we have not done, through You we have been given the ability to be light and to bring beauty into broken places.
God, give us hearts that desire to reflect Your love in our city. Open our eyes to ways in which we can serve You by serving our communities in Houston. Help us understand that we do not have to travel far or perform great acts to serve you. Do not allow us to become paralyzed by the weight of injustice that we see in the world; rather, grant us the courage to showcase Your love by addressing the injustice that we encounter in our daily lives. Food for the hungry. Clothes for the needy. Kind words and acts of respect to imbue dignity and a sense of self-worth in those who may lack it. This is the power we have through You. Remind us.
God, bless our time in worship this morning. Please prepare us to hear Your Word and to listen with open minds. Allow us to honestly engage with the doubts and difficulties of our faith today, and let us leave this place having experienced Your love for us in a real way.
We love you, God, and it is in Your Son’s most holy name we pray. Amen.