Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are God, and there is no other. You know from the beginning all the way to the end. And this is because You are the One telling the story. You are the Author and Perfector of this world. You are the One who spoke light out of darkness. You are the One spoke life out of the grave. You are the One who called to us in our sin and guilt. You are the One who spoke our names and woke us up and breathed Your Spirit into us. You are the One who breaks the spells of wicked men, the prognosticators and wizards of every generation. You are the One who raises up the beaten down. You are the One who raises up the broken and forgotten. You are the One who remembers the poor and the needy. You are the One, and there is no other.
Who do we have in heaven but you? To whom will we cry out except to you? There is no other god, no other lord. We have no other Master; we have no other King.
And so, Father, we come before you now, your children, your little ones, because we know that unless we come as children, we cannot come at all. And so we come with our wandering attention spans and hungry bellies and skinned knees. We come with our cheeks smeared, and we come with imaginations and hopes and stories that we long to know the endings to. We come in faith because our Older Brother is Jesus whom you crowned with glory and honor and majesty and dominion forever. You have given Him a Kingdom that will never end, a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, a Kingdom that cannot be destroyed, a Kingdom that will fill the earth, a Kingdom that will give water to the thirsty and bread to the hungry, a Kingdom full of justice and mercy for the orphan and the widow and the immigrant.
You gave Jesus this world, and then you told us to take it. And so we are talking to you now, because You are our Father, because you are the Best Dad in the whole world. Because you care about us and all our worries, and hurts, and dreams, and you’ve promised to listen and give us better than we ever hoped.
You have sent us here, to the Palouse, Moscow, Pullman, and Lewiston, and you have commissioned us to disciple these cities, to baptize everyone here, and to teach every man, woman, and child to trust in Jesus and do everything He says. And so we pray that you would give us this place. Give us all of it. Give us the atheists and agnostics, give us the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, give us the potheads and the hippies and the frat boys and the prostitutes. Father, give us the trailer parks and the apartment complexes and Greek row. Cause the Roman Catholics to tear down their idolatrous shrines and only worship Jesus.
Father, to this end, we pray for our city councils, that the men and women who serve these cities would be blessed with good health, good food, and all good comforts in this life. But more importantly, we pray for their salvation, that they would know you, that they would know your grace, and that they would bow before Jesus as their God and King. Father, we pray for those in our cities who work justice, the law enforcement officers and officials, the judges, the lawyers, and all those who assist them. We pray that liars and thieves would be caught and either brought to full repentance or driven out of town. We pray that the government schools would close down because they don’t have adequate funding and because there is a great realization the work of education is better performed privately and overseen locally. We pray that all the Christians would be ready to teach them how to run good Christian Schools. We pray for our hospitals and nursing homes, and those who care for the disabled, mentally handicapped, and those who oversee foster care and adoptions here on the Palouse. Father, wherever there is idolatry and arrogance and greed wound into these ministries, we ask you to strip it away. And we pray that through ministries like Sabbath House, you would enable us to stand with the weak to provide, to protect, and to defend.
Father, we pray for hundreds and thousands of conversions in these towns. We ask that we might not only be worshipping in new buildings in the coming year, but we pray that our churches would be full to overflowing almost immediately and that five new churches would need to be started in the next decade. We pray for our neighbors now, the people that live next door to us and across the street, and we name them now before you in our hearts… We pray that if they do not know you, you would save them, and that you would use us if you see fit to that end.
Father, we pray for the universities in our towns: Lewis and Clark State College, University of Idaho, Washington State University. These are the giants in our land, O Father, they are full of money and pride and unbelief and they provide many jobs and give added resources to our communities. So we pray for them, that key figures in their administrations would be converted and saved by the gospel of Jesus. We pray that this would have a trickle down effect on the rest of the administration and faculty. We pray for Christians already in position in those places, we pray that you would give them cover so that they might speak freely the name of Jesus, and that many students would be saved, rescued, encouraged, and befriended in an otherwise hostile territory. And we pray that you would give us wisdom and creativity and guts to stand up to these giants because they mock your name and they taunt your people. We are not afraid; we just ask that you would give us a few smooth stones.
Father, we thank you particularly today for the births of Karis Madeleine Bouma, Lila Grace Eifert, and Elodie Grace Ealy to their respective families, as well as the upcoming baptisms this morning of Galen Buch, GuriAnn Jacobs, and Casper Schuiling. We praise you for these covenant children as well as the teeming hoards of little ones all around us this morning. O God, you have blessed us with life, with lots of life, little people full of energy and full of joy and full of beans. Father, this is a huge blessings, an awesome glory, and so we lift up these little ones to You. Remember that they are yours, they belong to you, and grant us and their parents grace to be grace to them and for them, so that they might all love you and serve you all their days, that they may never know a day outside of your love and grace. We know this means that we must live and love the gospel in our families, in our marriages, in our schools, and so we pray for that grace.
Finally, we pray for those who are hurting in our midst. We pray especially this morning for the Rench family and especially our brother Mike Rench in the hospital following a heart attack. Father, we understand that things to not look well for him, but we are bold to ask for healing anyways. You speak to the wind and it obeys; you call the dead out of their graves back to life. And so we know this is no difficult thing for you. We pray for the seizures to stop, and for a full recovery with no permanent brain damage. But we also trust you to tell the best story in all of this, and so what we pray for most of all is that your glory would be explosive in this situation. That people would see You, that people would know You, that the world watching would see the love of your saints, and that your name would be exalted. We pray your peace that passes all understand would guard Penny and the whole Rench family through every step of the way. And Father all others who suffer in mind, in body, or in spirit, we lift them up to you now, and we ask for healing and peace, and we name them in hearts before you now…
O God, all these things, and whatever else you see that we need, we ask for boldly because you given all things into the hands of Jesus, who has saved us and washed us with His blood. And so it’s in His name that we pray, Amen.