Prayer from Cindy Williams
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
Father, these poetic words of David are so familiar to us. We long to experience them yet we struggle to believe them. Many of us here today feel weary in mind and in spirit--besieged by health crisis, joblessness, financial pressures, strained relationships, addictions, longings that continue to go unanswered. Jesus, Kind Shepherd - lead us out of fear - into the reality of your fullness. In the midst of our suffering, help us to surrender to your love and trust the lush expansiveness of your perfect provision. Father lead us into your stillness. We feel at odds with ourselves. Our minds race - our hearts seem unknowable. The battle inside rages on.
Lord of the Sabbath, you know how desperately we need YOU, the one who is our true rest. We praise you and thank you for the gift of this Sabbath day - for designing within us an essential need for worship, and for filling that need by calling us together as your body - for calling us aside into this community, for calling us out of ourselves. Lead us away from our destructive preoccupations with image and our obsessive scrambling for approval. Lead us into stillness. In the clamor of our culture please help us develop the discipline of listening hearts that recognize and eagerly follow your voice. Renew our minds, and fill our deep cravings with You. In the midst of our brokenness, restore our souls.
We pray for all those who have been called to be counselors, for the mental health professionals and all those coming alongside others who are surviving trauma, battling depression, PTSD and the many other faces of mental illness. Please equip, encourage and sustain them as ministers of your healing and hope.
Lord as we look forward to regathering into our City Groups, would you please - by the power of your Holy Spirit - do a mighty work to build true community. Provide us with perseverance and patience to invest the time and care it takes to build real relationships. Give us the grace and the grit to love each other well which is the hallmark of your people.
Lord, we long to be authentically generous. Please break open our hearts with the astonishing assurance of your total acceptance so that genuine gratitude can spill forth, and we, like the Psalmist, can sing for joy that our cup is indeed overflowing. Please use our offerings this day to help your goodness and mercy flow into dry places. Use us to bring refreshment to the hurting in this city of Houston that we love.