David Westerfield

Gospel. Culture. Technology. Music.

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A Prayer in Memory of D. Kent Pingel

Father we praise You for Your work in creation, in bringing about all that exists from nothing. We praise You for creating men and women in Your image, to reflect Your glory in the world. And yet, though we fell into sin and that image has been distorted within us, You brought about salvation and pointed the way to our only source of salvation all throughout the Old Testament through prophets, priests and kings that You appointed to proclaim Your good news. And in time you brought into the world the greatest prophet, priest and king, Your Son Jesus, who lived a perfectly righteous life we could never live, died a sacrificial death in our place to remove the poison and consequence of our sin, and rose again conquering sin, death and hell once and for all. In doing so You have restored and are restoring Your image in Your church, in those who trust in Christ alone for salvation. We praise You for Your wonderful works of mercy to save us from our sin and to have the image of Christ restored in us and brought back to our original purpose for existing: to bring You glory.

Father we thank You today for Kent and the way You created Him in Your image and revealed Your Son to Him. We thank You for the life of Kent as a father, brother, uncle, son and friend to so many here.

We pray for the family and friends here who are mourning his loss and ask for Your comfort today and in the coming days of grief, that You would be near by Your Spirit, that You would fill that hole, that gap they are experiencing with the presence of Your Son and His grace. Lord You are our only hope of life in the midst of suffering.

But Father, we don’t pray now or mourn as those without hope: because You rose again You are bringing with Yourself and raising to life all those who rest in You to live with You forever in Your kingdom. Lord would You comfort us all with the truth and joy of Your resurrection, that death doesn’t have the final word. You are our hope now and for all eternity. Would You grant us rest and joy that surpasses understanding even in the midst of loss.

The Fulfillment Realized – A Prayer

Father, after many years of waiting for Your promises to be fulfilled, You brought Christ into the world and made His coming known to the Gentiles, and specifically during this time of Epiphany, you revealed Him to the Magi who had come to see this King who had been born. In fulfillment of so many Old Testament passages such as Moses who says, “Rejoice O Gentiles with His people,” and Isaiah who says, “The Gentiles will hope in Him,” You brought about a great fulfillment to bring salvation not just to ethnic Israel but to include the Gentiles around the world with Your chosen people Israel and so all Israel will be saved together. We rejoice together that we are seeing the promise spoken to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations fulfilled in our very midst. Father in Your great kindness, across history and even to this very day, you are continuing this fulfillment in effecting your work of the covenant of grace in Christ our Lord and bringing in Your called people from every tribe, tongue, language and nation. You are building Your church and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. Though we see so much persecution around the world against believers and even in our midst feel it with our family and friends at times who don’t know You, You are working a glorious end in which You will be lifted up and highly exalted and we will be caught up together and share in Your glory. Lord fill us with the hope and wonder and mystery of these truths that we would seek and find our treasure first and foremost in Christ, seeking the things that are above where He is instead of fleeting things here on Earth, and find rest for our weary souls.

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan didst proclaim him thy beloved Son and anoint him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with thee and the same Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen. (BCP)

The Pursuit and Divine Welcome of Christ – A Prayer

Lord You manifested Yourself in signs and wonders throughout history, you made your words, testimonies, statutes, laws, and your promises known to Your people through Your prophets, and in time the last of Your prophets, John the Baptist, proclaimed that the greatest and final Prophet had come into the world in order to prepare them for His arrival. It is through Jesus, our great Prophet, Priest and King, that the final Word from God to man was made known to us in a Person for the sake of our salvation. It is through Him, the Lamb of God, offered for our sins, that we have come into the joy of being freed from slavery to sin and its resulting punishment, and welcomed into Your very throne room as Your children who sit at Your feet to learn from and enjoy You. And by Your Spirit You have come to make Your own home within us as a down payment, a guarantee of our inheritance with You. Would You enable us to cherish Christ in our thoughts, words and actions and behold Him ourselves, in our hearts as the Lamb of God who came into the world, that we might find in Him our greatest delight and be deeply satisfied now and for all eternity, chasing away the idols and desires of the world that press in upon us.

Stir up Your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let Your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen. (BCP)

An Order for Personal Prayer

Adoration

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and will be for ever. 

Amen. 
Alleluia.

[Silent praise and worship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in His works, actions and words]

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The Father Who Runs After Wayward Sons – A Prayer

Father You are the God who ran after us as the father ran after the prodigal son upon returning to him, who had squandered everything. We are those Lord who have lived in a far off country, living lives opposed to You and those who have been made alive by Your Spirit and not begrudgingly welcomed into Your kingdom but actually rejoiced in by You. When we were obstinently opposed to You, You died for us Lord Jesus because that is Your heart and we are your reward. While we were still in our sin and the shame and guilt that results, You bore our burden upon the cross by willingly exposing Yourself to utter shame and the eternal guilt that was owed to us. When we were guilty, through Your life, death, and the resurrection, you counted us righteous. You are our Father, and through Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit, we are Your children. Would you grow us into maturity in our faith, that we would increasingly see the connection between our belief in You as our Lord and Savior and are life actions and choices made in response. Father would you give us rest to find our joy and peace in the finished work of Your Son? Would You enter into the deep recesses of our hearts where we are spun up and anxious and following the never-ending busy pattern of the world and slow down long enough to drink deep from the well of Your never-ending streams of gracious water provided for us by Your Son. Would you draw near to us? Apart from You we are helpless, frail, broken and wandering. Abiding in You, we are helped, strengthened, healed and brought home to rest in You.

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP)

Breaking Through the Darkness in Revelation – A Prayer

Father, it is in Your kindness and goodness that in looking upon us with compassion in our low, sinful state, You chose to make yourself known to us. Though we were blinded by our own sin and the darkness of our hearts and understanding, You broke through in making Yourself known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And to Moses you made yourself known as the great I AM. You revealed to him the very essence of your name, that before anything was, you were there, uncreated, self-sustaining from all eternity. You are before all other gods, You are the One from whom everything came into being, spoken into existence from nothing. We worship you together as the great I AM, who was and is and is to come, revealed finally and ultimately and most clearly in Your Son, Jesus. He is the great I AM made known to us in flesh, who is not only our creator but our redeemer and the sustainer of our lives at this moment, the One whom will get to rejoice in for all eternity.

Almighty God, by triumphing over the powers of darkness Christ has prepared a place for us in the new Jerusalem: may we, who have this day given thanks for his resurrection, praise him in the eternal city of which he is the light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP)

The Gospel Embraced, For the Sake of Our Neighbors – A Prayer

Father, in light of Your Son’s condescension from heaven and Your great love toward us, that the Lord Jesus would set aside His heavenly throne in order to be numbered among us, to redeem us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, to raise us to new life through His resurrection, and to bring us with Him into His eternal Kingdom: Father out of that love and grace that we’ve experienced and soak ourselves in today, would You produce the fruit of being other-oriented and not so self-concerned and self-consumed with our own needs and conveniences; would we set our gaze toward Christ crucified for us, that we would be a people freed from self to pursue our neighbors, for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of tangible needs that we see all around us, these two coming alongside together as a witness to the good news of eternal resurrection life and the inbreaking of new creation. We need Your Spirit to accomplish this in us for apart from You we can do nothing.

Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP)

Awaken Our Hearts – A Prayer

Father, we know that no good thing can come from us in our flesh, but only that which is wrought in our hearts by Your Holy Spirit. Lord we are weak and frail apart from You, and even dead in our trespasses and sins before we come to know You, unable to respond positively until you shine the light of Your Spirit in our dark hearts to give us life from within. Even as believers though, we all know how easily we can stray from You in our thoughts and actions and even in the way we plan our lives. Lord when we set about a course for our lives, in our own wisdom, strength and power, it can only end in frustration and destruction when our course isn’t centered on Your Son. Would you go behind and before us to enable us to think and do always that which is pleasing to You, to live according to Your will? Remind us always not only of our daily dependence upon You, but even how You brought us to Yourself from the very beginning through the life, death and resurrection of Your Son, through the application of Your Spirit bringing and sustaining life within us when there was none.

O Good God, our King and Creator, seeing we have our whole trust in Thee, and do worship thee in spirit and truth, despise not, we pray thee, the sighs and prayers of thy poor servants, oppressed and afflicted by thy enemies; and keep us continually under thy protection, until we be glorified with our Head and Saviour, Jesus Christ thy Son. Amen. | Prayer on Psalm 5 – Prayers on the Psalms (From the Scottish Psalter of 1595)

Psalm 77 – Reminding Ourselves of the Gospel Story… Everyday

It was during the course of reading the Daily Office readings for today that I read Psalm 77. Asaph has a struggle of confidence in the Lord within his heart causing him to waver, displayed here (man, have I been here before):

Psalm 77:4–9
You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old,
the years long ago.
I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search:
“Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah (ESV)

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Pentecost Sunday – A Prayer

Lord God, we worship You as the God who isn’t distant from us, but One who made Yourself near and accessible and known to us. In the very beginning, by Your Spirit You hovered over the face of the waters in creation, intimately involved in all You were making. By Your Spirit You made Yourself known to Moses at the burning bush, declaring yourself to be the Great I AM from all eternity. By Your Spirit You came and dwelt among Your people in the Temple, where only the High Priest could go once a year to make sacrificial offerings on behalf of the people. Your Spirit came upon King David, anointing and empowering him as Your chosen king, a man after Your own heart. All of the prophets, empowered by Your Spirit, spoke words of both blessing and judgment with the goal of repentance and faith in the hearers. And then finally when Your Son came, the perfect Prophet, Priest and King, He accomplished for us that which we could never accomplish: the very redemption of our bodies and souls and the Spirit dwelling with us now perpetually. And all of the writers of the Scriptures through which we have come to know all of this were carried along by Your Spirit and wrote precisely that which You intended us to know for eternal life and godliness. And on this day Lord we celebrate the outpouring of Your Spirit at Pentecost, promised long ago, upon all who call upon the name of Jesus. No longer did Your Spirit dwell in the Temple for now Your people’s hearts were the very temple where He dwells. No longer do we need to offer sacrifices to commune with You, for Christ has made a once for all time sacrifice, putting away sin by the sacrifice of Himself and tearing the curtain of the temple that You may dwell in the hearts of Your people. Your Spirit empowers us, gives us strength, convicts us, draws us, and ultimately points us and unites us to Your risen and ascended Son. Lord we praise You for this unfathomable gift as a church together. Would Your Spirit work in our hearts as a church, drawing and moving us to strive to know and be known in our life together. Would You create community and depth of relationships that center on Christ’s glory as the end goal of all things. We can’t do this in ourselves and our flesh Lord because we can too easily fall prey to the ways the world engages in relationships. We all need the humility Your Spirit provides and we ask for Your help.

God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP)

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