David Westerfield

Gospel. Culture. Technology. Music.

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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)

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)

I Will Take Joy in the God of My Salvation – A Prayer

Habakkuk 3:17-18: Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

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His Glory Displayed – A Prayer

Lord Your glory is so obviously displayed and reflected in the power exhibited within creation. The floods lift up their roaring, the sea cries out Your name, the hills bear prosperity for all of us to enjoy, the lightning lights up the world so as to put on display your infinite power and knowledge. Yet Lord, your glory is displayed in its highest and surest regard in Your intentional pursuit and giving of Yourself to weakness resulting in unfathomable suffering. At the cross we see displayed what it took for you to make us Your own, what it took for our sins to be abolished, along with its due penalty: it took the God of the universe becoming nothing, taking the form of a bondservant, being nailed to a cross along with the record of debt that stood against us and bearing the curse due to us because of our lawlessness. Lord what kind of love is this that would move You to take regard of those who have betrayed your glory? And yet that is Your heart, to make rebels Your own children, to make us Your children. You were willing to be cut off from the land of the living that we might be brought in to paradise, to be cursed that we might be blessed, to be stripped of all that we might be clothed in your pure robe of righteousness. Lord help our unbelief. Heal our pride and our self-inflation by looking to that cross. Help our frail state and weakness, and would you shine forth in it to give us Your strength, the very strength of the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. Would You give to us the gift of humbly walking in the reality of what we already are: Your justified, accepted, rejoiced-over children, and find our ultimate identity in this over the identities the world presses in and would have for us. Lord may we find our ultimate hope and joy and rejoicing in Your rejoicing over us.

The Delight of the Father – A Prayer

Father you are a God who delights in revealing the beauty of your salvation to those who least deserve it. You are a God who delights in making Your name known and shining your face on those who have long been laid low in darkness. And as we’ll read in Jonah today Lord, you are a God who delights in relenting from disaster for those who call upon your name and turn from their sin to embrace You as their God and savior. In a myriad of ways Lord, all of us have lives that if you hadn’t intervened by Your Holy Spirit would have ended in disaster, both now and for eternity. But because of your steadfast love and faithfulness, and the kindness of Your heart toward us, you have set our feet upon a rock, and given us rest when we were weary and wandering in darkness. Father would we drink deeply of this grace that is poured out for us from your table of delights, and would we come to expect that in whatever good or difficulty comes to us from your hand, that we would know You are indeed for us and not against us.

How Majestic Is Your Name – A Prayer

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens and when we gaze upon them, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what are we Lord that you are mindful of us? What are we that you care for us enough to condescend to us? You the King of kings becoming a Servant of servants?

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Christ the King Sunday – A Prayer

“…with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” | Daniel 7:13-14

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Our Great High Priest and Advocate – A Prayer

Father, through Your Son, we have an advocate, a permanent high priest and King who sympathizes with our weaknesses and frailty and suffering; who Himself was made like us in every respect, experienced everything as we do, yet without sin. This great high priest Jesus stands for us at this moment, in His perfect righteousness in our place, and clothes us in His glory and splendor, having lived a perfect life, suffering the penalty of our death, and rising from the grave. Would You work a greater knowledge, a greater rest and love in Him and how He is the only One who covers all of our infirmities, who washes us from the crimson stain of sin, who provides a feast for our souls in the midst of our desert exile wandering.

Covered in His Royal Robe – A Prayer

Father, by Your unfathomable great love, You have counted our sins to Christ and counted His righteousness to us, and covered us as with a royal robe. You have marked us out in our baptism, set us apart, and given us a new name, a new identity. Lord too often in spite of what you have already accomplished in us and for us, we live as if we were still in the far country as a prodigal yet to return, pursuing that which only perishes and not searching out the treasures already given to us in Christ through the gospel. However Lord, may we also like the prodigal return back to You, empty handed, knowing You will richly clothe us yet again, washing us, and reminding us of the standing we have with You. We are not our own. You have bought us at an incredibly great price. Father, would you work a continual repentance into our hearts in our relationship with you and also into our lives with one another? Would we lay ourselves down in Your service, rooted in this unfathomable love and grace You’ve shown us, and would You work in us to extend that same selflessness in our relationships with our family members as well as our church body, and toward those outside our fellowship.

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