We invite Your reign in this world. You, who are good and love and light and hope, we want You to finally and fully consummate Your Kingdom here. We recognize that our souls will find rest in You alone, that our hearts are restless until they rest in You. And the community of Your people will only be made whole when You return to set things right. We need You and invite You to come. Because, oh boy, something is not right. As we will hear in our passage today, everything is meaningless, vanity of vanities. We look around at the world, and meaninglessness seems to be ruling. The righteous suffer and the wicked seem to do well. Your church around the world suffers, many poor and weak suffer, minorities and the oppressed cry out for justice but never seem to get it, trouble seems to follow good samaritans, those who try to protect get shot in the streets, repentance looks like weakness, doing right doesn’t seem to get anyone anywhere; and at the same time, the greedy and lustful seem to get ahead, the wicked triumph, the violent get their way, the insecure become leaders, the blind and brutal are leading the blind. And even then, the fate of the righteous and the wicked ends up the same – we all end up with cancer or heart disease, or dead in some other way. It all seems so pointless. This world seems so pointless.
So, Father, we need You to invade. With a fresh vision of Jesus or a new movement of Your Spirit, or Your Kingdom come and Your will done, on earth as it is in Heaven. This world desperately needs You, we desperately need You to come and overcome the pointlessness. Renew Your people, renew Your creation, and eliminate the evil and chaos. We invite Your New Creation to come and make a good world out of the void and emptiness, just as You did when You created the world. With all of creation, who groans with birth pangs, we want to see Your Son high and lifted up, the Crown Prince of Heaven glorified. He is the one good purpose in the middle of the vanity of this world.
We lift of the needs in our community and of those around us.
- We pray that the string of shootings across the nation would not further divide our community or isolate blacks or police, but would cause us to reach out in love to those who are different from us and to speak in honoring ways about all.
- We pray for our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world, that You would strengthen them and give them power and grace to fulfill Your purposes for them.
- We pray for those here, we lift up those with various needs.
Father, thank You for the ways that You have gifted Art. I pray that You would speak through him today so that we could see You more clearly in a world that can seem meaningless. I ask that You would speak to us by Your Spirit and make us new this morning.
Father, all we have is from You. You provide for us more than we need, and we give You thanks. Receive the offering we are about to take as an act of worship and use it for the sake of Your Kingdom.
Father, we invite Your reign here – Your Kingdom come. Jesus, You are precious to us, and we want You to rule in us today. Holy Spirit, fall on us and lead us into truth and life, we pray.
Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.