About once a month we ask 4 different church members to come up and pray for our church and our city.  This past Sunday, we had a particularly powerful time of prayer.  One of our members wrote out their prayer and I thought it worth sharing with you.  He was praying that our church would be known as a church that does good deeds in our neighborhood.

Deeds prayer by Eric Neumann

Father, you have told us in your Word in Matthew 5:16 to let our light shine before others, so that they may see our good works and give glory to you, Our Father, who is in heaven. And in John 13:35 that all people will recognize us as your disciples by the love we have for one another. 

And so, Lord, I thank you for the specific tangible ways that many here today have served and loved their neighbors – both their fellow Christians and those whom you have not yet redeemed. I thank you for those who blessed the Kirkbride teachers this past week, during their in-service meeting. I thank you for those who have provided comfort and meals to those directly affected by the recent shootings in our neighborhood. I thank you for those who cared for the Catoes after their recent break-in, for those who have participated in the park clean-ups and community street sweeping efforts this summer, and those who are preparing to shovel their neighbors walks this winter. I thank you for those volunteering at Kirkbride on a weekly basis, those who drive, cycle, and walk through our neighborhood safely and unselfishly, and those who plan to seize the opportunity to guide the powers of our government to be a blessing to our city by voting in next week’s elections. I pray that, by the power of your Spirit, Lord, you would inspire us to take more and more actions to faithfully serve you by serving others that your name would be glorified. 

Serving others in these visible ways is not enough, though, Lord, for you also warn against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees who obeyed you in many ways, but did so for the praise of men, rather than out of love and gratitude towards you. And so I pray that our private deeds would also bring you glory. That our character would grow to be increasingly consistent and free from this hypocrisy. Protect us, Lord, from the temptation to be slothful around the house or at work, but instead to work as if working for you; from the temptation to watch pornography, and instead work against sex trafficking and the exploitation of the vulnerable, and actively pursue and focus on that which is pure, lovely, and commendable. 

Protect us from the sins of omission where we see a need or an opportunity to be a blessing and to build your Kingdom  – but instead selfishly turn away, knowing that you are the only one aware of our callous self-centeredness. Even in private, Father, Let us choose to devote some portion of each of our days to the study and memorization of your word – not so that we might boast in our piety but in order to know you more and be empowered to demonstrate your goodness to others. Let us make the best use of our time, actively looking for and taking advantage of opportunities to do good, both for your renown and for the pleasure you take in our humble obedience. And when we fail; when we succumb to the ways of the world, may we see your unfailing love and know your forgiveness. Know that you have atoned all of our sins by your blood. 

You tell us, Lord, that we may be known as your children by the spiritual fruit that we bear in our lives. And so I pray that there would be an increasing abundance of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control here at Christ Church and throughout the worldwide church, which is your body. May our decisions and our behavior make it clear to the world that we trust you, we rely on you, we love you, and we belong to you. (Amen.)