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A Prayer for Lent - Week 4

Our Father in heaven,

You are life to us. You are our Creator and Sustainer. You are the Vinedresser and so faithful to care for us and tend to us. You are a righteous Judge and worthy of honor. As branches we submit to Your careful pruning of anything that does not glorify Your holy name. We thank You for grafting each one of Your children into Christ Jesus, the Vine. Jesus, You are the True Vine who gives life and nourishment to undeserving branches. You are all that we are not: You are loving and kind and merciful and gracious. You are life and power and glory and joy. You are goodness and righteousness, excellence and faithfulness. We worship and adore you for who You are. All our life is in You.

We, Your body, desire to walk together in union with You and in unity with one another so that the world will believe upon the name of Jesus Christ. It is Your love that compels us in all that we do and we recognize that apart from You, we can do nothing in or for Your kingdom. You alone are our source for life, for godliness, for ministry, for community. We confess our great need for You and delight to follow You.

Lord, we are desperate for the nourishment that only You provide. We know that You are sufficient for every need or desire. We pray that You would teach us to rest in the truth that in Christ Jesus we have everything we need for life and godliness. Help us to apprehend by faith the lavish grace You daily offer to us so that we might glorify You in all things. Teach us to abide in You with full assurance of faith. Grow in us a deeper love for You and a genuine certainty that You are the source of all our satisfaction and hope.

We confess that we often choose our own way. Each of us has tried at one time or another to justify ourselves by our own good works. We are impotent to obey you in our own power and yet we find ourselves striving nonetheless. We confess that we don’t always trust You in all things, and we confess the stubborn pride that refuses to ask for help from You and from our brothers and sisters in the faith. We ask for Your forgiveness for trusting in our own righteousness when we know that it is Your righteousness alone that matters. We pray that You would teach us to rest in Your sufficiency and to believe Your promises. We ask You to help our obedience. Help us to love one another as You have loved us for Your love in us is proof of our sonship.

Lord, You have promised us that the blessed ones are the ones that delight in Your law and meditate on Your law day and night. Plant us like trees by streams of water and cause us to yield Your fruit in season. We ask for Your help to be this kind of disciple. Fill us with Your Spirit. We long to be fruit-bearing branches. Let the power of Your Spirit so fill us that we overflow with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control that the world will know that we bear Your name. Father, prune away everything in us that might become a source of self-confidence or self-glory. Cleanse us through Your word and teach us to rest as branches abiding in a vine, receiving all that we need to be useful and fruitful in Your kingdom. Show forth the glory and goodness of Your power in us. Prune us and help us to be trained by Your discipline so that we will yield Your fruit in abundance. Teach us to remain faithful in trials, to persevere in hardship, and to consider all things joy, believing that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness and leads to Your fullness.

Father, we pray our unity in the bond of peace in Christ Jesus will brand the Church at Martinsburg as a fellowship where Jesus reigns supreme and love abounds toward God and one another. Give us one heart and one way and then sustain it in us, we pray. We thank You that You have united us to Yourself and that Your life flows through us. Fill us as a body of believers that live and move and grow and bear fruit as we abide in You. Fill us with the fruit of Your righteousness so we may walk in a manner worthy of You, fully pleasing to You, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in our knowledge of who You are. Teach us to abide in You by abiding in Your word so that we will be confident in prayer. Teach us Your will so that we can know Your heart, and teach us to obey your will so that we can experience what it truly means to abide in Your love. Because You are the Vine, Jesus, we present our bodies this day as living sacrifices to God, holy and acceptable, as our spiritual act of worship. Transform us, renewing our minds so that we can discern Your good, acceptable, and perfect will.

Thank You, Father, for the redemption and union that is ours in Christ. Your joy is our joy – it is Your joy in us and our joy complete. We are humbled by Your choice of us to bear fruit that remains and to pray prayers that avail much. Thank You for giving us rest from striving and self-justification. And thank You for grace upon grace lavished upon us, for nourishment from Your word, for strength from Your Spirit, and for power over sin and the evil one daily.
We rejoice in You.

It is in the wonderful name of Jesus that we pray,
Amen.