Prayers of Thanksgiving

Service of Prayer for Crops and Industry

Seventh Reformed Church, March 2, 2016

Our Father in heaven,

It is of your great grace alone that we may call you “our Father”! By nature we have been “sons of disobedience and children of wrath,” held under the sway of the “prince of the power of the air”—the one who continues even now to work in the sons of disobedience. Yet, you have eternally, powerfully, and lovingly willed that we should be your sons, your daughters, your children. [1]

Before the foundation of the world you envisioned us, and united us in your mind with Christ, your only begotten Son. Once we were formed and living you called us to yourself, granting us a new nature wherein we were able and willing to heed your call. You united us to Christ through the ministry of the Spirit. He it was who empowered us to rest in our Savior and to cling to him. In union with Christ, who procured for us the righteous life we could never procure for ourselves, and who died for us the death we deserved for our sins, you declared us righteous, and pardoned us.[2] Moreover, you placed us in your household by means of your grace of adoption, having freed us through the work of Christ from our enslavement to sin.[3] It is in him that we have the incalculable privilege of calling you by the name “Father”—not in some timid and doubting way, but as those enabled by the Spirit of Christ within to cry out to you![4] In this privilege we see how you have set us apart once-for-all for your worship and service. [5] Having illumined our minds, touched our hearts, and transformed our wills, we now gladly embrace life’s purpose given us in the gospel. We, therefore, glorify you with our lives by enjoying you here, in anticipation of the life to come. We are assured of our inheritance through the Spirit’s witness with our spirits that we are your children. Conscious of such grace toward us, we persevere unto the end of our lives on this present earth, knowing that we are being divinely preserved and guided by your counsel;[6] and that, hereafter, we shall be in your nearer presence, awaiting the redemption of the bodies in which we now worship and serve. [7]

Not only are we thankful for our once-for-all forgiveness in Jesus Christ, we express our gratitude for the grace which restores us to our first love, and does so time and again.[8] We rejoice that you are a covenant-keeping God. You remain faithful and loving, even when we wonder afar off, or allow the spirit of the age to diminish our affection for you, our commitment to the means of grace, and our encouragement of the communion of the saints. You bear with us and restore our souls. We praise you, then, for the grace of repentance and for your promise to draw near to those who draw near to you.[9] We thank you for your chastening, which, while presently painful, holds out the promise of the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those exercised thereby.[10] We welcome the promise of your Word that if we humble ourselves before you, and pray and seek your face, you will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal your church and the society we serve.[11]

You have shown in history, in the reviving of your people, how we may function with fresh power as the salt and light of our community and nation.[12] You have retained the records of those who, under your Spirit’s influence, rose to the challenge of dark days, and embraced the Spirit’s prompting to repent and to intercede for those who do not and will not pray for themselves. You heard from heaven, and not only continued your yearly providences in the changing of the seasons, the granting of the crops,[13] and the peace and prosperity we have known, and a myriad blessings beside, but you ushered into your kingdom thousands of those asking what they must do to be saved, and you transformed and recovered whole societies as a result. We praise you for “the day of your power,”[14] even as we yearn for another; that your name would be upheld, your Word would be honored, and the display of your glory seen afresh in your church, not least in this northeast quadrant of the city.

These thanks we bring to you, the one “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to [your] power at work within us.”[15] We offer our gratitude sincerely, in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

[1] Ephesians 1:4–5; 2:1–3.

[2] Romans 5:1–2; 8:1.

[3] Ephesians 2:19; Galatians 3:23–4:7.

[4] Mark 14:36; Galatians 4:4–7; Romans 8:15–16.

[5] Acts 26:18; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 6:11.

[6] Psalm 73:23–24; Luke 22:31–32.

[7] Job 19:25–27; Romans 8:22–23; 1 Corinthians 15:12–58.

[8] Revelation 2:1–7.

[9] James 4:8.

[10] Hebrews 12:11.

[11] 2 Chronicles 7:14; Revelation 2:5, 16, 3:3, 19–22.

[12] Matthew 5:13–16.

[13] Genesis 8:20–22.

[14] Psalm 110:3.

[15] Ephesians 3:20.

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