“Our Father in heaven”
Almighty God, creator of the universe, it is a wonderful privilege to be able to call you “Father”.
We deserve to be banished forever from your presence, but you have called us into your family and invite us to approach you, through Christ, with the confidence of children. May we never take this amazing grace for granted.
By your Spirit, help us this year at St Ebbe’s to grow together in loving intimacy with you, so that the cry “Abba Father” is not just a faint echo in our hearts, but a life-transforming, passionate conviction.
“Hallowed be your name”
We confess that our worship of you is often compromised, as we turn to the idols of success, comfort and popularity, rather than to you; and our Christian service so quickly becomes a matter of dutiful routine, without urgency or joy.
In your grace, open our eyes to see more of your glory, stir our hearts to care more for your honour, and move our wills to live more for your praise.
May our lives, individually and as a church family, be so focused on you, that we stand out from those around us in our city and bring much glory to your name.
“Your kingdom come”
We praise you that, in your great love, you drew near in Christ to restore your broken creation and to offer reconciliation. As we wait in hope for the complete restoration of your kingdom when Christ returns, stir within us a desire to engage with those around us with the same love for your world, compassion for the needy and concern for the lost.
Move us to pray persistently for our friends, colleagues and neighbours and to be shining witnesses to them, both by how we live and what we say.
May 2020 see many lasting conversions to Christ, in our parish, the universities, Cowley, and through all our ministries and individual witness.
Continue to raise up and send out from among us those who will serve the cause of your gospel all over the world and equip us to be faithful, prayerful partners with them in their work.
“Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”
Where you have made your will clear in the Bible, may we be quick to obey, so that we grow together in godliness.
Where wisdom is needed, keep us humbly dependent on you in prayer, so that we can discern your leading. Help us to recognise the right time and place for another church plant.
Guard us from complacency and keep us always ready to take decisive steps for the sake of the gospel, however costly. Open our eyes to see any blind spots in our church life and bring change where repentance is needed. Keep us gracious, faithful and fearless in our engagement with the Church of England and restrain it from apostasy.
“Give us today our daily bread”
We praise you for your abundant provision for us at St Ebbe’s, especially over these very stretching recent years of major building work and a plant, when you have always given us just what we have needed. Keep us truly grateful and always dependent on you.
Help us to love one another deeply, so that we are prepared to serve each other in costly ways, mourning with those who mourn, rejoicing with those who rejoice and sharing with those in need.
Move us to care with compassion for the poor and vulnerable in our church and city. May the new CAP centre be a means of great material and spiritual blessing to many.
“And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us”
Father, you know us at our worst, when we are capable of terrible hypocrisy and wickedness, and we acknowledge that even at our best, all our motives and deeds are tainted by sin. Banish from us any hint of self-righteousness or complacency. Lord, have mercy on us!
Keep us dependent on Christ alone and his death for us. May we never cease to marvel at the cross. And may we be so shaped by your grace that it flows out to others.
We long that our church would bear witness to your all-embracing, inclusive love, as we are enabled by your Spirit at St Ebbe’s to form a deep unity in Christ with people of all ages, races, backgrounds and types.
“Lead us not into temptation”
We pray for those in our church who are facing great trials. Bring healing to the sick in body and mind, comfort to the broken-hearted, victory to those afflicted by especially powerful temptations and perseverance to all.
Strengthen us to remain faithful to you as we face the pressure to compromise in belief and practice in a culture that is increasingly hostile to biblical doctrine and morality.
By your Spirit, fill our hearts with a deep love for you and hatred of sin, so that we strive to be godly in all circumstances and grow together in Christ’s likeness.
“Deliver us from evil”
Open our eyes to recognise the spiritual battle we face as we seek to live for you. We are powerless on our own in the fight against Satan, but we rejoice that Christ has won the decisive battle through his death and resurrection.
As we recognise our absolute dependence on Christ, help us to become more and more prayerful as a church. We thank you for all the prayer warriors of the past, to whom we owe so much. Please raise up a new generation of intercessors to take their place.
Guard us from the enemy’s attempts to destroy or undermine our witness to you and keep us free from scandal, false teaching and division.
“For yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever”
Father God, as the sovereign ruler of all, you can do anything. Please answer our prayers for Jesus’s sake and for your eternal glory.