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Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;
Father of Light, we come before you today, with our brothers and sisters from across Canada and around the world to ask your mercy and favour on our churches and institutions in our land. For over four centuries, churches in Canada have witnessed to your redeeming love, preached your Word and tried to bring hope and healing in this land. But at the same time, we have also been sorrowful sources of division, squabbling, injustice, cruelty and shame.
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Lord too often we have dishonoured you by allowing the values of our culture – whether success or rivalry, pride or confidence, affluence or comfort – shape our engagement with you, with one another and with the world around us. We have broken our vows to love, support and care for the other. In seeking to show we are right, we have jeopardized the witness of the gospel through the unity of the Church. Lord, in your mercy, forgive us, we pray.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
We affirm today that our ways are not always your ways, that our words are indeed not always your words. We turn to you anew and pray for our churches and denominations across our nation. As our partners in Canada ponder what it means to be people of the Good News, we want to know how to respond in love and truth to the complex spiritual and social issues of our time. There are sharp disagreements even within our Baptist family over what we should stand for and who we should stand with, especially regarding people with whom we disagree, whose lifestyle doesn’t conform with ours, whether this is because of race, marriage, social justice, human rights, homelessness, or the environment.
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
It is our prayer, Lord, that the truth of Scripture would not fall on infertile soil, that it would not return empty. We pray that there would be a renewed awakening and passion for your Word – for reading it, meditating on it and most certainly, living according to it. Your Word will accomplish that which you purpose.
As a community of Christ-followers, we ask that you would strengthen our leaders – the board and staff of CBM and of our sister denominations – for Rob Ogilvie and the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada (CBWC), for Tim McCoy and the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec (CBOQ), for Peter Reid and the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada (CBAC) and David Rowley and the French Baptist Union. May they demonstrate courage and patience in dealing with local churches. Help them as they find ways to encourage and bless our vast and very diverse Baptist family.
For you shall go out in joy,
and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
And today, Lord, we ask that together as Canadian Baptists we would indeed go out in joy and be led in peace. In this beautiful autumn season, may the mountains and hills burst into song and the trees clap their hands for you, the Eternal, all-knowing and everlasting one.
Father, we pray this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who is our peace and makes us one in the bond of the Holy Spirit,
God of Life and Love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we give you thanks for the gift of life this day, for the love that is your life and for the love which gives us life and sustains it, even beyond our deaths.
I give you thanks for the good work that you have given me through CBM and our members in Canada and partners around the world. Be with me as I grieve the loss of travel and face-to-face gatherings with our partners in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Give me discipline, stamina, and wisdom as I write to support CBM’s partnerships in integral mission, theological education, marketplace witness, and leadership formation. May I be guided by the Spirit into the creativity and beauty that marks your work in the world.
May I have words of encouragement and insight and good counsel as I mentor some of those who are serving you at CBM, our Canadian members, and our partners. May I draw my life from you, O Lord, so that I work not in my own strength and wisdom, but in yours.
O God, may I have the courage to receive and pass on your wisdom, which may seem so foolish in this upside-down world. May I have the eyes of faith to see this world right-side-up in Jesus. With those eyes of faith may I also bear witness to the hope, the sure future of your creation in new creation. And may I love you, other humans, the rest of creation, and even myself in light of that new creation.
Father, I pray that you will continue to give me health and energy day by day and that I will be faithful each day that you give me to live. Help me to be content in you and accept my limitations and weaknesses. Forgive my sin and foolishness and restore me each day to follow Jesus.
May my love for your people grow and may I serve Christ by serving his body.
And so we pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who live each day uncertain of enough food and clean water for that day. We pray for those who lack sufficient shelter. We pray for those whose hearts are broken as they care for those in great need. We also pray for those who live in the midst of danger and hostility. Give them wisdom and courage. We pray for our partners with whom we work to raise up leaders for a new generation of faithful witness and discipleship.
God, we know that we are weak and lacking the wisdom for the work to which you have called us. We rejoice that we are yoked with Jesus and that by the power of his resurrection and the Holy Spirit we may join you in bearing witness by word and deed to the new creation, where there will be no more tears, no more pain, and no more death.
It is with a humble heart that I come before you to offer my prayer.
Dear Father, you are the one who provides and restores peace among your people and creation.
Today, I acknowledge that conflict among people is a reality.
Violence is happening in different places in the world, children are engaged in war, women are being assaulted, many are becoming refugees both within and out of their own countries.
War within and between countries is a reality. People are killed. Properties are destroyed. And we are seeing the consequences of these in poverty, widows and traumatized people. The circle of violence continues.
Dear Father, we, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are also facing the same situation of violence and conflicts among tribes. Church leaders and Christians are not exempt.
I bring before you my ministry – to help bring healing and reconciliation to a Baptist denomination in the DRC – Community of Baptist Churches in Eastern Congo (CEBCE) – after 21 years of division among brothers and sisters in Christ.
By your grace and through the willingness of the leaders, this denomination is coming together.
Dear God, I pray that the fragile reunification becomes a reality and that reconciliation among tribes strengthens. I pray for the leadership to become stronger and more accountable and for women and youth to participate in the process of reconciliation. Open doors for all churches to partake in reunification.
Dear God, I ask you to make me strong in all that I do. Lead me as I teach to different target groups. Use the twelve peacebuilding modules we developed as a tool of reunification.
God, I also ask for more facilitators who will be able to influence others in word and deed in promoting peace in the CEBCE, the surrounding community and in the country where violence still prevails.
Oh God, let people in CEBCE and in the world recognize one humanity in which all lives are precious and worthy to be loved.
Oh dear God, let us remove the land mines in our hearts which prevent us from making peace. Let us overcome greed with generosity. Let us overcome hatred with love and kindness. And let us overcome delusion with wisdom.
Dear God, I pray for CBM and its partners so that, with the burden it has for the restoration of the broken world, you may give us the means and people for fulfilling its mission. Give strength, vision and wisdom to its leaders so that they will be able to fulfill whatever may give shalom to your people around the world.
I pray for my partners who generously support my work of peacebuilding and reconciliation.
Oh dear God, I pray for my family, my wife and children for their good spiritual, physical and social health and for my children to be able to finish their studies and be prepared for their future.
I also pray for the end of this COVID-19 and for peace in my country and all the world,