Prayer: Our Father in heaven, as we gather for another Lord’s Day as an act of love and service to you, we desire to honor you with our lips as an accurate reflection of our hearts. Though we know our shortcomings — how we often fall short of your glory, we thank you that you do not treat us as our sins deserve. We are miserable creatures of dust; unprofitable servants, slow to learn and slow to understand all that you tell us. Our sins are ever before us, and they usually show up with our words as a reflection of our black and unsanctified hearts. Oh, how we mourn the loose lips that often invite a beating. Oh, how we are ashamed at lips that seek to bless and praise you while, at the same time, they curse our brothers and sisters made in your image. Forgive us, Father. Forgive us for such evil and wicked behavior. Please do not treat us as our sins deserve. We thank you that our Lord and Savior atoned for our heartless worship and lips that are often hypocritical as we sit in your worship while our hearts remain far from you. 

As we gather today as your people, please remind us of your love for us — a love that will never end as it never had a beginning. Please grant us a greater willingness and zeal to be obedient, listen carefully to what we hear, leave your worship, and enter the world as faithful servants of the Most High. Please grant to us listening ears and willing hearts. Please help your ministers to preach your Word faithfully. Please help them as they too wrestle with sin and fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil. All of these things we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture Meditation: Rom. 3:23; Ps. 103:6-14; Luke 17:10; Prov. 18:6; James 3:1-12; Mark 7:1-8

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