At present, we see that good and bad things happen to both good and bad people.
We accept the way that you maintain your control over the world, allowing evil and tragedy to exist side-by-side with everything that is good. Even within the church, the living expression of Christ’s life on earth, we see that there is corruption. Help us not to be a part of that problem, but rather be part of the solution.
Help us not to trust in ourselves, in our own goodness, merit or virtue or righteous works. We see that before your holiness, the only safe way to approach you is in humility, admitting our guilt and seeing our need for repentance.
Forgive us of our sins, fill us with your Spirit. Help us to live completely for you, relying on your power, the power of Christ’s resurrection life at work with us.
Thank you for revealing yourself to us even though we are not the great, mighty or wise of this world. If the last will be first, and so on, then we are happy to take the lower place now if it means that we get to know you.
As Jesus tells us, the harvest is large and the laborers are few. We pray earnestly that you would send laborers into your harvest.
Like the seventy-two, we can see that all of us can play a part in the task of mission. Help us to receive you sincerely knowing that we also need to be ready to be sent.
And then help us to be ready to serve our neighbor in need, no matter who that neighbor is.
Finally, make us the kind of people who will listen to and learn from Jesus. Even as we serve, we never want our work to somehow stand in the way of our relationship with him.
In Luke 7, we get several stories that all point to Christ’s divine identity, revealing his power over sin, disease and even death. Response to him will be divided. Some see their need for him while others do not.
We come before you in humility knowing that in ourselves there is nothing that would make us worthy to have you listen to our prayers. We truly have nothing to offer but our faith in Christ. We know that he came to proclaim forgiveness to sinners like ourselves, so we ask you to cleanse us of our sins.
We ask you to make us faithful intercessors, much like the centurion, with respect to those we love. Please hear the prayers that we offer up for others.
Help us to remain faithful in the midst of our own trials, even as John had to remain faithful in prison.
And as we recognize how great your forgiveness has been toward us, make us people who would show you great love.
When Jesus begins calling disciples he does not call those who believe they are righteous, he calls sinners instead. In this chapter, we will learn a lot about the attitude we need in order to be put right with God.