Here, then, is Jon Boardman’s pastoral prayer from the worship service at Covenant Presbyterian Church this past Sunday, September 12. I hope that you have found these prayers a great encouragement.
Covenant Presbyterian Church, Oviedo, Florida
Jehovah-sabaoth – “The LORD of hosts”
This name is used in a famous Bible passage in 1 Samuel 17. Goliath, the notorious Philistine warrior and giant, had taunted the people of God, David, and God himself.
David responded with these memorable words: “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of Jehovah-sabaoth [the LORD of hosts], the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands…that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD’s and He will give you into our hands” (vv. 45-47).
The God of hosts is the God of the universe who rules over the infinite armies of heaven, the angelic hosts. He commands all his angels and all beings.
When the giants of life seem to overwhelm us and the enemy taunts or curses us, we can stand firm for the battle belongs to the LORD of hosts.
He’s in charge, and He fights on our behalf. He has given our enemies into our hands.
Let us approach our Divine Warrior with humility and gratitude.
nothing can stand against You.
Despair cannot overmatch You. Darkness cannot overwhelm You. The devils of this world cannot overpower You. You are the LORD of hosts; the universe trembles in Your presence.
Psalm 46 bids us to “behold the works of the LORD, who has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire.”
“The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.” We find great solace in Your strength and protection.
In our days of distress, we find redemption and refuge in You, our strong tower. You are our very present help in trouble.
This morning we pray for our loved ones who face trouble in body, mind, and soul. May they and all of us experience the deep and abiding peace that only comes from You.
Bring us to a deeper understanding of Your presence and power not only in the grandness of this world but in the minutiae of our lives.
Particularly we pray for those battling physical illnesses. We lift up Hanaa Samuels, a friend of Jim and Carole. She is battling Leukoplakia.
We lift up Christy, Sharon Leigh’s niece; she is facing a large tumor in her abdomen.
We lift up Robert Pruitt, Lloyd’s step-father; he is suffering from kidney failure.
We lift up Joey Silvey, who is suffering from back pain from an injury.
And we lift up others like Jim, Lisa, Joseph, and those so dear to us who battle some disease or another.
LORD, grant them all healing, comfort, and strength during their times of trouble. Be exalted through their sufferings.
God, You are Lord over all Your people, so we lift up Your church, both here and abroad.
Locally, we pray for a smooth transition to our new facility.
We lift up our church: her officers, staff, and members, and we ask that You would grow her and use her to reach this community.
May our sights always be on You – the One to whom our fears are lifted and our turmoil is settled.
Grant us Your assurance as stated in the psalm: “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” We exalt You in Oviedo.
We also pray for unity among Your people; may all the Christ-centered churches be united in our efforts to reach the community.
Help us to love one another and to build each other up. We also pray for our missionaries and evangelists as they exalt You in their respective ministries.
We lift up the Fitzgeralds, the Kithongos, the Donets, Carol Arnold, the Cruzes, the Amons, Mike Dumas, the Muteis, the Clows, and the Makukus.
Increase their ministries, protect them from their enemies, and bless all the nations through Your people. May the gospel transform the lives of those You place in their midst.
We end our prayers thinking about the real threats that surround us: the threat of economic disaster, the threat of religious persecution, the threat of terrorism, the threat of environmental calamities, and the threat of the powers of this world against Your people.
Despite all these threats, You are the LORD of hosts. You are Lord of all. Nothing can prevail against You or Your church. We have confidence in You.
Help us to live and walk in the conviction of Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray.