When we ask things of God in prayer, praying with and through God’s Word helps us be in line with God’s will. Though in some traditions it appears “fake” to have a written prayer that isn’t “straight from the heart,” many Biblical examples of petitions before God show careful structure and deliberate thought. While God certainly hears our prayer whether we speak stream-of-consciousness or take the time to write our prayer, pleading our case with more intentionality, using patterns of prayer from Scripture can guide our thoughts and instruct us toward a healthy posture before God.
With the work of Rebecca Olsen from our Storytelling Team, we’ve created a guide for anyone who would like a resource for writing their own prayers of petition from Scripture. Additionally, we’ve written and collected similar prayers from members of our community, demonstrating from our own stories how Scripture can guide us in our asking, from the biggest requests to our everyday sustenance.
Scriptural Prayers of Petition from our Community
Madelyn St Clair: On Homelessness
Psalm 91, 136; Matthew 10
Sovereign God, would You save Your people living in the streets?
Keep the darkness from surrounding them,
We beg for Your light to shine through
Hear our prayer Lord
See Your people
Would Your people know You love them:
You’ve numbered all the hairs on their head
Your steadfast love endures forever
They have a home in You
Would that feel true
Your Word says we will not fear the terror of the night
For we are hidden under the shadow of Your wing.
Would we find refuge in that?
Lord, do what only You can do
Would You shelter them
Would You save them
Would You bring them into Your family?
You’re the only one who can
Father of orphans, Prince of peace, God With Us,
You are our Sovereign God and Sovereign over this too.
Rebecca Olson: For a Friend in Perpetual Seasons of Challenge
Father, my heart breaks for my friend who has experienced so many difficult seasons. It seems she never gets a break from one great sorrow or stress to the next. Like the man in Luke 9, I ask that all of her hardship would be for the purpose of displaying your works in her life. May her life shine brilliantly with the goodness of your hand guiding her in her hardships.
Rebecca Olson: General Asking from the Lord’s Prayer and High Priestly Prayer
Matthew 6, John 17
Our Father in heaven, we praise your holy name. You, in your kindness and goodness, have taught us to pray in this way, and so today we ask that your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth, amongst Park Church, as it is in heaven.
Lord, just as Jesus prayed for us, we pray that we would know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent, that by knowing this we would glorify you for all eternity.
Oh Father, but yet for a little while we are still in this world, and we ask for your protection. Protect us by the power of your name so that we might be one. The evil one comes to steal and kill and destroy, and we need your protection. Save us from lies that steal our joy, kill our hope, and destroy our love for one another. Teach us more of your word, which is truth, and make us holy, set apart for you through that Truth.
Father, give us our daily bread. We have nowhere else to go for our daily bread, for you are our bread of life. Give us everything we need for today; patience in traffic, gentleness with our loved ones, peace about the week to come, and self-control tonight when we’ve allowed our exhaustion to weaken our reserve to get to bed on time.
Forgive us our debts, the things we have done and the things we have left undone. As we remember the grace we have received from you, remind us to give grace generously to those around us, even to those who have sinned against us.
Father, we are but little children, so please deliver us from temptations and crippling doubt. We want to be known in our homes, our church, and our community for our love that comes straight from you.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
Gary McQuinn: Petition for Unity in the Body of Christ
John 17, Matthew 6, Ephesians 4
Father, Son, Spirit. One God in three Persons. You exist in perfect Unity. You’ve created us to reflect Your communal love and harmonious unity in diversity. But in sin and selfishness we are prone to divisions.
Jesus, You laid down Your life to show us love and to bind us together in covenant love. You said the world will know that we are Your disciples by our love for one another. And You said that our oneness would help the world know that You were sent by the Father to restore the kingdom.
Help our church to be one. Even as You and the Father are one. (John 17)
Deliver us from the evil one; his schemes and his designs to divide and destroy what You are building. (Matthew 6)
Help us to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4)
Although there is so much to rejoice in together, we chose a handful of truths and stories from our community that cause us to remember characteristics of God. We celebrated with this call-and-response liturgy, led by Kira Lang from our Storytelling team.
For the colors, climate, mountains, and meadows of our state all declaring the handiwork of God, for the rain this summer, and the opportunity to see the bounty of flowers and plants in our backyards.
We rejoice in God’s delight in beauty!
For the many groups at Park Church that focus on loving and sharing the Gospel with their communities:
For the numerous volunteer leaders at Park Kids, Park Students, and Park College who enthusiastically give to the next generation, bearing the image of God in love.
For the 16 people this spring who joined Alpha—a safe space to discuss what it means to follow Jesus—wherein two made decisions to follow Him. For the GCs and individuals who supported Alpha though providing meals and more.
For the consistency and support MomLife has provided in serving the moms of our church and our neighborhoods, and for the selfless and passionate moms who have made MomLife happen.
We rejoice in God’s pursuit of people He loves through volunteer leaders in our community!
Because, after many years of prayer and faithful work, last Sunday the Bartol family celebrated the first gathering their long-dreamt church plant in Olomouc, in the Czech Republic, which is the only country in Europe where the majority of people identify as non-religious.
We rejoice in God’s pursuit of people He loves through missionaries abroad!
Because a member of our congregation who came to know Jesus several years ago has now had the opportunity and support systems to walk with his brother as he’s turned from drug addiction, causing a chain reaction in their family.
We rejoice in God’s rescuing love, both for this family and for each of us who are in Christ!
On Sunday, August 13, we began a mini-series on prayer. Although there is no “right” way to structure a prayer time, we’re using the helpful acrostic P.R.A.Y. (Pray, Rejoice, Ask, Yield) as a sort of framework throughout the series. Our first stop is “pause”—the act of creating space to give attention to the presence of God.Before we discussed this practice in service, we asked you how and/or why you choose to pause. Special thanks to Steve Vanderheide for his videography!
Our artwork for this Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter is adapted from a 2021 series by Noel Shiveley for Park Church (also including Advent and Christmas Eve).
About the Artist
Noel Shiveley was born in Pasadena, CA. He first started sharing his graphic design work on Instagram in 2012 under @noeltheartist. His account has become a favorite to many, using graphic design to blend fun social commentary, Gospel snippets, random illustrations, and his professional portfolio. This is how we found him for this project! Noel lives with his wife Bethany in Colorado Springs where he serves as Worship Director for YWAM Colorado Springs.
What does the artwork mean?
In each piece, a wide “landscape” is pictured. From the outside edges in, rolling hills, jagged deserts, or the ethereal cosmos center a symbolic item and a celestial body. The symbols each focus on life as it is traditionally considered in its liturgical season. For example, Ash Wednesday depicts ashes blown from a censer (life as temporary, fleeting; Psalm 90:3, 10), while Palm Sunday shows a budding tree in front of a gate cracked open (new life imminently coming; Mark 13:28).
What has changed for 2023?
To see Noel’s artwork in a new way, we’re applying a traditional liturgical color and a contrasting thematic color to each of the landscapes. For example, the traditional color for the season of Lent is purple, and a common reminder from the season is that “All are from the dust, and to dust all return” (Ecclesiastes 3:20).
Current 2023 Pieces
This event happened on Tuesday, January 31, 2023
An evening of teaching and discussion with the Denver Institute for Faith and Work, a longstanding partner of Park Church.
Nearly half of our waking hours are spent on our vocations; our work inside and outside the home. Whether leading in an office, stewarding retirement, raising children, or working odd jobs, our vocations occupy considerable mental energy and are often key factors in how major life decisions are influenced and made. What’s more, God has designed and placed us in the world He created, charging us to cultivate it and make it fruitful so that it reflects Him and works to tangibly loves others.
Let us press in with intentionality toward the beauty and breadth of everyday mission in our work.
Dear Park Church Family,
As brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, we are called to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and to follow the example of our Lord and Savior in the sacrificial love and care for those around us (Ephesians 5:1-2). We have an opportunity to do just that with Peter and Jessi Zeller and their young son, Declan. Jessi has recently been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. At the same time, she also learned that she is pregnant. While we can celebrate and rejoice with the Zellers about the new life being formed, it is also true that a pregnancy can often complicate the treatment for lymphoma. The good news is that their doctor believes she may be able to go well into her second trimester before Jessi’s treatment is necessary. Still, the challenges they have before them are monumental, and their need is great.
Our first action, of course, is to pray fervently for miraculous healing. God is certainly able to do so, and we can pray confidently that He will hear us. How this fits into His plan is beyond us, though, and if He chooses to allow the Zellers to go through this trial, then we can pray for many other things: wisdom for the doctors treating Jessi; that the disease would not progress throughout the full term of Jessi’s pregnancy and that there would be no harm to the baby; for physical, emotional, and spiritual strength; for God to draw the Zellers close to Him and give them the comfort that only He can, and that throughout everything in this ordeal His name would be glorified.
There will be the obvious need for meals, for housecleaning, childcare for Declan, etc. Last, but not least, is the financial strain the next year will place on the family’s financial resources. Please see their GoFundMe page for the opportunity to provide some assistance in that way.
Finally, what is so very important in lending our support and efforts to help is a graceful and thoughtful sensitivity to their need for some privacy and the space to maintain some semblance of normalcy in their individual and family lives. It would be easy for us to overwhelm them with our generosity and care. We want to love them the best way we can, and part of that means respecting, and making room for, the emotional roller-coaster they will be riding.
If you would be willing to help out in one of the ways listed above or have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, who will coordinate volunteer efforts. And please be patient; the logistics of all the various needs will be complex. Some will require attention in the not-too-distant future, but many needs will come at a later time. This will be a long and sustained effort, and we will all be trying to figure out how to do it best. By the grace of God, we will be able to love and care well for the Zellers in every respect.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Your fellow servant in Christ,
On behalf of the Elders of Park Church
The Second Coming & Holiness
In our third week of Advent, we are focusing on how the second coming of Christ frames and motivates our pursuit of holiness. In His first advent, Christ graciously freed us from penalty of sin. When He comes again, we can be confident that He will complete the work that He began in us. Between these two advents, we are called to progressively become the kind of people that He has designed us to be, delivered us to be, and destined us to be.
“The emotionally mature person is not the one with a starved, deprived existence, but rather one that reaches out and embraces and furthers all that is good – everything that is good. And that’s a long list. You can start just with simple beauty. It’s very hard to be grumpy when you’re looking at a beautiful rose–try it. It’s turning to what is good that fills out the life of the emotionally and spiritually mature person. As you step into spiritual maturity, you step into the wonderful world of God so rich with good things that we won’t have enough time to concentrate on them.
This is, in the classic language of the church, holiness, sanctification. I have to acknowledge that the way many people present holiness and sanctification is a very pinched view of life. It’s very starved, because they have not been encouraged to turn themselves loose into the fullness of God’s presence and all that is good for them to invest their lives in.””
(Dallas Willard, Heart and Soul Conference, 2012)
Questions for Discussion
Discuss with others, with your Gospel Community, or by reflecting in your journal.
- Re-read Titus 2:1-14. Which of these characteristics of holiness stand out to you the most? Are any of them uncomfortable, new, or challenging? How do these standards of holiness compare to the world’s standards of what a good person does?
- What is our role in helping others grow towards holiness? What is one practical way you can model to your neighbors God’s holiness?
- What hope does Jesus give in His second coming in regards to holiness?
- Individually, with your co-workers, or with your household, pray the the Lord’s Prayer 1–3 times a day (morning, noon, and night):
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
(From Matthew 6:9–13)
Additional questions as you meditate on the Lord’s Prayer this week:
- Let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done: Where do I need to see the values of God’s Kingdom and His will for my life transform my current heart, attitudes, and behaviors? Pray that God would transform you to be who He designed you to be, who He delivered you to be, and who He has destined you to be.
- Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: Where are you tempted (whether by the evil one, your own flesh, or the influence of the world) to turn from God’s design for your life? Where are you pursuing a vision for life that leads you away from the holiness of God? Pray that God would help you turn from these temptations and deliver you from evil so that you could more fully pursue His presence and purposes in your life.