Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. May it be set apart and kept holy. May our mediator, Jesus of Nazareth, hold His hand over ours, guiding us to touch the hem of His garment, the fringe on His prayer shawl. May He not only unite our prayers to His but also rectify the inadequacies of our words and our thoughts.

As we present our praise and thanks and petitions to You, we ask Him again to sanctify our words so they ascend to You as a pure, unalloyed fragrance.

Lord and Father, we thank You for the discipline of the tests You’ve set us.  We thank You for Your love, Your desire for us to mature, Your gift of free will and choice. We admit that sometimes it’s hard to be thankful because we feel inadequate and ashamed when we fail and that shame makes us want to hide from You. But we thank You for pursuing us into our hiding places and making us restless there. We thank You and praise You for being the God of the second chance and the third and fourth and seventy-times-seventh. 

We thank You for giving us Your armour to defend us and also the Fruit of the Spirit to overcome the power of the enemy to strike at us. We thank You for love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control. We thank You for the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

We pray that You kiss us with Your armour, and we ask You to kiss our loved ones with it too. We ask for Your blessing and favour as we approach the threshold into our calling. We ask for the guidance of Your Holy Spirit as we face the choices that confront us on the threshold. We ask that You empower us with wisdom to align ourselves with Your heart and discern the choices of greatest faithfulness to You. It’s far easier to choose between right and wrong than it is to choose between two righteous options, one of which is godly and the other merely good. Help us, Lord, to pass the test, not by asking You for the answer—because it’s our test, not Yours—but by learning to sing the song of Your heart in harmony with You.

Father, You sing over us, You joy over us, You raise Your banner of love over us, and You lift us up. We ask Your help to sing with You, to joy with You, to delight in the banner You’ve raised and to lift up Your Name, not only in our own nation but throughout the world. May Your Name be praised forever and ever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thank you to Lorna Skinner of www.riversofmusic.co.uk for the background music.