Sticking with the wave theme from my last post, I've been following the Volvo Ocean Race. Leg 5 is underway, and the six boats headed out from New Zealand a few days ago for the most dangerous part of the entire race. This is the most exciting part of the race to watch, too, and has me all introspective. The video above (snatched from the 2008/2009 race) will give you a sense of the speeds and force the boats and crews endure in the coming weeks.
But as these six #VolvoOceanRace yachts charge into the loneliest and most dangerous, remote ocean on the planet, each will deploy a drifter buoy on behalf of #NOAA (U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The buoys will help scientists understand how the southern ocean contributes to global weather, warming and environmental trends. Read more about this valuable partnership and project at this link.
Meanwhile, yesterday was the union Church AGM and I opened the meeting in prayer. I recall years ago when I regularly did the offertory prayer I used to post them on my blog. I decided to do the same for yesterday's prayer. Enjoy.
Opening Prayer for Union Church Annual General Meeting
Let us collect ourselves, sit up straight, breath deep. Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Be still and please bow yours heads in prayer.
Lord, Jesus Christ, come Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit. I pray Acts 1:8 upon our evening: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Breathe in the Holy Spirit.
I lift up before the congregation, a reminder that Union Church was founded on two principles on 27 July, 1849. First, is our duty to confess Jesus Christ and to do what we can to win men to the faith in the Gospel. To that end, I pray upon those here this evening, 1 Thessalonians 2:4 “For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.” Let us take a moment to hand over to the Lord Jesus any burdens, hurt, distress, guilt, sin, sorrow. Jesus is with us, he is as close as the breath in your lungs. Let everything go. Place it in the hands of our Lord and receive the Father’s love in its place. I pray that as the Lord examines us this evening that our hearts, motives and words will be pleasing to Him and filled with the Fruits of the Spirit. Let us continue to pray.
The second principle is “our duty not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but be a union…” By the blood of Jesus I pray the words spoken in 1849… “We differ in small matters, we agree in great realities…. Believing that we have been individually received by Christ, we joyfully receive one another, and pray that our doing so may be to the Glory of God” this evening.
Let us pray for the wisdom and protection of all Union Church families and friends, but especially the existing leaders, new leaders stepping into positions tonight and for leaders stepping down from positions tonight. I pray Matthew 16:18, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” I pray further upon the leaders, Isaiah 54:17 “no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”
Let us take a special moment for those leaders stepping down, and pray thanks and give praise for their service. I pray Matthew 25:23, “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” On behalf of everyone at Union Church I stand prayerfully in the gap before Jesus and give thanks for you. Do you know the love of The Father, the Love that He has over you? Do you know the Joy of The Father… the Joy that He has over you? I invite everyone, as we enter in our Annual General Meeting, to enter into the Joy of Our Heavenly Father.
Praise be to God. Amen.