Lord of our past and our future, the ancient Israelites remind us that our worship and ministry space does not contain or enclose you, but it is a place for us to catch a glimpse of your eternity. As we gather in your presence and seek your blessing, hear now our prayers.
Lord of our past and of our future, you have been faithful to us. May we be faithful to you. The work on the building is complete, but your work of building has just begun. Build us into a stronger congregation, a stronger witness to your love, and stronger missionaries to the world. May we continue to open our doors to our community and open our minds to your transformation.
Lord of our past and of our future, we dedicate to you today our new ministry space. From the front door to the back hallway, may we be a place of hospitality and grace. As we dedicate our renovated building, we pray that new floors, rebuilt walls, even unseen ceiling ducts, foundation work, and repaired roof might proclaim that this is a place of welcome and love.
Lord of our past and of our future, as guests and members alike eat meals in the Roger Williams Room, stay overnight with Family Promise, study and learn together in Sunday school classrooms, or worship in the sanctuary, we pray that you would be honored and glorified, and that the building would not be a distraction or a hurdle to the work of ministry here.
Lord of our past and of our future, today our worship space is almost completed. Some parts are new. Others have been here from the beginning. Today, we dedicate the whole space to you, as we honor and glorify you:
Bless these seats, that they who worship here might join their spirits with your Spirit.
Bless this chancel, that the word spoken here might prophetic, powerful, and respectful.
Bless these instruments – the piano and the organ – that they might help us to praise your name.
Bless this stained glass window, reminding us that we must view our world through the lenses of your eyes.
Bless this table, that the story of grace might remind us how we are to live out your love.
Bless this wall, which reminds us that we enter into a holy and sacred space.
Bless these handbells, so that every child to ring and sing here might know the One whom they praise.
Bless all who are baptized here, that they might be raised to walk in newness of life, and that we might all be reminded of the new life you give us every day.
Bless the narthex, that it might be a place to welcome the stranger, and welcome back the friend.
Lord of our past and of our future, we acknowledge that everything we have comes from your hands. We thank you that for the past 160 years, Lawrence First Baptist Church has been in partnership with you in mission and ministry. We strive to be your faithful people. Teach us to seek first your will, and then to be stewards of all you have given us, gifts of time, of financial resources, and of skills and talents. Believing that through Jesus, you hear and answer us, we pledge ourselves to the building of hospitality as you have commanded, inviting all to life in Christ and His Church.*
And it is through Jesus that we pray, and that we are reminded indeed how to pray, as we together say the words that he taught us:
All: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen
* These words were written by First Baptist Church members in preparation for our Building Hospitality Capital Campaign in 2012. The Prayer Committee crafted this prayer for us to pray together as a congregation.