- Pray for the johns on Sunday, Feb. 3, during the pastoral prayer or other time of corporate prayer during the service. A suggested prayer and scriptures to meditate on or incorporate into the service are below. You can also download the church guide as a PDF.
- Encourage individual parishioners and/or community groups to pray for the johns before, during or after the game.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We come to you today from many places — some of us weary, some lonely, some rejoicing, some grateful, some angry, some ashamed. We thank you that you will someday receive your church as one holy and spotless bride, but today, not many of us feel spotless. We confess that we are broken, self-centered people who are constantly distorting your good gifts in ways that displease you and hurt your people and your world. You have given us a good gift in our bodies and our sexuality, but we confess that we often seek pleasure apart from relationship and use people as a means to find fleeting release, escape, and even dominance. What you intended to foster unity, intimacy and new life, we have turned upside down through selfishness, manipulation, and even sometimes violence. We repent and ask your forgiveness and mercy.
We thank you for the promise that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and we ask that His blood would cleanse our consciences and take away our shame. Father, where we have long struggled with sin and shame in our sexuality, whether for what we have done or what has been done to us, we ask for your healing and the ability to forget what lies behind and reach toward what you have ahead for us. Give us the courage to step out of the shadows of guilt, sin and shame and into the light of forgiveness and true intimacy with you and with each other. May we as a community grow in extending the mercy and grace of Jesus’ blood to each other, so that this church would be a safe place to confess sin, seek healing, and hope and journey together toward righteousness.
Father, we confess that we are frequently a proud, self-righteous people — quick to point out and critique the sin of others, slow to remember that our own sin deserves death and, but for the blood of Jesus, we, too, would stand condemned before you. We repent of our pride and the ways we have discouraged others from living honest lives. Transform this church so that where there has been secrecy, shame and deceit we would become a community of open, humble, transparent sinners who rejoice in the grace of Jesus.
Father, where we have condemned our brothers and sisters who struggle with sexual sin, we repent. May we learn to hope on their behalf and help them discover what good works you have appointed for them to do. We ask boldly for you to transform many of those who patronize prostitutes, struggle with pornography and otherwise participate in the sexual exploitation of others into people who would proclaim and help bring your kingdom. We ask that you would so work in these men's lives that their transformation and good works would cause many men and women to praise your redemptive power.
Father, we confess that we are cynical people, who frankly doubt you can do this — that you are good enough and big enough to change us and our community in such a way. But we pray that you would prove us wrong, and that your kingdom would come into our broken sexuality in beautiful, transformative ways that would exceed all we can ask for or imagine. Come, Lord Jesus. Come, Lord Jesus.Suggested scriptures
- “There is there now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” — Romans 8:1-2
- “…[W]e too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He love us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” — Eph. 2:3-10
- “…[O]ne thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” — Phil. 3:13b-14
- “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” — Heb. 12: 1-2