It was fun to preach yesterday after a couple of weeks away. We continued our LIfe of Joseph series with a look at the God of Jacob in Genesis 48. (LISTEN HERE)
In the second hour, Pastor Al prayed a prayer adapted from an earlier Puritan prayer contained in a great collection of Puritan prayers entitled "The Valley of Vision." I really liked the prayer and asked him to send it to me this morning for posting here at Life Together. The second and third lines are what grabbed me. Its worth your contemplation on this Monday.
Blessed Lord Jesus,
No human mind could conceive or invent the gospel,
Acting in eternal grace, you are both its messenger and its message,
Lived out on earth through infinite compassion,
Applying your life to insult, injury, death – we are reminded of that insult, injury, death as we prepare to come to the Table this morning, given the visual reminder that you were nailed to a cross and your blood spilled to pay for our sin –
That we might be redeemed, ransomed, forgiven, freed.
We give thanks to You, Father, for putting your plan into place before the world began,
Eternal thanks to you, Lord Jesus, Lamb of God, for opening the way,
Praise everlasting to you, Holy Spirit, for applying this to our hearts, that we might believe and trust you.
It is because of the Gospel that we can come into the presence of Holy God approach the throne of grace with boldness and confidence. We worship this morning, but we also come with many needs. You know our frailties, our weakness, our brokenness, and I pray that you would meet each of us at our point of need: encourage the brokenhearted, comfort those who have experienced loss, meet the physical needs of those experiencing financial hardship, bring healing to the sick, and draw all of us closer to you, that we may all present our bodies as living sacrifices to you, holy and acceptable to you.
We pray for those who serve in different places around the world, and we especially pray for Mark Piester this morning and his work in reaching children in Russia with the Gospel. We pray that the recent Christmas celebrations and winter camp that he conducted resulted in many hearing and responding to the Gospel, and we pray that you would continue to be at work in those children; bless Mark in his ongoing work that many might hear the Gospel, believe and be discipled, for your namesake.
We pray for our country and our leaders at every level of government. We live in a difficult and dangerous time. May we not depend on the wisdom of men, but the wisdom that only comes from You. We pray for those who serve in government who know you as Savior and Lord, that you would protect them from sin and corruption and that you would use them to advance your will. And use us, Lord, where we are to be salt and light in our own communities.
Now, as we give offering and gifts this morning as an act of worship, bless and use these offerings to advance the Gospel, that your name would be exalted and praised.
(Adapted about the first third of “The Gospel Way” from The Valley of Vision,” p. 35, and used it as a springboard for the rest of the prayer.)