I’ve had a crazy busy week, with no time to write an original thought. I figured therefore, in the spirit of Tim Challies’ sharing from his church’s worship services, I would share the following prayer. Every Lord’s Day during our worship service, one of our church elders leads the congregation in corporate prayer. This past Sunday I asked Jim Fritsch if I might share his prayer here on the blog. Jim’s emphasis on the transcendence, power, and self-sufficiency of our Creator God, together with his self-revelation through his Word—from “the pens of your prophets and poets,” to the Word made flesh, his Son Jesus Christ—caught me up in wonder and worship even as I agreed with him in prayer. That this high and holy God should call us to approach his throne of grace in prayer is indeed a reason for both great humility and great joy.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Let us go to our great God in prayer.
Most Sovereign Creator,
You, in full union with the Son and Holy Spirit, did create this world and all it contains out of what can only be described as oblivion. Before there was even such a thing as time to count, You inhabited all eternity; before there was a concept of space to measure, You existed in all Your fullness, majesty, and omnipresence. Our world does not contain You, nor can our world provide us with tools with which to measure or quantify You. You are wholly transcendent; You are wholly other. You are not defined by Your creation, nor does Your creation have any bearing or impact on Your Being. There are no absolutes in our creation to provide a reference for analyzing You; on the contrary, You are the sole absolute by which we may assess and judge Your creation.
How incredible it is, therefore, that we know and understand anything of Your nature and characteristics. It is not, surely, because we have laid You out on an examining bench and probed and monitored You like a scientific experiment. No, our knowledge and understanding of You is not by research, but revelation; not what we have extracted, but what You have displayed. You have chosen to formulate your creation and imbue it with the sign and seal of Your Person — Your power and being are illustrated in the nature of Your creation. But more than that, You have shared some aspect of Your very mind and purpose in the giving of Your Word — from the pens of your prophets and poets, and ever more fully in the Person of Your Incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. That we know and understand some minute aspect of the Godhead is no accident or scientific breakthrough on our part — it is the explicit and executed will of You, our Holy God.
Along with this understanding You have given us also fellowship, and with fellowship, communion, and with communion, conversation. We come before You today with our prayers and petitions in that glorious dialog You request from us. We respond joyfully. We pray this morning for Your church in our local area and around the globe. For Your elders, deacons, and ministers of the Word as they labor, and for Your children as they worship and serve within the congregation. Comfort our souls, ease the burdens of our bodies, forgive us our sins, and convert our hearts to love of Christ and true worship of the Father. Provide for us in our physical needs — in food, shelter, employment, health, security, and rest. Increase our faith and grow us in grace, leading us to depend not on the so-called realities of our daily life and surroundings, but on the eternal and external realities apart from our creation, as You have revealed them in Your Word and Gospel.
We pray for the specific needs of our local body…
All we have, we have as a result of Your creation, and all we know and understand and trust in faith we have as a result of Your revelation to us, and the sealing of that revelation to us within our hearts by the Holy Spirit. How we are dependent on You in all things, yet how You have comforted us of Your faithfulness with myriad assurances in Your Word, the most profound being the life, death, and resurrection of Your only-begotten Son for our very redemption.
It is in the name of our assurance, the Lord Jesus Christ, that we pray the prayer that he taught us:
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. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.