Elder's Prayer - December 30, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
Here we are on the last Sunday of 2018. Doesn’t seem possible another year has flown by. Some of us may be reflecting on the passing year while probably many of us are already thinking about 2019 and all that it will hold. Some in this room will experience great thrills and some will experience overwhelming anguish in 2019. There will be milestone celebrations, births, marriages, graduations and maybe even adoptions. There will be many anxious firsts – first dates, first day of school, first time away from home, first day on the new job and maybe even the first day of retirement. There will also be moments or seasons of deep disappointment and grief. There will be frightening news delivered by doctors, there will be painful family disputes, there will be friendships strained by misunderstandings, there might be tragic accidents and even unexpected deaths. In fact, as I was gathering my thoughts to share with you this morning, I learned of the passing of our brother in Christ Steve Mason yesterday morning.
So how as believers should we approach the new year? With fear and trembling, just waiting for something bad to happen. With exuberant expectations placing our hope and satisfaction in the temporal passing events desperately clinging to fleeting pleasures as they quickly pass.
Or a third way. Let’s look forward expectantly but also trustingly. Being grateful for God’s kindness when his blessing is obvious, but also trusting in Him even when we don’t understand His perfect purposes.
Father God, I ask that you would kindly remind us that you loved us before the foundation of the world and your unimaginable love revealed itself in sending Christ to redeem our sinful souls. Remind us too that you are good when you give to us and also good when you take away from us.
Your goodness has been with us in 2018 and will be alongside us in 2019 as we encounter the unexpected from our perspective, but the perfect revelation of your incorruptible will. I pray you will be glorified in both our celebrations and our trials.
Make us abhor all that grieves the Holy Spirit. Make our hearts yearn for sanctifying experiences that conform us to the likeness of your Son the Christ. Help us shun careless choices that lead to haphazard and wasteful living. Make us gentle and patient toward all people and especially towards those who are at odds with us. Help us not only be wise in the gospel but humble gospel examples before all that we encounter so they might see its excellency, loveliness and appeal. Cause us to vigorously act to lay hold of Your promises and cling to them despite the adversity that will tempt to overwhelms us. Make us humble to accept your Creator’s right to do as you please in our lives knowing that it is for our good and your glory. Help us to live 2019 trusting in your infallible wisdom to know what is best and trusting in your power and sovereignty to bring it about. Help us to find comfort in this abiding truth.
Pray for the Mason family. Comfort them as they mourn. Help them mourn in light of the gospel and the promises it holds. Help us as a church family to love Sherry well showing her and her family the love of Christ and our common hope in the gospel. I pray that you will be honored in her time of grief.