Elder's Prayer - June 17, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
Today is what we recognize as Father’s Day and I find it interesting that later in the service we will be examining yet another genealogy in our text in Genesis, which of course, would mean there are fathers involved.
I am not trying to spiritualize that, but studying genealogies and celebrating Father’s Day or not celebrating it, as in many cases, is a reminder of God’s sovereignty in families. As we see each time we study the genealogies, there is nothing about them that is outside of God’s dominion--nothing is random.
And yet, it has been clear from the beginning that families, from an earthly perspective, are flawed to one degree or another. God gives us families--mother’s, father’s and children for human flourishing--yet families don’t always flourish as we hope they would.
We are reminded of this when we see families torn apart by sin in the form of divorce or vast disagreements--over money or even religion.
Jesus, as we know, also had an earthly family and during his ministry, as recorded in Matthew 12, beginning in V46 when he was speaking to the people, we’re told, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. When this was pointed out to him, Jesus replied to the man who told him this by asking, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
I don’t think Jesus was disparaging earthly families, but rather he was emphasizing what matters most is the family of God’s redeemed.
Undoubtedly our immediate and extended families are comprised of followers of Christ as well as those who, at least to this point, are not following him. There are those who are struggling spiritually with besetting sin.
As we go to the Lord in prayer today, I urge each of us to take a moment to intercede on behalf of those you know, whether family members--fathers, mothers, children--or friends, that do not know Christ as Lord and Savior, or if they do, may be struggling to be obedient to him.
Pray for them that God’s grace would draw them near and they would recognize it and respond to him as Lord.
Bow with me and take a minute to reflect on and pray for those you know who need God’s mercy.
Father as we gather this morning we are reminded of your goodness and love and that, as we just sang, you are God over all, both the redeemed and the unredeemed.
Many of us that are here today have family members and friends that, for various reasons, do not know Jesus as Lord or if they do, are struggling to obey him.
As humans, we are all prone to pride, stubbornness, and deception. We too often believe the lies of the world, or the lies we tell ourselves, rather than your revealed truth.
We put obstacles between ourselves and you because we insist on defining our lives by our own terms, not yours. We rely on our sinful feelings, not your glorious truth.
Whatever obstacles are keeping those we love from embracing you, I pray you would remove them and draw them to you. Reveal yourself to them in such a way that they would believe. Open their eyes, Lord. Melt their stubborn, willful hearts.
And Lord we pray that you would use us as your instruments of grace to demonstrate the love of Christ in their lives. To speak and demonstrate your truth in love.
We know Lord there is no greater gift than your saving grace. We pray that gift you offer would be received by those we love.
We ask this in Jesus' name--Amen.