Elder's Prayer - June 23, 2019
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
It is often easier to see the sins of others than it is to see our own sins. We’re blind to them or we try to justify them to ourselves so that we don’t see the sin or don’t think that we’re in fact sinning.
I often think of Samson when I think of my blindness or indifference to sin. The biblical writer of Judges shows us Samson’s sin – his pride and anger and lust and adultery; his lack of concern for the vow he was under; his lack of concern for his nation.
Yet in Hebrews 11, Samson is listed with others in what we refer to as the hall of faith – OT saints who believed in God’s promises and, therefore, are people we should look up to.
In spite of his sin, God never completely abandons Samson. Even after Samson’s hair is cut and the text says that "the Lord had left him", the text then tells us that Samson’s hair began to grow again.
Why does the text tell us that? I think the writer wants to remind us that, even though God has let Samson suffer the consequences of his sin, God is still gracious to Samson. God set Samson apart from birth; God will never abandon him.
I’m sure that my sin is greater than I know. If I can so clearly see sin in others, I have to assume that others can clearly see sin in me, even if I don’t.
One of the key takeaways I get from Samson’s life is that God’s grace is greater than my sin. If God has saved me, set me apart as his own, then he will never abandon me, even when I suffer the consequences of my sin.
God, you are worthy of all glory and honor and praise. You are to be feared above all gods. Your word lasts forever and your judgments are always true and right and final.
Please forgive our sin. Forgive us when we think more of ourselves than we think of others.
Forgive us when we are indifferent to your commands, when we do only what we want to do and are not concerned with what you want us to do.
Forgive us when we respond to a situation from pride and self-centeredness rather than responding in humility and Christ-centeredness.
Forgive us when we doubt your goodness, when we think that maybe you’ve forgotten your promises.
Forgive us when we doubt your grace, when we think that you would never forgive us for our sin or that you would turn away from us when we seek your forgiveness.
Help us to remember that your grace is greater than our sin, that our sin can never outweigh the grace that you offer to us through Christ. You pardon and you cleanse and you wash away our sin.
There is no god like you, who forgives freely and consistently and fully.