Elder's Prayer - June 9, 2019
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
One of my favorite lines in any hymn is from the first hymn we sang this morning, Praise to the Lord Almighty by Joachim Neander. It says:
what the almighty can do
if with his love he befriend thee
Sometimes we get into a rut in our thinking and we need to be reminded and encouraged to ponder or think anew about what God can do for those he calls his friends.
Paul prays for the saints in Ephesus in Ephesians 3; listen to how he prays:
"14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:14-21)
He is praying that they will be strengthened in their knowledge of the love of Christ that has been shown to us. He is praying that God’s Spirit in us will confirm/solidify our faith by helping us to fully understand how great and deep and wide and endless is the love that God has shown to us through Christ.
So it’s good for us to think about God and Christ and the Holy Spirit and what they have done for us and think about who they are. And we can think on the things of God daily and never exhaust our knowledge of him, never run out of new things to learn, new ways to apply what we learn.
We’ve been singing about several different aspects of God and Christ that we can think about:
He is our treasure, he is our delight, his grace is deep, his love is great, he is our highest good, he is our defender, he provides the sword of our defense, he is our hope in sorrow, he is our joy in trials.
God provided Christ as our savior – my guilt laid on him, my sin completely covered by his blood, every one of my sins paid for. Christ is the ransom to free me from my bondage to sin.
God can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants, and he doesn’t have to tell anyone that he’s going to do it or explain to anyone why he does it. And that God has chosen to call you friend because you have put your faith in his son to save you from your sins.
Ponder anew what God can do for those that he now calls his friends – and then remember that he can do even more than that.
Father, there is no one like you, who can do whatever he wants, whose grace is complete, whose love never ends, who is the source and definition of truth.
You are our treasure. All that we hope for, all that we want to happen, the contentment that we long for, we find ultimately in you. You are worth every effort that we can make to know you better.
You are our delight – the source of our joy, the hope that we have in our trials, the truth that we love and hold on to, the reason that we come together to worship. Each and every day we can delight in you and find satisfaction and joy in you.
You are our savior – you provide the sacrifice, you provide the ransom from sin, you break the power of death and promise us life. Salvation comes to us because you ordained it, you defined it, and you provided for it.
You make yourself known to us in all these ways and more because you put your Spirit in us to help us to know you and understand you and long for you and trust you and delight in you.
Father, there is no one like you, the God who sends his only Son to save those who don’t know him, who makes his enemies his friends.