Elder's Prayer - November 18, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
In the first chapter of his letter to the Ephesian church, the apostle Paul tells them he has heard of their faith in the Lord Jesus and their love for all the saints. He says, therefore that he does not cease to give thanks for them, always remembering them in his prayers.
Beginning in verse 17 as he prays for them he asks 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, what is the immeasurable greatness of power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ.
We can learn much from Paul’s words in this text as he instructs us concerning our prayers for one another and what our priorities should be.
The details of the circumstances and struggles we each face vary greatly. Some of us may be facing catastrophic health or financial issues. Or, conversely, we may be growing lethargic in our faith and find our ultimate comfort and security in all the earthly things we possess.
This is a time of year when family struggles are often magnified-or, lack of family can lead to feelings of loneliness.
Perhaps we struggle to understand and trust in God’s sovereignty over all things whether we deem them to be good or bad.
It is right to pray for each other and our earthly struggles, but of even greater importance is to pray for each other’s hearts and how we respond to those struggles-that we would, as Paul says, have the eyes of our hearts enlightened-that we may know the hope of the resurrected Christ-the greatness of his ruling power and the riches of the glorious inheritance that we look to as his adopted children.
As we pray today, let’s pray with these things in mind.
Father, we come before you this morning-each of us-seeking to better understand the earthly struggles we face and how we are to respond to them.
You alone know and fully understand them-whether they are with relationships, finance, health, doubt or a myriad of other possibilities.
You know our hearts. You know what each of us needs as you conform us to the image of your Son.
Your word tells us that no temptation or trial has overtaken us that is not common, in one form or another, to all of us.
But when trials beset us, we are too often tempted to throw up our hands and turn from you-succumbing to our own fears and anxieties.
But you, Lord, are faithful, and you will not let us be tempted beyond our ability because our ability is no longer in ourselves, but in you-you have provided the way of escape-you are the way of escape.
And while we pray for each other that you would remove the struggles we face and ease our pain and suffering; may we take to heart your promise that you enable us to endure by leaning on you and not our own understanding.
Strengthen and sustain us Lord. Enlighten the eyes of our heart that we may know that you are God.
A God who loves us so much that he sent his Son to die for us, defeating sin at the Cross and overcoming death in his resurrection.
Help us to see that our hope is in Christ alone-always, no matter what circumstances we face-because he is Lord over all.
Help us to increasingly believe and apply your Word every moment of our earthly lives.