Elder's Prayer - November 25, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
As we wrap up this Thanksgiving holiday, I thought it might be appropriate that we be reminded of the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Thess 5, beginning in v16 where he tells Christians that we are to - Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
As a country, we set aside time this week to observe a time of thanksgiving. And because of our different worldviews, that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people-we are, to put it mildly, an increasingly diverse nation-but a nation that has certainly received many earthly blessings-for which all of us must be thankful.
You may recall, the church that Paul was writing to in Thessalonica at that time, was a heavily persecuted church-its members were dying daily just because they professed Christ as Lord-their circumstances were much different from ours today-yet for Christians of all eras, there is a similarity.
Paul closes this epistle with the reminder, that despite the often brutal circumstances the Thessalonian church members faced, they were to face them with an attitude of thanksgiving-in all circumstances-he says, rejoicing always, praying without ceasing because as he tells them, this is the will of God for them-for us.
There is the similarity because it is indeed the will of God for all of us who follow Christ and trust in Him as Lord to be thankful.
To be thankful because He is Lord and rules over heaven and earth-and he will return to reign-and for that-above all-we should give thanks.
Lord as we gather this morning, may we count it a joy that we can do so-that we live in a country where we are free to gather in your name.
May we be thankful that you have given us this time together to share in your Word and your table.
To encourage one another-rejoice together, pray together-sometimes weep together-with increasingly thankful hearts as is your will.
When we leave here and go about our lives help us to increasingly experience the contentment the apostle Paul expresses in Phil 4-no matter what the situation-abundance or need-you tell us to come to you with prayer and supplication-with thanksgiving-rejoicing always, because you Lord are at hand and you assure us that it is Christ who strengthens us and enables us to not only endure but glorify you with our lives.
We await your return with much anticipation, but as we do may we do it with thankful hearts, to your glory.
We ask this in Christ’s name-Amen.