Elder's Prayer - September 16, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
I hope and pray that our study on 1 Corinthians and especially this section chapters 12-14 is being beneficial to your souls as it is to mine.
We learned that, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” in 1 Corinthians 12:7
“To each” is referring to every Christian who is part of this amazing organism called the Body of Christ, the Church.
The conversation then is not “do I or do you have the gift or not?” It is not even “What gift or gifts does each one of us have?”
It is, “how do you use your gifts to serve Lord and His people?” My and our exercise of it should result in common good.
The Scriptural “how” centers around love, as Bret taught us from 1 Corinthians 13 – the priority, the presence and the permanence of love. The application of this learning is guaranteed to produce the end result of “common good”
So this morning, I’m going to lead us in a prayer that is based on 1 Corinthians 13. Let’s pray.
Father of all mercies, thank you for endowing each of these unworthy servants of yours with a gift or gifts through your Holy Spirit that we may serve you and your children.
Please protect us from becoming a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Please help us to not miss the object of our service – the people made in the image of God - over our perceived notion of perfection or our preferences. We don’t want to find ourselves, in the end, having gained nothing from our exercise of the gifts you bestowed upon us.
Please help us to exercise our gifts in love that is patient and kind, not be envious or boastful, not in an arrogant or rude manner, not insisting in our own way, and certainly not in an irritable or resentful fashion.
Please help us to not rejoice at wrong doing but rejoice with the truth.
But countless times, O Holy of Holies, we were arrogant and prideful. We made us to be the center of our service and not you and unfortunately not even those we were supposed to serve. Please forgive us.
Please help us to be Christlike and bear all things, believe and hope all things Scriptural while enduring what you make us go through according to your sovereign will.
We praise you that Christlike expression of love will never end even when many of the other gifts are temporal according to your purpose.
Thank you for the confirmation that our faith, hope, and love abide and that we are not striving in vain after the wind. Please help us not to forget that love is the greatest of these three that last.
Please, may Summit Woods Baptist Church be defined by a Christlike exercise of our gifts in love from the pulpit to the pew.
We pray this in the name of Savior, who perfectly lived out our prayer this morning, Amen.