Elder's Prayer - Vanessa Honigman Baptism
Please find below Rob Stouffer's notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
LORD, What an encouragement it is when we see You add to Your church through the ordinance of baptism. When we can celebrate seeing another person bow her knee in a public confession that King Jesus is indeed the King of her life and the savior of her soul.
We are confident because of Your word and know that You did the saving work in Vanessa’s life. Thank you God that Vanessa was not ultimately deceived by her abundant good works including regular church attendance and the moral decisions she made as a child as being salvific. Those good works did not save her. Thank you for enabling her to understand and recognize works are a fruit of salvation but not the author of it.
Thank You for helping Vanessa see her desire to please others can be good, but it is not ultimate and can even be threatening to a growing relationship with You. The desire to please and obey You must be a distinguishing mark of any genuine believer. And this desire to please You must trump or supersede our desire to please others. This can be so deceptive to us. Help us see where our fear of man masked as desire to please others is too great in our own lives. Help us to grow in our rightful awe and reverence of You God.
Help us to see pride in our life, like You helped Vanessa. It is such a deceptive and crippling sin, especially so when we deliberately isolate ourselves in the body of Christ because we are embarrassed to let others see our struggles or failures. Help us to be transparent in our relationships with each other. Let each of us consider how we can stir up one another to love and good works for our sanctification and for Your glory. Help us be a people ready to join arms and help each other grow in godliness and Christ-likeness in the context of this local church as we purse sanctification collectively as well as individually.
You enabled her to see her sin as it is – rebellion against a holy and just God. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, her sinful nature and her sinful actions became apparent to her. You used the preaching of your word and the studying of it to be more than simply a mental assent for her. You caused her to turn from her sin, to repent and to place her trust in You. You caused her to see her need to trust solely in the work of Christ on the cross and depend solely on this for her hope of salvation. Thank You for allowing us the privilege to join with her in testifying of Your grace extended to her saving faith.
We love You much and marvel at the extravagant and abundant grace You show us when we respond in faith and repentance to Your gospel message.