I offered this prayer yesterday morning during our worship service-
Heavenly Father, we come to You praising Your greatness and power. We worship You as the only true and living God who has reached out to save us to the uttermost through the blood of Your beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ. You have sent Your Spirit to make us alive together with Christ and have saved us by Your grace through faith in Jesus so we might be living declarations of Your gracious salvation and the unstoppable power of the gospel. We thank You for this pause before the beginning of a new week- this day of rest and gladness. Refresh us with Your Word by sending Your Spirit to give us hunger and thirst for Your righteousness, something we only understand by the revelation of Your Holy Scriptures.
Today we remember the Reformation-that blessed epoch in the history of Your Church when You prompted a revival. You revived a hunger for Your Word. You restored a conviction about the preservation of Your glory alone. You revived conviction about sin. You raised up and equipped people with an incredible bravery to stand against idolatry, institutional corruption, and spiritual deception. You unleashed the power of Your Word. You freed Your church from the slavery of darkness, ignorance, and delusion. With Luther’s hammer falling on the nails that held the 95 theses to the castle door at Wittenburg, a new era had dawned. The Light of Your Word began to shine again. Darkness was exposed, and demons scattered. Hearts were unchained. Lives were transformed and a movement that could not be stopped had begun. We are truly thankful for Your work of Reformation through men like Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, and Zwingli. For Calvin and Knox. The French Huguenots, the English Puritans, The Dutch Calvinists, The German Lutherans, and the Swiss Reformed Church. We praise You for the legacy of doctrinal clarity left by the great creeds and confessions of the Reformation. For the Augsburg, Belgic, and Westminster Confessions. For the Canons of Dort and the Heidelberg Catechism. Lord, grant that we would never take for granted the importance of right doctrine as it relates to the health and mission of Your Church. At the same time, as we celebrate a resurgence in the care for biblical clarity, also grant to us a deepened love for You that translates to a loving graciousness toward our neighbors. In our zeal for right doctrine and biblical clarity, please make us to be gracious, loving, patient, kind, and humble with all.
Lord, we live in country about to elect a new president as well as other leaders. Give Your people wisdom and conviction about how they cast their votes in just over a week’s time. Give Your people a calm sobriety about the outcome- showing Your Church to be a people resting in Your sovereign rule no matter what earthly rulers are on the throne. At the same time, we ask for a revival in the churches of this land. Indeed, we pray for a modern reformation. I pray that where the Word of God has been disbelieved or abandoned, that You would bring revival or impose silence. Allow no person who has been called a pastor to mislead Your people or bring dishonor to Your name by denying Your Word and the one true Gospel. I pray that You would bring a sweeping conviction and belief about Your Holy Word’s authority and sufficiency. Make pastors faithful to preach Your Gospel and congregations hungry to feed upon Your Word. More than good presidents, governors, legislators, and judges- this country needs good and faithful churches. Please grant revival, reformation, and spiritual vitality to all those places that call upon the name of Jesus so the declaration of the gospel of Your salvation through faith in Christ alone would ring forth everywhere.
We pray for the Church the world over. Please send Your protective grace to our persecuted brothers and sisters in Syria, Iraq, North Korea, China, Sudan, Yemen, and many countries were Islam dominates. Even this month we learned of a pastor in the Philippines who was murdered by two Muslim crusaders. During this day your people are suffering the world over for the sake of Jesus. They are not arguing over whether Your Word is true, they are dying for it. They are gathering to worship in secret at risk of their safety and life. Prompt us regularly to pray for our suffering brothers and sisters and give us ways to send help whenever and however we can. In light of the difficult reality for so many of Your people, make us all the more thankful and ready for the ministry of Your Word.
Please bless the preaching of the Word this morning. Give our guest preacher clarity of mind, accuracy with the text, and boldness with the message so that Your people may be fed and strengthened.
Lord God, our heavenly Father, You are so good to us and we thank You. May Jesus Christ be honored through the transformed lives of Your people. I pray this in the name of Christ, Amen.