Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Trinity, A Prayer

Heavenly Father, blessed Son, eternal Spirit,
  I adore Thee as one Being, one Essence,
  one God in three distinct Persons,
  for bringing sinners to Thy knowledge and to Thy kingdom.
O Father, Thou hast loved me and sent Jesus to redeem me;
O Jesus, Thou hast loved me and assumed my nature,
  shed thine own blood to wash away my sins,
  wrought righteousness to cover my unworthiness;
O Holy Spirit, Thou hast loved me and entered
  my heart, implanted there eternal life,
  revealed to me the glories of Jesus.
  Three Persons and one God, I bless and praise Thee,
  for love so unmerited, so unspeakable,
  so wondrous, so mighty to save the lost
  and raise them to glory. ~ "The Trinity" from The Valley of Vision

In a class on worship that I am taking, our professor, Dr. Derek Thomas, has encouraged us to write out prayers on various subjects so that we can think about how we would lead a congregation in prayer before a sermon. Leading a group of dozens, hundreds, or thousands in prayer is much harder than you might think (that is, if you have already imagined getting past your fear of public speaking, which almost all of us have). The practice of extemporaneousness prayer is a good one and one for which our puritan and Presbyterian forefathers fought hard to maintain. But, even these traditions called for what they termed "studied prayers"--prayers that had been planned and thought through and then delivered without notes. That is what he is encouraging us to develop.

Below is one I wrote on the Trinity. Now, I know it is not going to compare to the above poetry from The Valley of Vision, but I hope you find it helpful, perhaps something you can pray through, and perhaps a blessing to your soul.

Triune God, this morning we want to praise You and the glories of Your existence as thee-in-one. We praise You because You are one being, one essence, one God; yet three persons. We praise you because You are three persons of one substance, power, dignity, and eternity; yet distinct in roles and authority. We praise You because You show us the meaning of equality amid authority and submission.

Father, we praise You because You are neither begotten nor proceeding, You are coequal with the Son and the Spirit, and You exercise supreme authority among the Godhead. Son, we praise You because You are eternally begotten of the Father, You are coequal with the Father, and You submit to His authority. Holy Spirit, we praise You because You eternally proceed from the Father and the Son, You are coequal with them both, and You submit to their authority. Truine God, we praise You because Your existence shows us what it means to be one in essence and to have equality, authority, submission, and love. This is a great mystery to us that brings joy to our hearts, though, nay, because we will never fully comprehend the beauty of Your Triune subsistence.
Father, we want to particularly focus on praise to You now. We praise You because You are the supreme Architect of creation, redemption, and consummation. By Your intense love, You chose us in Jesus before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in Your sight. By Your eternal wisdom, You spoke the creation of this universe in which we exist, this world in which we live, and our very lives with which You have blessed us. By Your gracious immanence, in times distant past You revealed Yourself to Your people through covenants, promises, and prophecies until the fullness of time came and You revealed Yourself to us through Your incarnate Son, Jesus. By Your justice and justifying love, You sent Jesus to redeem Your people—to be our perfect and eternal sacrifice—so that we might be saved from Your wrath and adopted as Your sons and daughters. By Your mighty plan, You will one day send Jesus again to finish what have You have started and bring us home to glory forever.

Son, we want to particularly focus on praise to You now. We praise You because You are the Accomplisher of creation, redemption, and consummation. By Your power, You were the word of the Father that brought this universe, this world, and our very lives into existence. By Your humility and for the joy set before You, You condescended to our level, were born of a woman, lived a sinless life, revealed the glory of the Father, suffered for our sins, died for our sins, and were raised to break the power of death and secure our justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification. By Your wisdom and experience as our High Priest, You stand before the Father, always interceding for Your people as our Advocate. By Your obedience to Father and love for Your Church, You will one day return to finish what You have started and bring us home to glory forever.

Holy Spirit, though You turn the spotlight from Yourself toward the Son, we want to particularly focus on praise to You now. We praise You because You are the Sustainer and Finisher of creation, redemption, and consummation. By Your grace, You hovered, even brooded over creation, sustained it, and continue to uphold it, even as I pray. By Your power, You anointed Jesus for His ministry, guided Him through this world to the cross, and raised Him from the dead. By Your love and Your grace, You were poured out by Jesus at Pentecost, unite believers to Jesus, and sanctify us so that we might daily be conformed to the likeness of Jesus. By Your wisdom, You help with our infirmities, show us our need of Jesus, draw us to repentance, give us the words to pray when we can only groan, and strengthen and unite the Church for the task the Father has for us during this life. By Your glory, You will one day give us new bodies for the new heavens and the new earth when Jesus returns to bring us home to glory forever.

Triune God, we can only marvel at Your equality, love, authority, submission, and perfectly united work in this universe, redemption history, and our very lives. How great is the mystery of You as one, yet three! Please allow beauty of that mystery to sink down into every nook and cranny of our lives so that we might learn how to love, learn how to lead, learn how to submit, and learn be united in our work in our individual lives, in our marriages, and as Your Church.

Glory be to the Father, glory be to the Son, and glory be to the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

By His Grace,

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