Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Holy Spirit, A Prayer

"We believe in... the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets." ~ The Nicene Creed (First Council of Constantinople version, 381 AD)

In some previous posts I have mentioned that I am taking a class on worship and 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. This is not so that we would memorize prayers but so that we would engage in the practice of "studied prayers" and be prepared to pray well before a congregation.

Below is one I wrote on the Holy Spirit. I hope you find it helpful, perhaps something you can pray through, and perhaps a blessing to your soul. (If you want some more theological writing on the Spirit, I suggest you check out this post.)

Sovereign God, we want to exalt and praise You this morning for Your Holy Spirit. You are glorious and mysterious to us because You are three-in-one—one in essence yet three in persons with Your Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son. We cannot understand this mystery fully but we can praise You for it.

Spirit, though You don’t desire the spotlight and even turn it from Yourself to the Father and the Son, You are equal in glory and worthy of our praise. You bring the work of the Father and the Son to completion by continually acting in and on the world and we want to praise You for that today.

We praise You, Spirit, because in creation You hovered over the chaos—sustaining, guiding, and protecting all that was created. Because of You, beauty robed the world and life sprang forth. As the Psalmist says, when You hide Your face, creation is dismayed, but when You come forth, life is created and You renew the face of the ground. We ask, Spirit, that You bring order to our chaotic hearts and minds. Take away our unbelief, our doubts, our lusts, our unloving attitudes, our racists thoughts, our prideful arrogance, and our idolatrous worship of things that cannot satisfy. Reorder our hearts and minds towards Jesus. Don’t hide Your face but come forth and bring life to our hearts. Lift the cloud of unbelief and enlighten our minds in the knowledge of Christ. Focus our chaotic minds on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, reorder our minds toward these things, Spirit, for the glory of the Godhead and our good.

We praise You, Spirit, because You inspired the prophets of the Old Testament period to write Your word and record for us, without error, the history of redemption. We praise You because You inspired the apostles and disciples of Christ to record, without error, His work in the gospels and its theological significance for a new covenant people in the rest of the New Testament. We praise You, Spirit, because for the past two thousand years You have been building, shaping, and guiding Christ’s Church, His Bride, for the glory of the Godhead and for our good. We praise You because even now You illuminate our hearts so that we might understand the written Word that You inspired long ago. Keep these words on our hearts. Help us to mediate on them day and night. Help us to teach them diligently to our children, and talk of them when we sit in our houses, when we walk down the street, when we lie down and when we rise up. Bind Your inspired Word to our hearts and minds, for the glory of the Godhead and our good.

Spirit, we praise You because You made it possible for us to receive salvation and be called children of God. By Your power and work, Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary and became incarnate. You anointed Him for His ministry, qualified Him for His work of salvation, led Him through this life to the cross to be our sacrifice, and raised Him from the dead for our salvation. You, Spirit, applied this salvation to us—You regenerated our hearts, gave us the gift of faith, and united us to Christ for our justification, adoption, and sanctification. And, even now You continually work in us, both to will and to work for the glory of the Godhead and our good. Keep our eyes on Jesus, remind us of His sacrifice, and remind us of the intensity of the love that led Him to the cross. Open our hearts to the depths of truth in His words, “It is finished.” Take our thoughts and hearts away from our selfishness and point them towards the cross and all thing things it represents to us. Increase our faith in the knowledge of the atonement received, the propitiation of God’s wrath, the guilt destroyed, the debt paid, the sins forgiving, the death defeated, the righteous imputed, and heaven opened, all for God’s elect. Sanctify us with these truths so that we might die unto sin more and more and live unto righteousness more and more, for the glory of the Godhead and our good.

Thank You, Father, for sending Jesus. Thank You, Jesus, for sending Your Spirit. Thank You, Spirit, for continually sustaining, protecting, and guiding to completion the work of the Father and the Son. Sovereign God, we praise You for Your work as the three-in-one God and especially today for the work of the Holy Spirit. Help it bring our hearts to praise and never to leave our minds.

In the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Spirit, we pray these things. Amen.

By His Grace,

No comments: