Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Scriptures, A Prayer

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17

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 about Scripture. I hope you find it helpful, perhaps something you can pray through, and perhaps a blessing to your soul.

God almighty, the heavens declare Your glory and the sky above proclaims Your handiwork. Your invisible attributes, namely, Your eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that You have made. From the light of Your creation man can see Your goodness, wisdom, and power. So men are without excuse before You. From Your creation we know You exist, You are holy, and we are not. Yet, these things are not enough to give us the knowledge of Your will which we need to know of Your salvation. How unsearchable are Your judgments and how inscrutable Your ways! They are so transcendent, so high above us that we have no hope of knowing them through what we can perceive in Your glorious creation. But, in Your wisdom and goodness, You chose not to leave us in the dark. With all Your greatness and with all Your power, You bent down low, condescended to our level, and spoke to us in order that we might know You and Your salvation.

Father, we confess that we have let Your Word to us become something mundane, something unremarkable. We have it in our hands and can read it every day, so we often forget how astounding it is that You spoke to Your created beings. Father, return that marvelous truth to our hearts. Help us to be astonished that in Your infinite transcendence You bent down low to speak to us. Help us remember we would have been completely lost without You reaching out to us because Your judgments are unsearchable and Your ways are inscrutable. Remind us that in Your glory You bent down low and taught us what we are to believe concerning You and what duty You require of us.

Long ago You spoke to Israel by Your prophets, and if that were not incredible enough, then You came and spoke to us by Your Son, Jesus. Not only did You speak to us but You came to us. The Word that was with You in the beginning, the Word that is God, through which all things were made, this Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Through Jesus we have seen Your glory, glory as of the Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. Through the prophets of old, through Your Son Jesus, and through His disciples, we have Your whole counsel containing everything necessary to know Your glory, the way of salvation, and for faith and life. Thank You, sovereign Lord, for sending Your Word through the prophets and apostles but chiefly through Your Son.

Mighty God, You did not stop there. You did not simply declare Your Word through the prophets, Jesus, and His disciples. For the preserving and propagating of Your truth, You sent Your Holy Spirit to inspire men to write down Your Word inerrantly and infallibly. Furthermore, Your Spirit guided the Church to combine and preserve Your Word in writing so that it might be multiplied, translated, and published, and so we might be able to read it today with the confidence that it is breathed out by You and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that Your people may be complete, equipped for every good work. Thank You, sovereign Lord, for sending Your Spirit to inspire and preserve Your written Word for all generations.

Father, we praise You that we do not have to worship You as the unknown God. We praise You because in Scripture we can read about Your work in history, Your immanence in the Church, and the way of salvation You brought about for Your elect. We praise You because You did not leave us in the darkness but You brought the light of Your Word to us. We ask, Father, that You make these truths sweet to our hearts. Remind us that it is Your Word, not the words of men. Help us not to take Your Word for granted. Help us to acknowledge its paramount authority in our lives and to turn to it always. Help us to commit it to memory; to talk of it when we sit in our house, and when we walk by the way, and when we lie down, and when we rise. Help our churches to faithfully preach Your Word; to be ready in season and out of season; to reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and faithfulness to Your Word.

In the name of Jesus Christ, the Word of God that was with You in the beginning, we pray these things. Amen.

By His Grace,

No comments: